I tend to ask a lot of questions when I am in a right (or wrong, depends on how you see it) frame of mind. I have this friend of mine who used to talk to me about philosophy and thank God, he used to keep it simple for my understanding. It might seem to others that I argue with him a lot, but its more for my benefit of understanding rather than anything else. So this guy told me once to check out Fyodor Dostoyevsky and promptly left the company to pursue his dreams. After a long time (almost a year or so later) I picked up this book ‘Crime and Punishment‘ in a deal that was going on in the book store. It was quite big for my comfort and I am always vary of Russian Literature. Don’t they tend to be sad, melancholic in nature ? Or at least that is what I have heard. At the end of this book, I felt like I did a Ph.D in Philosophy & Psychology. It was that intense for me. And you know what, this is the first book where I started taking notes. I usually don’t do this, but this book made me mark some line with pencil and write some lines whenever I felt something click. That book is with my friend now (and if you are by any chance reading this, you have yet to return me that book and yes I still have one book of yours to complete 🙂 ). But this book drained all my brain energy that I was left feeling both empty and full. A very very nice book. To rewrite what I had earlier written in my original review of this book in my other blog.
“The interesting part of the novel is that you already know Raskolnikov killed this old lady even almost at the beginning. So the ‘Crime’ part of the novel happens much earlier in the literary sense of the word. But slowly as and when the story progresses, other versions of ‘Crime[s]’ come to the fore and these ‘Crime[s]’ are not done by the protagonist at all. There in comes a whole lot of characters like Razumikhin, his Sister, the lawyer, etc etc… The way the characters are interwoven, and have their own place in his life journey… it is really interesting….In certain places, yeah, its true that your patience might be tried a little bit, but if you get over it, then again its a amazing journey. In Part 4 there is a place where Razumikhin explains the character of Raskolnikov, it was awesome. And that too to his(Raskolnikov’s) own Sister :)…..
Part 6 Chapter 4: Nothing in the world is harder than speaking the truth and nothing easier than flattery.
If there’s the hundreth part of a false note in speaking the truth, it leads to a discord, and that leads to trouble.Part 6 Chapter 5: …..that a great many men of genius have not hesitated at wrongdoing, but have overstepped the law without thinking about it.
I also tried Idiot by the same author, but wasn’t that impressed. I am yet to read Brother’s Karamazov which my friend says is sort of an epic. I have that book too but yet to read it. I was mildly surprised that such intense philosophical novels can interest me. So I wanted to try some other author and I picked up ‘The Interpretation of Murder‘ in Dubai airport for a read in the flight. But when I started I knew it would take time so I postponed it to read it during my official visit to California. And the first week of my stay there, when I had so much of meetings to attend, I came back to my hotel to spend my nights with this book. It had psychology , mystery, philosophy everything. I just loved it. And then later, I picked up ‘When Nietzsche Wept‘ which even though I was a little skeptical at first, caught me in its hooks slowly and I just couldn’t let it go. Its all about two people talking to each other almost through out the book. No physical action, except the action of their words and imagination. Everything happens within the confines of the mind. Again to rewrite my view on this book from my other blog
If you have already read this novel, you would know why I liked it. It was like being in the analysis sessions between Nietzsche and Breuer even without them knowing my presence. That is how I visualized it, or rather this novel made me visualize it. It makes you a viewer and in sorts, a participant of the process. You might also wonder if any of those questions or conversations were applicable to you? Now that I am done reading it, my head is heavy with so many thoughts and questions. Yet this book gave me a relief in one way. It confirmed my reasoning of a thought I had been having for some time now and that I should give it up *now*. It was interesting and comforting too.
It also shows how interesting human minds can be and how it can also be manipulated to believe or not to believe. The intricate working of the minds, the effect of the mind on the body and vice versa.. Its so so interesting. I guess I can read about it all through my life time and would still be surprised..
I have read quite a few others too like ‘The Alchemist‘, but these three stand apart from my small list. I remember the stories and their impact on me when I completed them. I realized that when told in a certain way, even tough subjects (for me) like Philosophy and Psychology can be very very interesting. And if they come with a story …. well, what can I say, its like icing on the cake.