The first of Dostoevsky's masterworks, "Crime and Punishment" presents the powerful story of Raskolnikov, who reasons that intellectually "superior" men like himself can and must transcend conventional moral law. To test his theory, he devises the perfect murder. What follows is a nightmare world of bitterness and torment, and one of the most gripping crime stories of all time.
Crime and Punishment is the story of a murder committed on principle, of a killer who wishes by his action to set himself outside and above society. A novel of fearful tension, physical, and psychological, it is pervaded by Dostoevsky's sinister evocation of St Petersburg, yet in the life of its gloomy tenements and drink-shops provides moments of wild humour. Crime and Punishment was marked by Dostoevsky's own harrowing experiences. He had himself undergone interrogation and trial, and was condemned to death, a sentence commuted to penal servitude. In prison he was particularly impressed by one hardened murderer who seemed to have attained a spiritual equilibrium beyond good and evil: yet witnessing the misery of other convicts also engendered in Dostoevsky a belief in the Christian idea of salvation through suffering. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.