Notes from the Underground (AmazonClassics Edition)

Narrated by: Pete Simonelli
Length: 4 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (177 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Isolated from society in a tenement basement in St. Petersburg, a malicious former civil servant vents his resentments. In the rambling notes that follow, we are exposed to the inner turmoil of the Underground Man, who represents the voice of his generation. An emotional, paranoid knot of contradictions, the spiteful narrator is also desperate to join a society he loathes, if only to prove his superiority to it.

Exploring themes of free will versus determinism, Dostoyevsky's existential exploration was written to challenge increasingly popular Western egoist philosophies. In the Underground Man, he found the embodiment of the antihero, whose behavior - like all human behavior - defies rationalization.

AmazonClassics brings you timeless works from the masters of storytelling. Ideal for anyone who wants to read a great work for the first time or rediscover an old favorite, these new editions open the door to literature's most unforgettable characters and beloved worlds.

Revised edition: Previously published as Notes from the Underground, this edition of Notes from the Underground (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

Public Domain (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

I have always heard Dostoyevsky was a genius but never read any of his work. This is the first book from him I have listened to and it is the most insightful look into human nature and lies we tell even to ourselves that I have ever heard. I can't wait to download more from him.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

amazing book. i compared it to my own psych. thr book teaches that we are often stuck in our own heads and the "reality" of the situation at hand is actually quite different than what is in our minds.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Great narrator, a disappointing plot

Being a big fan of Dostoyevsky, I’m disappointed in this one. First of all, it was much too disjointed; perhaps, it was precisely the idea, but the plot is basically nonexistent. For the first half of the book, the narrator just rambles on about his service and his co-workers and how he sees the society and obsesses over some officer because it’s, apparently, a big deal of who shall step aside for whom when they meet on the Nevsky Prospect. Nothing else is happening whatsoever; just a ceaseless stream-of-consciousness repeating itself into consumption.

Second, the unreliable protagonist technique itself. It certainly works in this case, but the protagonist came out much too unlikable and self-righteous and I have quickly grown to actively dislike him by the end of the story. His behavior with his friends was despicable, to begin with, but it was his treatment of Liza that completely turned me away from him. Imagine coming to a prostitute and going into a long speech of how lowly her profession is and how she will get sick and die soon and no one shall remember her, and how it would be better for her to have an honest life with a husband and children. Dude, if she had other options, hardly she would have been in that place, to begin with; has that thought ever occurred to you? Obviously, not. And off you go into an even longer monologue and eventually make her burst into tears just to promise her help just to turn her away when she comes for it afterward. I was so done with him at this point.

I don’t know what was the whole point of this book. To tell a story of a disillusioned and disappointed man who hates everybody just because he’s poor (in his own words)? There’s no clear message in it, no direction, no ending… All in all, I’m not sure what I’ve just read but whatever it was, don’t start reading Dostoyevsky with this book. Start with Crime and Punishment or Brothers Karamazov, or you’ll never pick up another book by him again.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Waste of money

This "audiobook" stopped working part way through the second chapter. I want my money back

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well produced

I have meant to get around this book on the kindle for quite some time but stopped a few pages in. Much due to the nature of the book, obviously not a light read.
But having come across it on audible I tried it and enjoyed the format. Well recommended

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A gripping analysis into the pits of pessimism.

In this short but dense work, Dostoyevsky sets you into the mind of a man who has thoroughly dedicated himself to vice and depravity. Having spent the majority of his life "underground", the story is told through the events of one day in which the main character lets loose his demons in an attempt to take vengance on the social world that he had been brooding over for so long. The orators voice sounds blunt and rude just as would be fitting for this style of character.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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excellent book

great narration. I just keep coming back to hear it again. one of my favorites.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Insightful but boring

It was interesting getting so deep into the characters constant stream of intamite thought.
The main character was however, a miserable, negative and depressed person which made his endless ramblings hard to tolerate to the end of the book.