The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
On rereading Dostoyevsky:
There is really no other author that can compare with him. At times wonderfully wicked and funny, other times inexpressibly tragic, sometimes breaking the fourth wall and sometimes giving us so much deep psychological relevance and inner turmoil that we ourselves need to find a sanitorium to recover, his writing is all things and none.
The Idiot happens to be my third favorite novel by him. It is wildly different from Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, having a much lighter, funnier tone than either, but it also exemplifies the truism that bad choices are the soul of great stories.
Our idiot is, by and large, the only true innocent in the tale, beholden to always loving the truth way beyond tact, insanely lucky as only a Fool can be, and as loving of others as only a child can be.
Russia is not equal to him. Indeed, practically everyone is won over by him in equal measure to how much they want to destroy him. Consequently, we have wild soap-opera levels of undying loyalty, protestations, tragedies, and love stories that will rip your heart out and stamp it all over your hamster.
Hamster? Oh yes, hamster. And let us not forget how many monks were eaten in this novel.
I should mention that this is also one of the greats of truly quirky literature, too. :) I still think of it as a fantastic comedy EVEN IF it is one of the greats of utter tragedy. I still can't make up my mind about it. Indeed, I may never be able to.
What a fantastic treat this is! A definite classic of literature. Of course, it is Dostoyevsky. He's in a class of his own.
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