The Possessed

By Fyodor Dostoevsky
Translated by Constance Garnett
Read by Patrick Cullen

29.30 Hours 08/24/2009 unabridged
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Loosely based on sensational press reports of a Moscow student’s murder by fellow revolutionists, The Possessed depicts the destructive chaos caused by outside agitators who move into a provincial town. The enigmatic and ideological Stavrogin dominates the novel, his magnetic personality influencing his tutor, the liberal intellectual poseur Stepan Verhovensky, and the teacher’s revolutionary son Pyotr, as well as other radicals. Stavrogin is portrayed as a man of strength without direction, capable of goodness and nobility. When he loses his faith in God, however, he is seized by brutal desires he does not fully understand. Widely considered the greatest political novel ever written, The Possessed showcases Dostoevsky’s brilliant characterization, amazing insight into the human heart, and crushing criticism of the desire to manipulate the thought and behavior of others.

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Summary

Summary

Loosely based on sensational press reports of a Moscow student’s murder by fellow revolutionists, The Possessed depicts the destructive chaos caused by outside agitators who move into a provincial town. The enigmatic and ideological Stavrogin dominates the novel, his magnetic personality influencing his tutor, the liberal intellectual poseur Stepan Verhovensky, and the teacher’s revolutionary son Pyotr, as well as other radicals. Stavrogin is portrayed as a man of strength without direction, capable of goodness and nobility. When he loses his faith in God, however, he is seized by brutal desires he does not fully understand.

Widely considered the greatest political novel ever written, The Possessed showcases Dostoevsky’s brilliant characterization, amazing insight into the human heart, and crushing criticism of the desire to manipulate the thought and behavior of others.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The Possessed is a novel more worthy of being called prophetic than others...the characters who Dostoyevsky put into The Possessed are much closer to us than you would expect.” Albert Camus
“The Possessed, [is] Dostoyevsky’s most confused and violent novel, and his most satisfactorily ‘tragic’ work...The cacophony of voices, the wildly accelerated scenes translate into a philosophical, even a metaphysical statement, for there is a point at which ‘real life’ must surrender to the forms of melodrama which do not distort it but in fact express it faithfully.” Joyce Carol Oates
“Dostoevsky’s verbal mastery deserves special study...each of the dramatis personae is immersed in his own verbal element...The clashing and interweaving of these verbal styles and rhythms form the intricate counterpoint of the novel’s stylistics.” Richard Pevear
“Dostoevsky, taking as his starting point the political chaos around him at the time, constructs an elaborate morality tale in which the people of a provincial town turn against one another because they are convinced of the infallibility of their ideas...A chilling foreshadowing of Stalinist logic.”  Kirkus

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Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (1821–1881) was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the darkest recesses of the human heart had a profound and universal influence on the twentieth-century novel. He was born in Moscow, the son of a surgeon. Leaving the study of engineering for literature, he published Poor Folk in 1846. As a member of revolutionary circles in St. Petersburg, he was condemned to death in 1849. A last-minute reprieve sent him to Siberia for hard labor. Returning to St. Petersburg in 1859, he worked as a journalist and completed his masterpiece, Crime and Punishment, as well as other works, including The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 29.30
Audience: Adult
Language: English