I think the only reason anyone would not revere Dostoevsky as a novelist is because we moderners can't appreciate that kind of pacing. We're used to speed (as Gebre pointed out)! In fact, while I had no problem reading through Crime and Punishment
, The Brothers Karamazov
was pretty tough for me at times (especially the trial), and I've yet to make it through Demons
or The Idiot
after several attempts, due to my ever shortening attention span. As for what I did read, Crime and Punishment
is the best novel I've read, hands down. Finishing it (in the lobby or our hotel in Bangkok... I remember it so clearly) was almost like a religious experience for me! I don't know why, exactly. It just floored me. Karamazov
is probably my second best read. Parts of it were incredibly profound and penetrating, but the sheer length of it pushed me to my limit. Still well, well worth the effort. His style of writing takes a lot of extra patience and time to settle into. But he goes deep, and I believe there are very good reasons why he is often considered to be the greatest psychologist in world literature.
In my opinion people have a choice to make: the depressing non-purposeful existentialist existence or the life-giving Truth of Christ. Dostoevsky portrays this struggle marvelously in all of his works.
Well said and so true, Gisasargavak! This is exactly what I get from Dostoevsky, who was able to see so keenly and fearfully into both.