A desperate young man plans the perfect crime -- the murder of a despicable pawnbroker, an old women no one loves and no one will mourn. Is it not just, he reasons, for a man of genius to commit such a crime, to transgress moral law -- if it will ultimately benefit humanity? So begins one of the greatest novels ever written: a powerful psychological study, a terrifying murder mystery, a fascinating detective thriller infused with philosophical, religious and social commentary.
Raskolnikov, an impoverished student living in a garret in the gloomy slums of St. Petersburg, carries out his grotesque scheme and plunges into a hell of persecution, madness and terror. Crime And Punishment takes the reader on a journey into the darkest recesses of the criminal and depraved mind, and exposes the soul of a man possessed by both good and evil...a man who cannot escape his own conscience.
Translated by Constance Garnett with an Introduction by Joseph Frank
About the Author
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881) was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose novels Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov rank among the greatest of the nineteenth century. Dostoevsky was no stranger to adversity and struggle. Born into a family of nine in October 1821, his mother died when he was sixteen, causing the family split up. After Dostoevsky was sent to a military academy with his brother, their army surgeon father was murdered by his own serfs. Even his first wife (whose traits, critics say, manifest themselves in the character of Katerina Ivanvna) died of tuberculosis. Though his first book, Poor Folk, earned him an invitation into the Natural School of Russian Literature in the 1840s, he was convicted of subversion against Tsar Nicholas I in 1849 and exiled to Siberia. By the time Crime and Punishment was published in 1866, he had returned from exile and prison, and had developed the bleak outlook that pervades the novel.