Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a titanic among the world's great authors, and The Brothers Karamazov is often hailed as his finest novel. A masterpiece on many levels, it transcends the boundaries of a gripping murder mystery to become a moving account of the battle between love and hate, faith and despair, compassion and cruelty, good and evil.
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I find two problems with this reading of one of my favoriate books of all time. First, the reader is not to my taste. The voices adopted for Fyodor and Dmitri are particularly childish. Of course their characters are childish, but they are made to sound, by tone and inflection, like grown up children. It's annoying.
More importantly, while I have not made a detailed comparison, my impression is that the abridgement was generally done at the expense of the best parts of the book: the deep thoughts and reflections of Zossima and Ivan, etc. To me, it's the philosophical thoughts in the mouths of these characters that make the story of the book matter. What seems to be here in the abridgement is mostly the story of this horribly dysfunctional family. Minus a heavior does of the philosophy and arguments about life, the read suffers greatly.
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