Prince Lef Nikolayevitch Muishkin is one of the great characters in Russian literature. Is he a saint or just naive, an idealist or, as many in General Yepanchin's society feel, an 'idiot'? Certainly, his return to St. Petersburg after years in a Swiss clinic has a dramatic effect on the beautiful Aglaya, youngest of the Yepanchin daughters and on the charismatic but willful Nastasia Phillipovna. As he paints a vivid picture of Russian society, Dostoyevsky shows how principles conflict with emotions - with tragic results.
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No match for Crime and Punishment
Even the great Dostoyevsky was capable of a dud. This abysmally dull novel has about as many characters as a telephone directory, some of whose appearances are described to the tiniest detail while others are left completely blank. People's names are impossible to remember and usually I had no idea who was being referred to, as the writer alternated between first name, patronym, surname and title. The plot concerns itself mostly with affairs and betrayal and would have been better suited for a soap opera. If you want to get into classic Russian literature, you might want to skip this one.