Notes from the Underground

Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (678 ratings)

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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.

Public Domain (P)2009 christianaudio.com

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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.

8 people found this helpful

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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.

19 people found this 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?

10 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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Personally Gripping

Dostoevsky is one of the greatest for a reason. The story cut to my heart it reminded me of my darkest days and showed me the kind of person I once was, and made me so glad to have raised myself form such a place of self conflict, loathing, and pretentiousness. As the author says there is no doubt there are many people just like the main character dwelling in the world today.

2 people found this 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.

2 people found this helpful

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Insanely good narration!

Though the narrator does an incredible job bringing the maim character to life, the story by itself is already very real. you will get no nonsense here - only a comprehensive look into what it's like to fall into nihilism and contempt for life.

Intense.

1 person found this helpful

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Simon Vance’s narration is the best.

Simon performed Dostoevsky flawlessly. The emotion, cadence, and conviction of his narration truly brought the text to life.

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • emil
  • 09-05-18

wow that was pretty darn good.

loved it. it is now one of my all time favorites. The narrator also is top class.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 03-28-18

Not what I was expecting but not in a bad way

Found it quite different to his other work, which is supposed to be the point I think. Can't say I enjoyed it as much as Crime and Punishment or The Brothers Karamazov, but it was clever, uncomfortable and thought provoking. Mercifully short.

1 person found this 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 person found this helpful

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  • Barnacles
  • 11-27-19

Started off very slowly.

I thoroughly enjoyed the narration. I was about to give up after 30 minutes but persevered (I'm glad I finished it). A very thought provoking listen.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-29-19

A short classic from one of the greatest authors

Thoroughly enjoyed the heavy topic and the existential dread discussed. The works of Dostoevsky will never seize to be considered nothing short of continuous masterpieces. A struggled mind depicted in such few pages requires abnormal literary skills which Dostoevsky certainly possesses. 10/10

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  • zeno paradox
  • 04-08-19

Excellent narration!

Highly Recommended Classic!
- Funny at times but that's mainly due to the excellent narration!!

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  • Elijah Kardia
  • 01-20-19

Good, but not Dostoevsky's finest

Difficult reading. But like all Dostoevsky's books get's better at the end. The final few chapters are particularly good.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-18

masterful piece as always

would not have expected less from dostoevsky. remarkable understanding and expression of every human's shortcomings

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  • Manda N
  • 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 people found this helpful