House of the Dead    -     By: Fyodor Dostoevsky
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House of the Dead

Penguin Classics / 1986 / Paperback

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Availability: Expected to ship on or about 11/03/15.
CBD Stock No: WW44560

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Product Description

The four years Dostoyevsky spent in a Siberian prison camp were nasty, brutish and long, the most agonizing of his life. No other novel depicts the prison coffin with more immediacy than The House of the Dead. Its documentary detail - the convicts and their fascinating stories, the wooden plank bed that they sleep on, the cabbage soup swimming with cockroaches that they eat - is made all the more vivid by the controlled, oddly impersonal tone of the narrator. He, like the others, had stepped beyond himself to commit his crime. He found his strange family of convicts boastful, ugly, vain, cruel and ludicrously obsessed with outward appearances. But it is their vitality that overtakes The House of the Dead, turning the crisis of its narrator into a slow miracle: the return and reawakening of his personality.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 1986
Dimensions: 8.12 X 5.12 (inches)
ISBN: 0140444564
ISBN-13: 9780140444568
UPC: 051488010951
Availability: Expected to ship on or about 11/03/15.

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Publisher's Description

‘Here was the house of the living dead, a life like none other upon earth’

In January 1850 Dostoyevsky was sent to a remote Siberian prison camp for his part in a political conspiracy. The four years he spent there, startlingly re-created in The House of the Dead, were the most agonizing of his life. In this fictionalized account he recounts his soul-destroying incarceration through the cool, detached tones of his narrator, Aleksandr Petrovich Goryanchikov: the daily battle for survival, the wooden plank beds, the cabbage soup swimming with cockroaches, his strange ‘family’ of boastful, ugly, cruel convicts. Yet The House of the Dead is far more than a work of documentary realism: it is also a powerful novel of redemption, describing one man’s spiritual and moral death and the miracle of his gradual reawakening.

This edition includes notes and an introduction discussing the circumstances of Dostoyevsky’s imprisonment, the origins of the novel in his prison writings, and the character of Aleksandr Petrovich.

Author Bio

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), one of nineteenth-century Russia’s greatest novelists, spent four years in a convict prison in Siberia, after which he was obliged to enlist in the army. In later years his penchant for gambling sent him deeply into debt. Most of his important works were written after 1864, including Notes from Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov, all available from Penguin Classics.

David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.

David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.

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