Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
great ideas; sluggish otherwise
am 7. Juli 2000
I've read three of Dostoyevsky's novels, and each time I've approached one of his major works I did so for the ideas, rather than for the characters and plot. If you're of a philosophical bent, this is a good book for you; Dostoyevsky possessed deep insight into the human condition; he foresaw (as did Nietzche) the onslaught of nihilism that would overthrow almost all vestiges of traditional values, in Russia and Europe; in this sense his books are "prophetic" (it is fruitful to read this book if you are trying to understand, for example, the epidemic of school shootings in this country in the past couple of years). He was possessed of a deep and genuine Christian faith, which he believed to be the best (perhaps only) antidote to the problems of "modernity".
However, I think most people read novels for believable characters and an engaging plot that moves along at enough of a pace to keep the reader interested. This isn't to say people aren't interested in theme. But theme is generally brought out through concrete events, rather than long, digressive conversation among characters(Dostoyevsky's method). As compelling as these conversations sometimes are, they do bog the movement of the story along, tremendously. Chekhov's economy of means represents the opposite of Dostoyevsky's method, and his best stories are so poignant that they can evoke in the reader the same deep questioning about life. So, if you're looking for a light read or a book in which the characters are not merely puppets in services of the author's ideas, there are much better choices out there.