Karamazov was drunk when he learned of his wife’s death, and some say he exclaimed joyfully, raising his hands to heaven: “Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace.” But according to others, he wept, sobbing like a little boy so that people felt sorry for him despite the disgust he aroused in them. It is quite possible that they all were right, that he rejoiced in his regained freedom and wept for the woman from whom he had been freed, both at once. In most cases, people, even the most vicious, are much more naive and simple-minded than we assume them to be. And this is true of ourselves..
From Fyodor Dostoevsky's breathtaking masterpiece, the Brothers Karamazov. I truly enjoyed reading this extraordinary book that certainly makes for compulsory reading. That said at 1050 pages it requires some investment. I started reading it in August and I only finished in October, inter-spaced with other books, as I tend to do for larger works! There's no doubt to its value - in terms of the depiction of the human condition and general philosophical and theological reflections. The length will certainly be a challenge for readers, but more challenging are the multiple characters. Although the characters are interesting the various plots certainly means that for many of us reared on Holywood scripts and Twitter abbreviated re-telling it requires extra patience.
Perhaps the best return I got out of the book was not immense philosophical or theological reflections it contains or the vivid imagination it instils in the reader. Rather it was many laughs! The book made me appreciate what a wonderful gift from God laughter is! Many a times I usually found myself bursting laughing endlessly. Which was a bit embarrassing on the train! There's sometime about the way Dostoevsky inserts humour in the narrative. In unexpected moments he unleashes it and it leaves one in awe of his literary gift.
Oh, one more thing, the version is very important! First time round I bought a wrong one and then I later searched and found out that the key with all old works is to get the translation right. Some are very poor. In fact it is unfortunate that many classics are unreadable because of poor translations. So here is where Kindle helps - always get the sample first for free - before you buy the book! The Bantam translation is particularly excellent!