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Rating: 3 Stars
Started: 24 May ’12, Finished: 01 July ’12
A student in Russia, Rodion Raskolnikov, has an idea that germinates long enough for him to act on it, to commit murder. He kills an old pawn-broker, a mean woman who won’t much be missed by society and whose elimination may perhaps do some good. In a fit of almost unconscious frenzy he murders both the woman and her sister. His crime leaves little evidence behind except for some general suspicion, but Raskolnikov is consumed by guilt.
His guilt eventually lends to him suffering punishment through his own conscience and before the end he gives into confessing his crime.
Just upfront, I really wanted to love this book. The premise was known to me before hand and I was quite taken in with the idea of a man consumed by his own guilt. But I found it hard to get into the book. Raskolnikov was a difficult character to understand. Often filled with delirium, I’m surprised he was coherent long enough to even understand his own reality. Perhaps it was the author’s own state of mind working itself through Raskolnikov but I couldn’t feel for him…something I would have liked very much.
Some parts of the book just seemed unnecessarily long… with speeches from minor characters we could have done without, some parts were simply given over Raskolnikov’s state of mind far too often… it just took a long time for things to move… something I didn’t find quite to my taste.
The book has stood the test of time and is hailed as a masterpiece the world over. Perhaps it would take me more than one read to get into it. But for this once, it didn’t impress me as much.