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Notes from the Underground

Narrated by: Christopher Preece
Length: 4 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: Classics, World Literature
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Notes from the Underground is an 1864 novella by Fyodor Dostoevsky. 

Notes is considered by many to be one of the first existentialist novels. It presents itself as an excerpt from the rambling memoirs of a bitter, isolated, unnamed narrator (generally referred to by critics as the Underground Man) who is a retired civil servant living in St. Petersburg. 

The first part of the story is told in monologue form, or the Underground Man's diary, and attacks emerging Western philosophy, especially Nikolay Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done? 

The second part of the audiobook is called "Apropos of the Wet Snow" and describes certain events that appear to be destroying and sometimes renewing the Underground Man, who acts as a first-person, unreliable narrator and anti-hero.

Public Domain (P)2018 Dreamtown Publishing

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A complex and strange Book.

The Author is a great Russian enigma as is Russia itself.
The book is difficult but can be rewarding in becoming accustomed to one of the greatest Writers of all time.
I believe it requires more then one listen to appreciate the full nuance of this character and what his motivations are.

If this is your first taste of this Writer just realize this is far from his best work.


This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Sad and bitter

Dostoyevsky seems to have a common theme of going against the grain of society. The main character seems a little bipolar. His lows are quite low, and he gets a little manic as he plays out everything in his head. He has these imaginary arguments and then tries to start them in real life with the person. The main character seems bitter at the world. Seems he doesn't like other people being successful when they are not as smart as he. Being a man of low means he at one point in the story tries to put on airs. He tries to show he can be affluent but he has to borrow money to pull it off. He feels so pitiful he tries to start a fight. But in the end, he spends the night with a prostitute. When he realizes his shame he tries to degrade the poor girl as much as he can. This only makes him feel worse.

This book seems to be touching on inner monologues of superiority, and how unjust society is.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I really wanted to like this book...

Notes from the underground was difficult to read. I usually enjoy dark Russian literature but this one rambled and meandered far too much for my taste. I do think that the narrator did a nice job conveying emotion where my internal reading voice likely would not have and, in that way, he probably made this a better reading experience for me. Thank you to the author, the narrator, and audiobook boom for the complimentary copy of the book in exchange for this fair and unbiased review.

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Dostoyevsky never disappoints

Forty years before communism was introduced Dostoyevsky wrote this foreseeing book.
He was an amazing thinker and author for sure.
This book gives lots of drama from a nihilistic, resentful character who is writing his honest memoir.
One of his main thoughts is that we don't act as rational as we like to think we are, that rationalism is unable to explain world's history.
Dostoyevsky's books never disappoint to expose our human nature. This one is emotionally alive and you can't help but reflect on your own life and of those around you.
Highly recommended, great narration as well.

Received this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.