Regular price: $31.47

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Despite the harsh circumstances besetting his own life - abject poverty, incessant gambling, and the death of his firstborn child - Dostoevsky produced a second masterpiece, The Idiot, just two years after completing Crime and Punishment. In it, a saintly man, Prince Myshkin, is thrust into the heart of a society more concerned with wealth, power, and sexual conquest than the ideals of Christianity. Myshkin soon finds himself at the center of a violent love triangle in which a notorious woman and a beautiful young girl become rivals for his affections. Extortion, scandal, and murder follow, testing the wreckage left by human misery to find "man in man."
©2000 Blackstone Audiobooks. Originally published in 1880 in Russia.

Critic Reviews

"Nothing is outside Dostoevsky's province....Out of Shakespeare there is no more exciting reading." (Virginia Woolf)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    364
  • 4 Stars
    239
  • 3 Stars
    115
  • 2 Stars
    43
  • 1 Stars
    19

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    326
  • 4 Stars
    132
  • 3 Stars
    51
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    268
  • 4 Stars
    161
  • 3 Stars
    70
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    12
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Read Russian lit - don't listen to it

This was a good story and it moves along at a decent speed which is remarkable in Russian literature. I've read some and listened to some, and I'm finally convinced that it is too dense to enjoy as an audiobook. It just turns you around. And because the patronymics are not clearly laid out, the first half of the audiobook is spent trying to figure out which goes with which character. It is a good story and the characters are good, but I almost feel that it could have been a novella, it is so odd and charming but gets weigh laid with heavier material in the middle.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Another decent story from a Russian great

Really food dialogue throughout touching on those key elements Dostoevsky always includes in his works, primarily morals/ethics, religion. Additionally, memorable characters and rich characterization. At times tough to get through but well worth it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Bryan
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 06-15-16

Outstanding translation and performance

This was an outstanding translation and performance of the famed novel the idiot. I highly recommend it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

An outstanding presentation of a truly great novel

I've read The Idiot twice before, the last time about three years ago. The thing with Russian literature (note: I'm a huge fan of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Bulgakov), is that it's super easy getting confused with various plot lines, character arcs, and the lack of clarity (at least for me) with where the overall narrative is going. The Idiot is in my "top 5" list of favorite novels, so I was curious whether listening to it versus reading it might bring the narrative a little more to life for me.

Well, not really. Though I don't blame this version for it. The narrator did an outstanding job with the various characters and with the overall storytelling. He has a nice voice that just kinda sucks you in.

The story is wonderful though - I'm not going into the plot, because the novel is less about the particulars of the story than it is about the ideas conveyed. Can a truly good man (or woman) exist in the world without becoming corrupted? Are we cursed to a life of sorrow and suffering because of our past sins? Are we evil people who do good things or the other way around? Etc, etc. Some of the ruminations about the existence of God, the Catholic Church, and the
Nature of evil are incredibly deep and profound, and as ever applicable to our day and age as the were in Dostoevsky's time.

This book demands engagement, in order to fully appreciate it. I would recommend listening to the audiobook while following along with the written text in order to grasp the full weight of this masterpiece.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Brilliant narration of an epic book

This is indeed one of the best books, simply ever. The narration was incredibly well done; I highly recommend it and it's worth every minute of the 23 hours.

  • Overall

Listened to it twice

I think this narrator is immensely talented and often listen to him. I have to subtract a star for the voices of Nastasha and Ippolet who are central characters.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • TWG
  • Columbus, Ohio United States
  • 01-23-15

Excellent for mid-19th century

The book is excellently written. The story is compelling, the characters are exquisite, and the prose is of the highest standard. However, modern readers will likely want for excitement, as the plot proceeds through discussion and the intent behind words rather than deeds.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Insightful-

Where does The Idiot [Blackstone] rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Would rank in the top ten-

What other book might you compare The Idiot [Blackstone] to and why?

It is a one of a kind book .....

What does Robert Whitfield bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He does a good job of separating the many characters

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A bit of both, a really deep book-requires some focus or you quickly loose continuity-

Any additional comments?

Well worth the effort - much insight to be gleaned-

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Soap Opera

Would you consider the audio edition of The Idiot [Blackstone] to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Idiot [Blackstone]?

The money in the fire

Have you listened to any of Robert Whitfield’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I didn't want to think that the guy was an idiot, but I think he ended up being just that.

Any additional comments?

I like Crime and Punishment better.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

masterful performance

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

We all know this is a masterwork. This reader is very talented and brings the story to life.