This text is a revised edition of Dostoyevsky's classic tale. Rasholnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. As he embarks on a dangerous cat and mouse game, he is pursued by his conscience.
When brutal landowner Fyodor Karamazov is murdered, the lives of his sons are changed irrevocably: Mitya is placed under suspicion; Ivan's mental tortures drive him to breakdown; Alyosha tries to heal the family's rifts; and there is always the shadow of their bastard half-brother, Smerdyakov.
'40,000 francs, which lay before him in a heap of gold and banknotes.' Written in twenty-six days to pay off Dostoyevsky's own roulette debts, The Gambler is a graphic psychological study of addiction, accompanied here by a brilliant short story of excruciating social embarrassment. Ten new titles in the colourful, small-format, portable new Pocket Penguins series
Summoned to the country estate of his wealthy uncle Colonel Yegor Rostanev, the young student Sergey Aleksandrovich finds himself thrown into a startling bedlam. For as he soon sees, his meek and kind-hearted uncle is wholly dominated by a pretentious and despotic pseudo-intellectual named Opiskin, a charlatan who has ingratiated himself with Yegor's mother and now holds the entire household under his thumb. Watching the absurd theatrics of this domestic tyrant over forty-eight explosive hours, Sergey grows increasingly furious - until at last, he feels compelled to act. A compelling comic exploration of petty tyranny, The Village of Stepanchikovo reveals a delight in life's wild absurdities that rivals even Gogol's. It also offers a fascinating insight into the genesis of the characters and situations of many of Dostoyevsky's great later novels, including The Idiot, Devils and The Brothers Karamazov.
The underground man has always felt like an outsider. He doesn't want to be like other people, working in the 'ant-hill' of society. So he decides to withdraw from the world, scrawling a series of darkly sarcastic notes about the torments he is suffering. Is he going mad? Or is it the world around him that is insane?
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Netochka Nezvanova - a 'Nameless Nobody' - tells the story of a childhood dominated by her stepfather, Efimov, a failed musician who believes he is a neglected genius. The young girl is strangely drawn to this drunken ruin of a man, who exploits her and drives the family to poverty. But when she is rescued by an aristocratic family, the abuse against Netochka's delicate psyche continues in a more subtle way, condemning her to remain an outsider - a solitary spectator of a glittering society. Conceived as part of a novel on a grand scale, Netochka Nezvanova remained incomplete after Dostoyevsky was exiled to Siberia for 'revolutionary activities' in 1849. With its depiction of the suffering, loneliness, madness and sin that affect both rich and poor in St Petersburg, it contains the great themes that were to dominate his later novels.
With their penetrating psychological insight and their emphasis on human dignity, respect and forgiveness, Dostoyevsky's early short stories contain the seeds of the themes that came to his major novels. Poor Folk, the author's first great literary triumph, is the story of a tragic relationship between an impoverished copy clerk and a young seamstress, told through their passionate letters to each other. In The Landlady Dostoyevsky portrays a dreamer hero who is captivated by a curious couple and becomes their lodger. Mr Prokharchin, inspired by a true story, is a sly comedy centring on an eccentric miser, and Polzunkov is a powerful character sketch which, in common with the other tales in this volume, questions the very nature of existence.