Scathing Book Reviews of The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is one of those books that I bought, and tried to read. I read it in a circumstance where anyone would beg to have a book to while away the time, but you know, it just didn’t take. Perhaps I should have taken Linus Van Pelt’s advice and “bleeped” right over the Russian names.  And I kept waiting for the juggling to start, but by page 200, no flying pins or meat cleavers!.

Anyway, now, 20 years later, I may try again, but these Scathing Book Reviews of The Brothers Karamazov say “Nyet!”:

If you are interested in reading a book with a plot, or something resembling a plot, you’re in the wrong place.


It doesn’t make any sense to think that a novel like this one is really any better than say, Michael Crichton or Stephen King.


This book is all about some badly behaved brothers and their mean father and how they do nothing but shout and drink and threaten one another and are lewd and then, one of them anyway, goes to England, or at least he wants to. You call that a story?


75% of this book consisted of the characters going back and forth to each others houses talking about god knows what(you lose interest and lose track of who’s who eventually and they all sound the same).

…and this review of Debra Winger’s audio narration:

I am sorry to report that Debra Winger bashes to bits any pleasure that might otherwise be gleaned from listening to the Brothers Karamazov on tape… Winger reads the entire book like she has to go to the bathroom: a misplaced urgency and frantic pace pervade her every word… The result is that one feels like every paragraph is the climax of the story, and that every character is a cocaine addict who can’t score any blow.

…and this review, which is worth presenting in full:

What is it with all these names? : First of all let me say that if an author wants to sell books in this country, then use some american names for gosh sake! How in the h e double toothpicks am I suppossed to remember who’s who? The fact is you can’t. Hey listen, if you want to read about brothers, try that great baseball book, the brothers k. If you want to read about crime and punishment, how’s about a little grisham. But this guy fred dostoyefski is going to have to write a little bit more towards his intended audience. My advice to you Freddy if you read this………Russia went down with the Berlin wall, let’s write some good old fashion mystery thrilllers! Thank you and bless all of my comrades across the pond. Long Live Gorby!

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