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Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon- acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Porfiry, a suspicious detective, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Only Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute, can offer the chance of redemption. As the ensuing investigation and trial reveal the true identity of the murderer, Dostoyevsky’s dark masterpiece evokes a world where the lines between innocence and corruption, good and evil, blur and everyone’s faith in humanity is tested.
This vivid translation by David McDuff has been acclaimed as the most accessible version of Dostoyevsky’s great novel, rendering its dialogue with a unique force and naturalism. This edition also contains a new chronology of Dostoyevsky’s life and work.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) was born in Moscow. From 1849-54 he lived in a convict prison, and in later years his passion for gambling led him deeply into debt. His other works available in Penguin Classics include The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot and Demons.
If you enjoyed Crime and Punishment, you might like Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, also available in Penguin Classics.
’McDuff’s language is rich and alive’ – The New York Times Book Review
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