Arjun Yadav's Webpage

Book Review: Crime And Punishment


Recently I finished reading 'Crime And Punishment' by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I don't usually like to read fiction as I find it to be just a waste of time. (Although this thinking seems to be changing as I continue to read more) After reading this book I realized the reason why people tend to put Dostoevsky on such a high regard. So, following is my review of the book:

'Crime And Punishment' is like a dish where if you remove or add one ingredient (character) the whole dish will become messed up. Even after having less experience of reading fiction I did not find it difficult to follow up with the characters. The book starts with questions and confusion. In first chapter, things are happening but reader might find it difficult to know exactly what.

The main character Raskolnikov, a dropped out law college student, is well explained however Dostoevsky doesn't show all of the Raskolnikov's conditions right off the bat. You understand him as the story proceeds. And that's the whole point of crime and punishment: To see how poor and desperate conditions can lead to making of a criminal and what happens psychologically to the victim of those conditions.

Razumikhin: friend and classmate of Raskolnikov is my favourite character. He is the life of this otherwise dead (as in depressed ) novel. He too is college dropped out but unlike Raskolnikov he is high on life. Razumikhin is a perfect friend! Without Razumikhin I don't think I would even have finished this book.

Overall reading this book was like listening to a great classical music: There were different kinds of emotion flowing around but it did not lose its overall theme.

'Crime And Punishment' is one of those rare books like 'Animal Farm' by George Orwell where the author wants to give message but does not ruin the story in order to give message. Its a well written story! one can enjoy it even without digging deep into its philosophical message.