Summary

In this intense detective thriller instilled with philosophical, religious, and social commentary, Dostoevsky studies the psychological impact upon a desperate and impoverished student when he murders a despicable pawnbroker, transgressing moral law to ultimately "benefit humanity".
©1866 Public Domain (P)2007 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ruth on 06-02-09

An absorbing and lively listen

I listened to several of the available samples before choosing this particular recording. People seem to get quite heated about which translations are the better, and of course I'm no expert, but my personal opinion is that this version flows along really well and is not at all stilted; in fact, most of the time I forgot I was listening to a translation.

The story itself is really gripping and compulsive, much of it dealing with the almost unbearable mental torment suffered by the central character. Anthony Heald reads the book with great expression and feeling and I found myself totally absorbed as I listened.

My only slight difficulty (which would have been the same whichever recording I'd chosen) was that occasionally I got a bit mixed up between the many similar sounding (to me) Russian names: I therefore recommend not leaving too long between listening sessions, as without the physical book there it's hard to go back and check who's who when you've forgotton.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Tom on 24-07-11

Great reading of a great classic

Crime and Punishment is such a dark and intense book, with a reputation arguably with being difficult which I'm sure puts many people off. Perhaps, however, the best way to experience it is an audiobook; much of the book comprises dialogue or inner monologue, so a good narrator can really make sense of the story and bring the book alive.

And indeed Anthony Heal does a marvellous job in this audio-version; he reads at quite a pace, but always clearly, and this in fact suits Dostoyevsky's style very well. He also paints the large cast of complex characters in a convincing and vivid way, and is assured with the pronunciation of Russian names. I have previously listened to the George Guidall reading, which is truly excellent, but this version is just as good.

One minor beef: sound quality was not ideal - quite heavy in the base registry - surprising with such a modern recording; dont think it was my headphones, but try a sample first if you are thinkng of buying the book, though I wouldn't let this put you off.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tad Davis on 03-11-08

Wonderful reading, disturbing book

I didn't realize Anthony Heald was such a brilliant audiobook reader; now that I know, I'll be on the lookout for more titles from him in the future. He takes what I had always thought was a fairly stodgy translation and makes it jump off the page (or in my case, out of the iPod). It's a breathless performance, all the characters clearly differentiated, the narration moving forward rapidly, the novel closing in on the climax of the story with almost unbearable tension. There are at least three hearty laughers in this novel, and in Heald's reading we can tell them all apart instantly.

In this case the tension is moral rather than physical. It's a murder mystery of sorts, but one where we see (and FEEL) the crime being committed: Dostoevsky and Heald put us inside Raskolnikov's mind before, during, and after the double murder at the center of the plot. In this case the problem that drives the story isn't whether the police will catch the killer -- although the novel features a clever and persistent detective worthy of the best of the genre -- but whether the killer can be brought to a point where he has the moral courage to confess.

It's a disturbing book, not because of Raskolnikov's minutely-described act of violence, but because of Dostoevsky's pitiless, unblinking gaze at poverty. I can't remember the last time a description of hunger and hopelessness had such a visceral effect on me. I kept wanting to grab Raskolnikov by the collar and scream "EAT SOMETHING!!"

First rate on all counts. Highly recommended.

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57 of 58 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mubarak on 13-04-08

Excellent Excellent Excellent!

The book is a classic, so there is not much to say that wasn't already said by someone. I'll turn to the reading...

WOW. This is the best audiobook I've ever listened to. The narrator, Anthony Heald, reads like he is telling the story from his own head, like it's something that happened to him. Amazing. A very very enjoyable listen and highly recommended for all.

I'll definitely try to check other books read by this guy.

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73 of 75 people found this review helpful

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