Brothers Karamazov by F. M. Dostoevsky
Dostoevsky's last novel, "The Karamazov Brothers (1880), is both a crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is murdered; his sons - the atheist intellectuall Ivan, the hot-blooded Dmitry, and the saintly novice Alyosha - are all at some level involved. Bound up with this intense family drama is Dostoevsky's exploration of many deeply felt ideas about the existence of God, freedom of will, the collective nature of guilt, and the disastrous consequences of rationalism. The novel is also richly comic; the Russian Orthodox Church, the legal system, and even the author's most cherished characters and causes are presented in an irreverent light, so that there appears no sharp distinction between health and disease or right or wrong. The power and impetus of the novel come largely from the eloquent voices of its numerous characters, and this translation aims to do justice to Dostoevsky's dramatic virtuosity, particularly in his use of the spoken word.