PODCAST EPISODE

The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Part IV.

Great Audiobooks

May 20 2022 • 4 hrs 33 mins


Dostoevsky's last and greatest novel, The Karamazov Brothers (1880) is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is murdered; his sons - the atheist intellectual Ivan, the hot-blooded Dmitry, and the saintly novice Alyosha - are all at some level involved.

Bound up with this intense family drama is Dostoevsky's exploration of many deeply felt ideas about the existence of God, the question of human freedom, the collective nature of guilt, the disatrous consequences of rationalism. The novel is also richly comic: the Russian Orthodox Church, the legal system, and even the authors most cherished causes and beliefs are presented with a note of irreverence, so that orthodoxy, and radicalism, sanity and madness, love and hatred, right and wrong are no longer mutually exclusive. Rebecca West considered it "the allegory for the world's maturity", but with children to the fore. This novel shows the full breath and range of Doestoevsky's genius, particularly in the use of the spoken word, which ranges over every mode of human expression.



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