My goodness! It’s been a long time since I last posted anything. Apologies and all that – most remiss of me, etc., etc.

I am still alive and I have been steadily reading (work, family, general life, etc. allowing). And what have I been reading all this time? The intriguing, engrossing, psychological, philosophical, renowned, Russian, huge (my edition has 767 tiny font filled pages) and thoroughly brilliant novel that is: The Brothers Karamazov.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

This is a deep, vast and intellectually challenging novel. It is first and foremost the saga of one crooked man, Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, and his three strong-willed sons: Dmitri, Ivan and Alexei. However, the tale is told over twelve books and, to be honest, contains a bit of absolutely everything: love, faith, morality, ethics, betrayal, murder, desire, patriotism, politics, philosophy, life, death, humour and tragedy.

In fact, it is such a vast work that any attempt on my behalf to outline the characters, plot and main themes here would a) take up far more words than is probably appropriate for a blog post, and b) still be insufficient to convey half of what this novel contains. However, I would point interested readers to the Wikipedia article on The Brothers Karamazov for a good overview.

One thing I will say is that this is a passionate, full-blooded novel. There is romance and violence and piety throughout, and all of it written with an essential honesty and vitality that is refreshing. Here is a short snippet from near the end of the book, where Dmitri and Katerina meet for perhaps the last time:

Thus they prattled to each other, and their talk was frantic, almost senseless, and perhaps also not even truthful, but at that moment everything was truth, and they both utterly believed what they were saying.

I actually had the day of work today and as I was nearing the end of the novel I intentionally took myself off to a favourite cafe this morning to enjoy the final chapters in a comfortable armchair with the odd cup of tea and toasted teacake ordered to sustain me. As I sat and soaked up the final scenes, the question did cross my mind: does life get any better than this?!

If you liked this, you might also enjoy: Fyodor Dosteovsky’s The Idiot or Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.