Greetings, if you’re here looking for a list of Fydor Dostoevsky books, I’ll go ahead and give that to you first. Then you can get out of here if you want. Below the list, if you’re interested, you’ll see my own experience with Mr. D., and the story of how I first came to his work.
These are the novels and novellas. I’m going to save his short stories for another discussion:
The Village of Stephanchikovo
Humiliated and Insulted
The House of the Dead
Notes From Underground
Crime and Punishment
The Eternal Husband
The Brothers Karamazov
The first time I became aware of the Fyodor Dostoevsky books was Christmas day as a little kid. Nerd that I was, I got exactly what I wanted: a big set of the classics of literature, in condensed paperback books with lots of pictures. I would predict that not many kids in New Mexico spent that day with Crime and Punishment, abridged, illustrated, or otherwise.
But I did and I was enthralled.
In Junior High I tried an excerpt from Notes From Underground, but it was too much for me. In High School I tried The Brothers Karamazov after seeing someone I admired–a smart kid who took himself very seriously–reading it during lunch.
It was too much for me. It was such a poor, brief attempt that I can just barely count it as an attempt at all.
Once I got to college and decided to finally stick with my English Major, I was quickly assigned to read Notes for an introductory class. But then I withdrew from the class and didn’t finish the book.
I came back to it quickly on my own. I had known almost nothing about the author. His history was tragic and fascinating and grim and made me want to explore his other works, knowing more about him.
I never came to love Crime, but Karamazov remains one of the books I love the most. Not an easy read, or an easy author, but very rewarding for me.
I hope you’ll give them all a try. When I’m in the mood for Dostoevsky, there’s nothing better. It’s a mood I’m in more often these days, whatever that might say about me.