Crime and Punishment

Version: Abridged
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky , Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky
Narrator: Michael Sheen
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Literature, Classics
Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks
Published In: March 1994
# of Units: 3 CDs
Length: 3 hours, 43 minutes
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Crime and Punishment is one of the most important novels of the nineteenth century. It is the story of a murder committed on principle, of a killer who wishes to set himself outside and above society. The novel is marked by Dostoevsky's own harrowing experience in penal servitude, and yet contains moments of wild humor. This new edition of the authoritative and readable Coulson translation comes with a challenging new introduction and notes that elucidate many of the novel's most important--and difficult--aspects.

Reviews (10)

Crime and Punishment

Written by doc on July 29th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Trouble following at times as the narrator becomes excited and voice change interferes with comprehension...but is good and is recommended

Old book, still works

Written by Charles on July 2nd, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I have rented several older books (i guess "literature") and most of them are boring. This, on the other hand, is very engaging. The tension of the situation is felt, and the voice actor is very good. Highly recommended.

So so

Written by Anonymous from Auburn, AL on May 16th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Strange book. Would have liked an unabridged version though, the jumps were a bit too noticeable. The narrator did a good job, though.

Classics should be read

Written by Mekhala Acharya on April 9th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

The book is a perfect example of why classics need to be read to savor its richness. The narrative is a good attempt but falls short of delivering the book's philosophy and the conscience of its characters.

Crime & Punishment

Written by Anonymous on January 17th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

This book is probably a good read but I found it very difficult to follow while driving in the car.

Just Not Entertaining

Written by Anonymous from WESTPORT, CT on November 9th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 1/5

Well, call me a rube - But I don't understand why this is such a classic. Maybe I should have read the unabridged version in College or Graduate School, but I found the story simple, the dialogue unrealistic and the long monologues boring and just not entertaining. I guess I will stick with the modern masters; Clancy, Grisham, Crichton, Patterson and the like.

Crime & Punishment

Written by Anonymous from Dallas, TX on October 16th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Wonderfully intense and suspenful! The narration was easy to listen to.

law & order

Written by Lee Werley from Chapel Hill, NC on October 3rd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Nice version. Good listen to an old classic. The high school kids should listen to this one.

Excellent narration

Written by Anonymous on August 4th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Narration put you right there. A nice version of a timeless classic.

One of the best abridged books

Written by nottelling from COLLEGEVILLE, PA on December 26th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Many abridged books lose the essence of the book. This one did not. It's a great novel, and the audio book does it justice.

Author Details

Author Details

Dostoevsky, Fyodor

"Life is in ourselves and not in the external," writes Fyodor Dostoevsky in a letter to his brother dated December 22, 1849. "To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter--this is what life is, herein lies its task." (The Brothers Karamazov, translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky, xii)

This passage was written immediately after Dostoevsky underwent the traumatic experience that Tsar Nicholas I ordered for several prisoners condemned to death for supporting the expression of free thought within the Russian state--a mock execution in Semyonovsky Square, a staged performance so terrifyingly real that it induced insanity within one of the author's fellow prisoners. (The Brothers Karamazov, translated by Garnett, x) The quote is evidence of Dostoevsky's strength of character; his would be a difficult life--living in bleak poverty, he would helplessly watch as many of the people closest to him died from the ailments of the poor. It also exposes the significant flaw common to some of his characters and tragic heroes--through despair, and weakness before the weight of misfortune, they falter, and commit barbaric acts that render them unfit to operate within the context of humanity. This is the case with both Baklushkin and Shishkov from The House of the Dead, as well as with Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment.

The difficult facts of Dostoevsky's life, however, are likely the genesis of most, if not all of his work. Born on October 30, 1821 in Moscow, he lived much of his childhood distanced from his frail mother and officious father. (Hingley, 20) In these formative years, he formed a close bond with his elder brother Mikhail. They would spend many hours reading Pushkin by meager candlelight in their family's comfortable suburban home. When they were teenagers, however, both Fyodor and Mikhail were enrolled in separate boarding schools, Fyodor matriculating at an engineering school in St. Petersburg. It is possible that being confronted with the rigorous schedule of the engineering school (that served as a recruiting pool for the Russian bureaucracy) helped assure Dostoevsky that his destiny was the written word; even as he was studying the trade of government, he was honing his skills as a writer, inking drafts of what would become his first novel-Poor Folk. In 1846, it was published to warm critical response. Something of a literary figure at the age of twenty-five, Dostoevsky began attending the discussion group that would result in his imprisonment, and the eventual mock execution which would prompt him to write the aforementioned letter to his brother.

His sentence was commuted to four years in prison and four years of army service. His prison experiences, as well as his life after prison among the urban poor of Russia, would provide a vivid backdrop for much of his later work. Released from his imprisonment and service by 1858, he began a fourteen-year period of furious writing, in which he published many significant texts. Among these are: The House of the Dead (1862), Notes From The Underground (1864), Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1868), and Devils (1871).

During this period, Dostoevsky's life was in upheaval, as he lost both his first wife and his brother. On February 15, 1867, he married his stenographer Anna Grigorevna Snitkina who would manage his affairs until his death in 1881. Two months before he died, Dostoevsky completed the epilogue to The Brothers Karamazov (1880), which was published in serial form in the Russian Messenger. His funeral attracted thousands of citizens, as Russia mourned the death of a significant literary hero.

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor

Fyodor Dostoevsky was born in Moscow in 1821. He died in 1881 having written some of the most celebrated works in the history of literature, including Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov.