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Publisher's Summary

A predecessor to such monumental works such as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, Notes From Underground represents a turning point in Dostoyevsky's writing towards the more political side.

In this work, we follow the unnamed narrator of the story, who, disillusioned by the oppression and corruption of the society in which he lives, withdraws from that society into the underground. A dark and politically charged novel, Notes From Underground is Dostoyevsky at his best.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Awful hero, great narrator

Another in Dostoevsky's line of repulsive (but immediately recognizable) main characters. The Underground Man is someone you want to grab by the collar and shake till his teeth rattle. Simon Vance (as usual) gives a superb performance.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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insights that transcend time

Loved it. Why can't every authour write as well, or, at the least, use Dostoevsky as a measuring stick for their own plots, styles and themes? And such themes--of truth, of character, of love, hate, ideology and motives. 'Notes' has insights that are more contemporary than most self-help books written only last week: timeless. And an Anti-Hero that readers can use as a measuring stick of symptoms to identify in one's own psyche. Could there have been a Breaking Bad without this authour's formulation of the seminal, negative (yet honest to a fault) existential protagonist?

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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great book, great narration

my favorite Dostoyevsky read by, now my favorite narrator, Simon Vance. Mr Vance makes this novella a whole experience. Am looking forward to another listen in the near future, this time it won't be Dostoyevsky bringing me back for more, it'll be Simon Vance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • Westport, CT, United States
  • 10-26-17

Works pretty well as an audiobook

Thanks partially to the story itself, and partially to the narration, this audiobook is very listenable and not a bad way to digest some Dostoyevsky.

There are a minimal number of characters (so you need not memorize dozens of Russian names which might be indistinguishable to most anglophone ears).

And Simon Vance narrates the prose wonderfully, perfectly modulating his performance over the span of the work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lawren
  • Stirling, NJ, United States
  • 10-04-17

Very Thought Provoking

I must confess, I adore Dostoevsky's novels, and this does not have the same feel or excitement as they do. If you want to touch upon only ONE Dostoevsky book, I'd suggest you choose "Crime and Punishment" or "The Brothers Karamasov" instead. They may be longer, but I actually found them to be much quicker and more fascinating reads. That said, THIS is still a remarkably well written and intriguing book, and well worth your time. It is not pleasant, but that is part of the point. It challenges us, and hopefully helps us to grow in the process.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A compelling yet appalling unnamed narrator.

One feels obliged to read Dostoevsky, and this is a short and less daunting way to start.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Simon Vance is a genius at narrating spite

this book is the most uncomfortable coalesced crystal of awkward I have ever allowed myself to get through. 10/10, would drown myself in thought provoking cringe again. read this book to be forever cured of spite and the notion of the rational self interested man.

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another classic

Dostoyevsky is a dear favorite of mime. I love his books, and I love the theology behind them. Crime and Punishment is still my favorite, along with The Brothers Karamosov. But this book's treatment of a lost man rambling on, feeliing at once his own folly, but powerless before it, is a great reminder oof what we all are without Christ.

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  • Ben
  • Wilton Manors, FL
  • 08-10-17

What are words?

It seems that the translator of this version doesn't know what sentence structure is, or how we speak in English. In fact, I don't believe this translator knows English at all, let alone Russian. Read the physical book, translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky, or David Margashak in certain printing.

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Off putting!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I don't think it was the fault of Simon Vance. The character of Underground Man was very off putting and I did not enjoy the ranting of the first half of the book.

2 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • janien
  • 03-25-16

Needs full concentration, not a casual read

Any additional comments?

Simon vance performance is second to none and frankly I was able to finish purely because he was narrating. Divided into two parts, this is the ramblings and inner thoughts of a person on the edge of society. I can see why it's a classic and respect this Dosteovesky novel for its great writing. But it didn't engage me sufficiently. Perhaps I didn't devote the full concentration it perhaps deserves.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Henry
  • 04-07-17

Mesmerising and ghastly - in a good way

Wow. Dostoevsky can paint a bleak picture of humanity. And here he's less wordy than his other more massive works. A brilliant introduction to this most psychological of authors.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful