Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I have been considering an unofficial focus for my 2006 reading to be some kind of combination of “books I read in high school” and “canonical books I’ve never read.” So far several Russian novels fall into the latter category, including Lolita by Nabokov and Anna Karenina by Tolstoy and Pale Fire also by Nabokov, though I’m not sure if that one technically falls into “The Canon”? (ETA: Now as I am adding links to those books when I later read them, it’s worth pointing out that neither of these Nabokov novels I mentioned are truly “Russian,” since they both were written in English, after he had moved to the US — The Gift was his last Russian novel.)

This book falls into the former category — I don’t recall enjoying it much when I was in high school, so perhaps this wasn’t the best one to feel out an annual reading intention. Apparently I only remembered (vaguely) the first half of the book and even just vaguely remembering the story made it so boring, definitely more than it might have been as a teenager. Luckily, once things became less familiar, they also became more interesting and I began to understand why my roommates were both emphatic about how much they loved this book, both reading it in their 20s outside of a school setting.