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The Idiot

Written by: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Narrated by: Constantine Gregory
Length: 24 hrs and 56 mins
5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Prince Lyov Nikolayevitch Myshkin is one of the great characters in Russian literature. Is he a saint or just naïve? Is he an idealist or, as many in General Epanchin's society feel, an "idiot"? Certainly his return to St. Petersburg after years in a Swiss clinic has a dramatic effect on the beautiful Aglaia, youngest of the Epanchin daughters, and on the charismatic but willful Nastasya Filippovna. As he paints a vivid picture of Russian society, Dostoyevsky shows how principles conflict with emotions - with tragic results.

Public Domain (P)2017 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about The Idiot

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  • Theo
  • 2018-05-02

Moments of surprise.

Reading Dostoyevsky is like hiking up a vast mountain. Much of the path appears to be like the past couple of steps - and like the next couple of steps. Every now and then, you come upon a lookout point in a moment of amazement and awe - and then return to hiking. Throughout the story, there are masterful moments of descriptions, dialogues or monologues that have such remarkable significance that they are likely to stay with the readers for the rest of their lives. And then, as is also often the case with Dostoyevsky - there is the summit - completely unexpected, surprising and in some instances shocking to the bone yet no less amazing. Dostoyevsky is a hike up a mountain - not a hike in the park. Not easy to read but with no ordinary reward.

As for Constantine Gregory - BRAVO! I doubt if there is a single other narrator that could quite master Dostoyevsky as he as come to do quite comfortably. The ever so slight changes in intonation to distinguish the (many and sometimes confusing) characters, and his grasp of the cultural and linguistic peculiarities is masterful.

The Idiot is not the most rewarding of the great Dostoyevsky works - but is in every way extremely satisfying and ultimately rewarding. I always feel like I have been rewarded with some form of insight or prize after having completed a Dostoyevsky book - and the Idiot is no different.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Reademandweep
  • 2018-02-03

Narrator Gregory is up to the task.

Dostoyevsky’s words matter. There are no car chases or sex scenes. His stories are a psychological and philosophical examination of life, which can be ruined by a reader who doesn’t “get it”. I purchased 2 versions

18 people found this helpful

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  • debbie ortiz
  • 2017-10-03

The Idiot

This was translated very well. The narrator was superb. The characters are very interesting. And it is my 2nd favorite Dostoyevsky.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Erin
  • 2019-08-22

Not his best, but it is still Dostoevsky.

I enjoyed the ending. The rest of the book is filled with the deep character building Dostoevsky is been known for. A little too much, because at some point you are thinking "why am I finishing this?" I almost didn't a few times. Constantine Gregory does a decent job at trying to let you know who's talking, by attempting to changing his voice. He does what he can with the numerous characters Dostoevsky has created in this book.

Should you read this book? Only if you like his other works. It is a big commitment. It's not Notes From The Underground and it's not The Brothers Karamazov. It is just Dostoevsky having random conversation about everything and nothing at the same time. I am not even sure he properly explained what the prince was inflicted with that made him seem like an "Idiot". He talks about his "fits" and very unlike him, he doesn't explain it in detail. Maybe he did, but I listened as best I could and maybe I missed it. I usually enjoy the conversation he creates between the characters, that was not the case for me in this book. That doesn't mean it's not worth reading. If you enjoy him , you may enjoy this book.

This occurred to me just now writing this. Maybe Myschkin is represented as being "naive" about the world he lives in. Maybe that's the whole thing right there, being "naive" may cost you everything you love. Okay now it seems like a good book. I would still get rid of 300 pages. This book is a 3-4-star by any other author, but it is Dostoevsky. Like I said earlier if you enjoy his other books you may enjoy this one.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-10-02

Marathon

For English only speakers like myself, this book will be hard to follow at some points. That can be made easier if the listener either marathons sections of this book or regularly comes back to it. The character of the prince is delightful and human and it is his character that push

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  • A. Urbanek
  • 2018-09-13

excellent reading. this is also a very good value.

this is one of my favorite books. the Easter was clear, engaging, really perfect. excellent book to read for Disability studies in literature.

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  • Tobias Mihura
  • 2018-06-28

incredible

very appropriate reader with an impressive
varied skillset of impersonations. his fluidity in reading is excellent too.
the novel is top notch too

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  • Doctor
  • 2018-11-18

Strong Novel. Worth your time

The story is strong if occassionally tedius. However, the performance is wonderful. Take your time with it, though, as it is very dense (mostly in a good way).

Nastasya F. is a wonderful character to dissect and discuss, however the novel could use more of her.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2018-05-02

deep book

I will be thinking about this one for a while. not a simple book by no means

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  • David
  • 2017-10-15

Perplexing, but thought provoking

I can't say that I loved every minute of it, but after a few months I still think of some of the chapters. it is definitely an interesting novel.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Nichola
  • 2020-02-08

Another masterpiece of Dostoevsky's.

The Idiot, another masterpiece of Dostoevsky's. A really interesting novel with even more interesting characters. As for the narration, it was simply great, giving each character their own appropriate voice!