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The Idiot (Modern Library Classics)

The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Constance Garnett, Joseph Frank, Anna Brailovsky The title character of The Idiot is Prince Myshkin, a poor Russian nobleman who is returning to Russia after spending several years in a Swiss sanatorium to recover from epilepsy. Alone in the world, he is searching for some distant relatives and gets quickly caught up in a complicated love triangle that involves himself, the beautiful fallen woman, Natashya Filipovna, and the wealthy Roghozin. As with many of the Russian classics, there is a HUGE cast of characters, who are well depicted and come from a variety of classes. This book has much of what you come to expect from a Russian classic - tragic heroes, sacrifice and sad, sad endings. But The Idiot is also a wealth of philosophy. Although it departs from the main plot, there is some great philosophy in this book, with reflections on the meaning of life, especially when death is imminent. I listened to the audiobook and I LOVED Simon Vance's narration. From rattling off long and beautiful Russian names (my favorite was Lizaveta Prokovyevna) to his wide range of accents for some very eccentric characters, this was an enjoyable book to read and listen to.