How does one review a piece of classic Russian literature without looking like, well, an idiot? Doubtful that I can avoid that, I’ll first say that I didn’t really enjoy The Idiot as much as I enjoyed Crime and Punishment. If I were to recommend a Dostoevsky book, it would be Crime and Punishment instead of The Idiot. It took me quite a while to make it through this book, while putting it down for another book on multiple occasions. At least I can cross this classic off my list.
I did enjoy the fact that Dostoevsky was very critical of society in St. Petersburg from the eyes of the naive and unworldy Prince Myshkin, who returned to the city after spending years abroad for treating epilepsy . Dostoevsky seemed very critical of the gossipy and rumor-filled days of the high class of the city. Other than that, I found a lot of the story boring and hard to follow. I had a hard time understanding the motives of the various characters in the novel, because after the prince arrives in town, the book quickly turns into a soap opera.
In my opinion, if you want to read a good book from Dostoevsky, try Crime and Punishment instead. I was disappointment in my first Wayfarer book of the year. I realize I’ve gotten started pretty late, but I still plan to finish all four books I set out to read for 2015. I’ve already started on two others, Return of the Native and Things Fall Apart, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy those more.