Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Crime and Punishment

I completed reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky last night. It is a book that I cannot recommend highly enough. The writing is excellent, the characters are well developed, the conflict the main character - Raskolnikov, although phrased in a way not immediately obvious, is one which the 20th Century and 21st Century had to grapple with, to the cost of more than 100 million dead.

What's the conflict? I won't tell - you've got to read.

I'll warn in advance, while the reading is quick, it is not necessarily easy. Something that always impresses me when I read classics is how much we have fallen in general by comparison. The man is a master with words, able to paint word pictures that vividly bring to life 19th Century St. Petersburg and the people that dwell within.

It is also a story of redemption - Christian redemption (mirroring that of Dostoevsky's life, which was itself remarkable). The redemption happens only when Rakolnikov is brought to the end of himself - just the way it works in real life.

I've been thinking of formalizing my reading list for next year. I think for classics, I'll finish Dostoevsky and then maybe move on to Tolstoy. Powerful writers

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