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Paperback The Possessed Book

ISBN: 1593082509

ISBN13: 9781593082505

The Possessed

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Book Overview

"The Possessed," by Fyodor Dostoevsky, is part of the "Barnes & Noble Classics"""series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of "Barnes & Noble Classics" New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

A Genius

Dostoevsky's tackling political novel is given new life in this fresh translation. This work has been unilaterally been praised for capturing Dostoevsky's power and subtlety. This story is about the political and philosophical ideas that swept Russia in the second half of the 19th century. These demons, then, are ideas, that legion of -isms that came to Russia from the West: idealism, rationalism, empiricism, materialism, utilitarianism, positivism, socialism, anarchism, nihilism, and, underlying them all, atheism.'' Dostoevsky, taking as his starting point the political chaos around him at the time, constructs an elaborate morality tale in which the people of a provincial town turn against one another because they are convinced of the infallibility of their ideas. Stepan Trofimovich, an affable thinker who does little to turn his liberal ideas into action, creates a monster in his student, Nikolai Stavrogin, who takes his spiritual father's teaching to heart, joining a circle of other nihilists who will justify any and all violent excesses for the sake of their ideas. Stavrogin aims for a systematic corrupting of society and all its principles so that out of the resulting destruction he may raise the banner of rebellion. A chilling foreshadowing of Stalinist years. This is a work of art in literature!

A masterpiece of characterization

I was intrigued when John Updike picked this over Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov as one of the ten greatest works of literature of the millenium. After reading it I still claim that Karamazov is better, but this novel is certainly not to be missed. It is touter than some of Dostoevsky's other works, and it contains some of his best characterizations, all suffused with a very dark and very penetrating sense of humor. No one will forget the nihilist Kirilov, who wishes to kill himself in order to become God, the naive aesthete Stepan Trofimovitch and his final, farcical escape into peasant Russia, or Nikolai Stavrogin, haunted by a terrible crime that is made all the worse because it is too ordinary. The whole novel is an unabashed piece of anti-revolutionary (indeed, reactionary) propaganda, but even the characters that are intended as caricatures come across as fascinating and oddly believable. This novel displays as well as any other of his works the author's extraordinary understanding of the tortured ways of the human spirit.

A great soap opera.

The book is long and melodrmatic. Deeper than that, the nihlistic movments in Russia is intresting to see devolop.

 Mentions in Our Blog

 in A Life in Books: 9 of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Defining Works
A Life in Books: 9 of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Defining Works
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 15, 2021

Fyodor Dostoyevsky's successful first book, Poor Folk, came out 175 years ago today when the author was only 24 years old. But in a life beset by drama worthy of, say, a Russian novel, it would be many years before he produced a notable follow-up. Here we explore the literary giant’s best books and how they mirror his extraordinary life.

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