This book is one of the most challenging ones to review. And if I consider myself capable of such a venture, it will still take pages to write a proper review that would do justice to the book. So my attempt here is only to share my perspective as best as I can. 🙂
I’ve heard that The Karamazov Brothers is the best work of Dostoyevsky. It may be premature for me to comment on such a conclusion, I can well understand why it is so praised. It is a book complete in every aspect: in writing, in storytelling, in character development, and the plotline. Being a book with over 1000 pages, I was a little apprehensive at the beginning. But his undemanding writing put me at ease from the very first chapter.
The book is a crime story as well as a philosophical and religious debate. All parts were brilliantly done and extremely interesting. But what connected me with this extraordinary work is its character development. Almost all the major characters of the book are taken through a rough journey that tests their strengths and weaknesses and helps them to come to understand themselves, their faith, and their beliefs.
Alyosha is the supposed hero, chosen by Dostoevsky himself. But I found an equal hero in Ivan. I loved them both. They are the two major contrasting characters in the story: one a believer and the other a non-believer (atheist). Their contrasting views added depth to the story.
All the characters had their virtues and faults which made them real and believable. Throughout the read, I felt like a part of their community. Dostoyevsky’s beautiful and heartfelt writing utterly captivated me and I was completely immersed in the world of the Karamazovs.
The Karamazov Brothers is the sort of the book that will become a part of yourself, and which will live and age with you. That is the true quality of a masterpiece. It is a true blessing to come across such a beautiful work of literature. I feel so privileged.