Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Classics Club February Meme

 “What classic has most surprised you so far, and why?”

            Frankly, I considered not answering this question because I was stumped for quite awhile, until I revisited my list of completed novels.  As I mulled over the list, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky translated by Constance Garnett really stood out.  This was my first Russian novel, and I was honestly intimidated by it.  In fact, in my initial review of this title, I noted that I would have completely ignored it because of my intimidation.  I would have never put it on my reading list, considering it would have been out of my league; but it was on the WEM list, and I had to attempt it. 

            Not only was I surprised by the ease and pleasure of reading and comprehension, but also I thoroughly enjoyed the mounting plot, the suspenseful moments, and the intertwining network of all of the characters.  At times it was nail biting, and other times the author reduced me to bare empathy even for the criminal.  The environment was unforgettable because of the poverty for many of the characters, and that stands out to me, especially considering many of the surrounding novels I am reading are set in more content and prosperous settings.
            It was very well done, and I shall never forget my experience reading through Crime and Punishment.


Adriana@ClassicalQuest said...

Agreed. I too was surprised by C&P. So glad it is on the list!

Unknown said...

I need to pick it up again. I tried to read it during a busy school semester and although I liked it, it seemed to drag on (probably because I was only reading about 10 pages a week!). But I did find the language easier to read than I expected.

Ruth said...

I think the translator may have helped me because all of those Russian names were difficult enough. Constance Garnett had a pleasant writing style. Good luck to you if you try again.