An outrage, a review and a quote

I am outraged that some business in Kisumu, the Bistro at Mega City can rob even the sick! What type of greed drives business owners is hard to tell.

In Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky tells the story of a crime or several crimes, their execution and eventual outcome. He tells the story of Raskolnikov, a young university student who drops out of school for being poor so to speak. He lives in a room that would be best described as a tomb. In idleness he plans a murder which he executes in cold blood, but luckily for him, he leaves no evidence behind. He robes the old pawnbroker, whom he continually refers to as a louse, but hides the stolen items under a stone.

I said he left no evidence behind, but he carried all of it with him, in his mind that is. He becomes irritable and twice at the mention of the crime he faints. He keeps tormenting a police investigator, Porfiry, to arrest him, if he has any evidence on him.

We meet Luzhin, a man full of himself. He has worked hard to be where he is. He is 40+ and a bachelor. He decides it is time to marry. He is betrothed to Avdotya [Dounia], Rodya’s sister. He is a scoundrel for a man. He wants to marry Dounia because she is poor and he thinks she will slavishly love him for his money. He is mistaken as things do not end well. He is turned out of the house by both Pulcheria and Dounia when he shows up for an interview with them.

Poverty is a vice. This is brought out very clearly in the life of Katerina Ivanovna. Her husband dies in a freak accident after being run over by a carriage while drunk. On the day of the burial, a dinner is hosted in his memory and a disagreement ensues between Katerina and Amalia the landlady. She is turned out of the lodge and she goes singing on the streets with her three small children.

We meet Svidrigailov, another scoundrel, who is kept by Marfa for seven years after being rescued from a debtors prison. We suspect he killed her to be free, but since there is no enquiry, he leaves the country moves to Petersburg, where he spends some of the money left him in taverns and donates some towards charitable causes. For example he takes care of the funeral expenses of Katerina Ivanovna, places her children in an orphanage where he pays for their upkeep and gives Sofya some money so she can live a better life. He kills himself, leaves a note that he was not forced to do it.

This book from the beginning to the end is full of tension, surprise and suspense. At the turn of every page, you are treated to a twist and one keeps waiting for the arrest of Raskolnikov which happens at the end. It is an interesting read. The one problem with the book that I have is the light in which atheists are portrayed. Raskolnikov is an atheist and is made to say or write a journal article that in society there is a group of men to whom all is permitted. We see Sonia imploring him to receive god, that his crime was because he had forsaken god. Svidrigailov too is godless and is a scoundrel.

the gospel is merely an eastern romance, disgusting to men of common sense, and obviously addressed to the ignorant, the stupid and the vulgar, the only persons whom it can mislead.

Ecce Homo by d’Holdbach


About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

15 thoughts on “An outrage, a review and a quote

  1. Greed is a terrible thing and to rob the sick, untenable. Thank you for the review. This is a book I was encouraged to read by my Father who thought it marvellous but I have never done so. All the best to you.


  2. Mordanicus says:

    I would like to read this book, preferentially in Russian (which would give any sense to my attempts to learn Russian).


  3. I, too, need to read this novel. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for some time. Excellent review.


  4. Tish Farrell says:

    I read this a lifetime ago. Time for another go, now that you’ve reminded me, Noel. It’s sitting on my bookshelf gathering dust.


  5. emmylgant says:

    I was probably too young when I read it and missed some of the finer points. That said, it was an endless supply of great quotes that made me sound really smart!
    Thank you Noel.


  6. Real real me says:

    We “worked” this book in school, but if I think I didn’t read it, I only read the synopsis (in short). Your review is great but the book by itself didn’t please me from what I’ve read about it. It started very interesting, I loved the investigation, but I hate that so many characters were introduced at once. If I remember well, there was a prostitute (could be Sonya that you mentioned), in addition I think the arrest was handled well. I tried to read it, but there was too much description, which I didn’t like.


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