Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Raskolnikov murders a unsavory moneylender (and someone else….whoops!) in order to save himself from poverty. Spiraling into a self-obsessed world of paranoia and depression Raskolnikov attempts to sever himself from friends and family and retreat into a life of solitude. Constantly fearing capture he encounters people that he ‘knows’ have discovered him, but was his crime justifiable? He thinks so. Do they?


I found Crime and Punishment to be an extremely accessible read. From the start you grapple with the dilemma that Dostoyevsky intended you to grapple with; was the murder of the moneylender justifiable. The event itself happens very early on in the journey and we spend most of the book learning about the main characters relationships and his fear that capture is round the next corner. The murder almost becomes incidental and the main focus is on the obvious mental issues that Raskolnikov suffers from. He is a depressive man, perhaps even manic depressive at times. He tries to distance himself from his family and friends and is enraged when they show any compassion or concern. Character development is great! I liked the murdering Raskolnikov. I found myself getting pissed off with his meddling friends. It’s especially good when a caring maid brings him breakfast in the morning. He’s not a morning person. I can relate to that.

Raskolnikov discovers enemies who he knows have discovered him and frequently seeks them out. He fears discovery of his crime yet he relishes the chance to drop subtle hints that he is the man who did the deed. From the start though the murderer asks you what his crime was. Was it truly that bad? He did rid the world of a loathed old moneylender after all. I started wondering whether the punishment should not be too harsh. Poor Rodion is such a nice guy…he murdered for all the right reasons… Dostoyevsky, you made me think bad things!

Image result for thinking meme



Next up….

The Epic of Gilgamesh.

This is one I’ve been dreading. I’ve not really read any ancient classics before so I got the most recent translation which apparently explains the context and makes the poem much more accessible. We shall see. I don’t think I’m smart enough for this.

Classics Spin #9

Dreading to Read
1. Collected Works – Arthur Rimbaud
2. The Epic of Gilgamesh
3. The Iliad – Homer
4. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
5. Beowulf

Can’t Wait to Read
6. 120 Days of Sodom – Marquis de Sade
7. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
8. Collected Ghost Stories – M R James
9. 1984 – George Orwell
10. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling

11. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
12. Around the World in 80 Days – Jules Verne
13. The Carpetbaggers – Harold Robbins
14. Hard Times – Charles Dickens
15. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

16. The Hobbit – J R R Tolkien
17. Persuasion – Jane Austin
18. Animal Farm – George Orwell
19. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
20. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Classics in 60 Months? Entirely achievable.


1. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Started 01/03/2015 : Finished 05/04/2015)
46. The Epic of Gilgamesh (Started 14/04/2015 : Finished 17/05/2015)
23. Complete Stories and Poems – Edgar Allen Poe (Started 05/06/2015 : Ongoing)
13. Beowulf – A Verse Translation (Started 01/07/2015 : Finished 24/07/2015)
21. The Carpetbaggers – Harold Robbins (Started 25/07/2015 : Abandoned)
4. 120 Days of Sodom – Marquis de Sade (Started 01/10/2015 : Finished 15/11/2015)
17. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (Started 01/12/2015 : Finished 28/12/2015)
26. Animal Farm – George Orwell (Started 29/12/2015 : Finished 17/01/2016)

In no particular order…

2. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
3. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
5. Around the Word in 80 Days – Jules Verne
6. The Hobbit – J R R Tolkien
7. The Iliad – Homer
8. King Lear – William Shakespeare
9. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Smith
10. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
11. Collected Works – Arthur Rimbaud
12. Persuasion – Jane Austin
14. The Fellowship of the Ring – J R R Tolkien
15. The Two Towers – J R R Tolkien
16. Return of the King – J R R Tolkien
18. Justine – Marquis de Sade
19. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
20. The Odyssey – Homer
22. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
24. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austin
25. Hard Times – Charles Dickens
27. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
28. Karamazov 1 – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
29. Karamazov 2 – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
30. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
31. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
32. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
33. Emma – Jane Austin
34. The Tin Drum – Gunter Grass
35. Henry V – William Shakespeare
36. Fairy Tales – The Brothers Grimm
37. Collected Ghost Stories – M R James (Started 01/02/2016)
38. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austin
39. The Monk – Matthew Gregory Lewis
40. Melmoth the Wanderer – Charles Robert Maturin
41. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
42. The Count of Monte Cristo – Axexandre Dumas
43. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carolle
44. Inferno – Dante Alighieri
45. Mein Kampf – Adolf Hitler
47. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
48. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
49. 1984 – George Orwell
50. The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights