• The Idiot

  • By: Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Prince Myshkin has just returned to Russia after several years in a Swiss sanitarium and soon finds himself in a complicated love triangle. Myshkin's honesty, goodness, and integrity are shown to be unequal to the moral emptiness of those around him.

This new abridgement was completed exclusively for Mission Books by Russian Studies scholar Thomas Beyer to keep the important religious themes of the novel intact. This edition of The Idiot is an excellent way for the admirer of Dostoevsky to refresh himself, or to introduce Dostoevsky to a friend who has yet to experience the joy of reading his works.

Public Domain (P)2011 eChristian, Inc.

What listeners say about The Idiot

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Simon Vance ruins his own near perfect narration.

I am heartbroken. Simon Vance is the gold standard of reading Dostoevsky, but he ruins his own performance by losing track of which characters are supposed to have which voices. Completely pulls you out of it, and mischaracterizes individuals at key moments. I offer the following example, though it isn't the only one.

Rogozhin and the Prince, and the contrast between them, is a central theme of the novel. Irony vs Candor, self loathing passion vs sincerity without self awareness. In the first chapter, Vance gives a *perfect* performance for these two. The two characters are nearly the same age, and Vance gives them a voice that is similar in physical tone and age, but polar opposites in emotional tone. Rogozhin is a dark, brooding sneer, and the Prince a light warm entreaty.

Then, the next time Rogozhin appears, Vance appears to confuse the character with an old man, and then forever after, whenever Rogozhin speaks, he is given a boisterous old man's voice, inexplicably. Completely ruins the subtlety of the character. After a very intimate scene between Rogozhin and the Prince was butchered with this voice, I had to abandon audiobook completely to avoid ruining the novel.

So frustrating, because Vance is *so* good. Check out his reading of "Notes From the Underground" to get an Idea of how good Vance can be when he doesn't have to juggle multiple characters.

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12 hours long

I wish I knew this was an abridged version of the book before I bought it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • B.L. M.
  • 03-21-21

Least Liked

Of his four major novels this is the most disappointing. Its the usual Fyodor formula he crams the pages full of nasty, selfish, murderous individuals and it plays out like an overblown Opera. As with his other tales you end up not caring about any of them.. however in The Devils and Crime & Punishment thats fine as the stories are strong & interesting and holds your attention.
However this narrative rambles and raves and gets lost wandering around the houses at great length to no great purpose.. the story is just poor.
It was a struggle to finish and but for Simon Vance would have binned it early.

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  • Ian
  • 05-10-18

Well edited and wonderfully read

Excellent rendition , engrossing and suspenseful . The editing is just right, having read the book previously.