01 April 2008

House of the Dead

Another for the Russian Challenge. House of the Dead, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is little book about life in a Siberian prison. A couple deep thoughts.
Man is a creature that can get accustomed to anything, and I think that is the best definition of him.
Tyranny is a habit; it may develop, and it does develop at last, into a disease.
It has such beautiful writing about such an awful subject. The basic story is that an older man dies and his friend comes across a manuscript. This manuscript is the story of the man's ten year stint in prison in Siberia. We are talking serious hard labor 1850's prison. Dozens of men sleeping on the floor, bugs, constantly wearing chains, inedible food. It is supposedly autobiographical. The prisoners survive awful conditions and beatings, yet some seem to still have optimism for the future. The only thing i have read that even seemed close was part of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King. Just haven't read much prison lit. I haven't read anything by Dostoyevsky before and his style is so poetic it is breathtaking. I am scratching something off my list to read Crime and Punishment just to compare. This book is a 6 for me and well worth the read.

2 comments:

  1. I'm not often 'scared' of books, but Crime and Punishment seems to me to be one of those books, like War and Peace, that I just don't have the desire to tackle. I try to be open minded and diversify my reading, but I think my limits are still there to some degree about what I am willing to try. Mostly because to do so would mean postponing something that I know I am aching to read.

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  2. Now that there are no more Harry Potter books coming out, there really isn't any series or author that i feel like couldn't wait. I also read really, weirdly freaky fast, so i don't feel like i'm missing something when i try to stretch my reading to different things. Of course, I'm young with no kids and can read at work so i have a lot more time in general than most people do!

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