Monday, October 12, 2009

The Brothers Karamazov: A hasty book review of amateur proportions

In short: He scares me.

I've only a few pages left in this classic, which I would say is the equivalent of a full-bodied malt liquor - like a Heineken. Ha. Not really a drinker, but when I try to think of ways to describe the feel of Dostoyevsky's sentences in my mouth as I sound out each thick, dense word, all I can think of is the way I felt when I drank malt liquor in Ireland. The pint was a full meal in itself.

As I've gone back to read a few of the classic I've missed in my 'formal' education, I've found that the "classics" usually fall in one of two categories: A Classic and Not a Classic. (Uh, the Sound and the Fury: Maybe I missed it, but incomplete sentences and vague plotlines based on stream of consciousness doesn't really fit my ideal for a classical piece of literature? I'm a simple girl).

So, Dos' great work seems to surprise me, and falls somewhere in the middle. I mean, the characterization is definitely amazing - and maybe reason enough for its permant spot in classic literature. (And the nobility and depth in the character Aloysha is good enough to make "Aloysha" one of my top 10 of potential kids' names - don't spread that around, I once talked someone out of it, before i had finished the novel.) And Russian novelists of his day got paid by the word (so that explains a lot of his verbosity), so that explains away some of what I didn't quite enjoy.

BUT overall, definitely worth reading. I mean, everyone has to conquer one Dos novel, yes? Even if it wasn't one of my all-time favs ,like A Tale of Two Cities turned out to be when I read it two summers ago, it was good brain-excersize.

good ole' Dickens

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