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Aug 05, 2020
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, is an amazing novel that is narrated by a murderer, which allows the readers to experience the highs and lows of the main character’s psychology. Raskolnikov is a 23-year-old ex-law student who impulsively brings himself to kill an old pawnbroker and her stepsister. Raskolnikov narrates his tormented thoughts as he grapples with the reality of his crime and readers can see how his mental state affects the people around him. The length of the book can seem daunting to some, but Raskolnikov’s inner monologues and the stories of multiple other characters involved in his life pull together into a novel that will keep you continuously interested. Several radical theories are explicitly and implicitly brought forward throughout the book that encourage inward discussion in the readers. A question that consistently arose while I was reading the book was one regarding the morality of Raskolnikov and whether he was a good person tormented by his own conscience or an evil person who soberly accepted his crime. Per my experience, Crime and Punishment has lived up to its fame as a remarkable psychological novel through Pevear and Volokhonsky’s translation. I rate this book 4.5/5 stars and recommend it to readers ages 15+ as the language is complex but can still be followed. @ilovefood of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board