Karamazov Bros: 100 pages down!

karamSo it’s probably not 100 pages, it’s actually 10% (since we are Kindle-ing it).

For me, here is the shocking thing about this book: it is totally read-able. This is not at all like War & Peace where I had to carry the family trees of the characters around with me at all times to understand what was happening.

The other thing is that the book is pretty sassy. It has this first-person omniscient (sorta) narrator that almost winks at the reader sometimes. I was going to say that it makes it light-hearted – but that’s not exactly true. It makes it less dark and serious, I guess.

So far here is what we know about the story: there are actually 3 brothers Karamazov. The father Karamazov is a bit of a mess. He is a drunk and a womanizer. We learn that the oldest brother has come back to town after being estranged from his father, in an effort to sort out the family finances…meaning he wants the money that is ‘rightfully’ his. The other two are brothers from a different mother, literally. All have taken different paths through life.

From my experience, classic literature taps into universal truths and the human condition. Why do we still read Shakespeare? He took basic truths and wrote plays (and sonnets) around them. Same with the Brontes, Austin, and the list goes on. Dostoyevsky has done the same here. This line could not be more true today (in the current political climate):

But oddity and eccentricity, far from commanding attention, are calculated to undermine reputations, especially at a time when everybody is striving to unify what is disparate and to find some kind of common meaning in our universal chaos.

I read that and was like – are you kidding me? This could be written today. And it is still true more than 200 years later. Goes to show, people don’t change.

I literally have no idea what is going to happen with the story. My guess is, and I reserve the right to take this back, that the brothers represent different aspects of society and Dostoyevsky explores how do they exist together. But hey, I am only 10% through this thing.

So far, I like it. It’s understandable and readable. And it’s a good story.

I will be back at 20% and let you know if I still like it.

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