Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Brothers Karamazov: Part 1

I made a big mistake. I started to read TBK and was starting to get into it, when I decided to also begin reading The Book Thief. My mistake was not realizing that The Book Thief would steal all of my interest and attention and leave me with barely any patience to get through Part 1 of TBK. Drat! I'm tempted to just finish reading The Book Thief and put off TBK until then. However, I did read Part 1, so here goes.

The tone of the book is actually engaging - its like having a chat with a rather chatty friend (you know the type - the one who does all of the talking for you) who is filling you in on all of the gossip concerning the family down the street. And I must admit I quite liked it, which I wasn't expecting. Truth be told I was rather apprehensive about reading this text because I had heard so much about its brilliance that I was worried I wouldn't be able to get a handle on it. Well, that is most certainly not the case. I actually found myself laughing out loud a bit and enjoying the descriptions of the characters and their follies. And there are several themes already peeking out of the pages: religion (faith/doubt), family (father/son), hysteria and women, etc.. And the use of language is wonderful - the ways in which Dostoevsky provides each character with their own specific speech mannerisms which reflect their personalities so clearly is wonderful. In fact from this first part alone, I can already tell that TBK is going to be a very good read. However, I am still wondering about Liesel the book thief and will be putting TBK aside for a day or two so that I can find out what happens to the poor child. I can't believe how quickly The Book Thief drew me in - love it! Anyhow, I will post about Part 2 of TBK next Thursday.

Cheers! Happy Reading!!


Aarti said...

I want to read this one! I also started it but was distracted by another one, a long time ago. I don't know why I didn't try again. I really enjoyed Dostoevsky's Crime & Punishment. And like Russian authors, generally.

Lisa said...

I wanted to read along on this one but just didn't have the time. My book club friend is also doing a readalong of Anna Karenina which I don't have time for. So many great books, so little time!

bermudaonion said...

I'm very impressed that you're reading this! I'm intimidated by the title alone.

Mrs. Fry said...

Definitely read The book Thief, the brothers will be waiting for you. I read it ages ago, and I can't even tell you what is about, but I do remember liking it.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Aarti - I know what you mean. I liked Nabokov and Gogol, but for some reason never read any Dostoevsky. I'm hoping this one gets me to read Crime and Punishment (which I'm glad you enjoyed) and Bulgakov's The Master and Margherita. So, I suppose I just need to carry on with the reading. Cheers!

Lisa - I totally understand! I wanted to join in on the Wuthering Heights read along, but figured that I wouldn't be able to completely immerse myself in TBK if I did. And look, I read The Book Thief and got sidetracked already. Yikes! There are too many good books out there :)

Bermudaonion - I admit I was intimidated, too! Everyone I know who has read it tells me I will love it and that it is such a wonderful read - which of course worries me, because what if I hate it? Oh the shame, if I do. LOL! Fingers crossed I can get through it!

Brenda - thanks! I think I will definitely read The Book Thief this weekend and pick up TBK when I am done. Glad that you remember liking TBK, because I am hoping to like it, too! So far, not so bad.

Steph said...

I bought the Everyman's Library version of this book last year, but have no idea when I'll get to it. So far I have not had the best luck with Russian lit this year, but maybe I'm just not reading the right stuff!

Hannah Stoneham said...

Interesting themes and sounds like quite an interesting style. thanks for sharing and happy Thursday!


Eva said...

I'm loving all of the themes that are promising to emerge as well! :) But I can understand being distracted by The Book Thief; it's that kind of book.

Anonymous said...

The Book Thief did the same to me - I could not even consider any other book until I read it all the way through.

Frances said...

Glad you enjoyed the humor too. Was beginning to feel that I was the only one laughing. :) Awkward.

Also agree that there is a conversational flow here that keeps the books moving at a really fast pace. Truly enjoyable read!

Anonymous said...

It's so difficult for me to read more than one book at a time; I'm very conflicted in the mood and plot turning from one to the other. I'm amazed you managed to fit in Part 1 at all, and I'm glad that you found things to enjoy in it. I hope that continues for you, as Part 2 seemed to drag for me, but Part 3? I can't put it down!

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Steph, I know what you mean. At least you were able to finish The Master and Margherita - I started it but just couldn't get through it. Instead I wound up reading some short stories by Gogol - which I loved! I'm hoping TBK keeps me interested, because I still have 3 more parts to get through - fingers crossed :)

Hannah, thanks for the comment! There are interesting themes to explore and I am loving the tone of the book. Hope you have a Happy Friday!

Eva, it is that kind of book. I read some more of The Book Thief last night and am so into it! I'm conflicted over wanting to know what happens next and not wanting to know. Ugh! As for TBK, it should definitely get more interesting as the story progresses, eh? Looking forward to it!

StephanieD, I know! It has got me hooked!! I love reading about Max, Liesel and Rudy and everyone involved in the story. I've laughed, cried and just been swept away.

Frances, you are definitely not the only one laughing. TBK is amusing and that is a fact :) Its definitely a book with a good flow that makes reading it easier then I had anticipated. I'm really enjoying it and glad you are, too!

Bellezza, I'm glad that you are enjoying TBK so much. I think from what I have read thus far that I will actually enjoy reading the rest. Thanks for the heads up about Part 2 dragging a bit - I'll be looking forward to part 3 now. Cheers!

Shelley said...

I loved The Book Thief, in a pathetically gushing way, so I understand your distraction!
I too was wondering if I was weird for experiencing so many laugh-out-loud moments during BK, but it sounds like we are in good company. Always so good to learn that my sense of humor is not too twisted.
Your post makes me remember that I loved all of the nicknames Fyodor uses for everyone. So funny.