Sunday, August 24, 2008

Stupid! You're so stupid!

Except, not really. I'm way behind on posting reviews of all the new books I've read this year, and I'm not going to try to review them all. Some just aren't worth it (Robert Jordan's Eye of the World) some I just don't remember that well (The Real Heaven: It's Not What You Think), and I just don't want to spend the time.

But, since I've raved so much about The Brothers Karamazov, I figured I ought to give my thoughts about The Idiot as well.

I liked The Idiot quite a bit, but I was disappointed by the way it ended. I'll spoil a bit of it for you now without specifics: it doesn't end well or happily. It doesn't end like I expected, however. The way the book is set up, it could hardly end happily for everyone involved, but I didn't expect it to be quite the downer that it was. The book was well-written, the characters were very well drawn and distinct, though some of the dialogue was a bit confusing and I blame it on the translation from Russian.

The eponymous character from The Idiot is not actually an idiot, but rather someone who is considered so because of the open, honest and naive way that he meets the world. One hopes for him to triumph, to come out on top, but unfortunately his fate is more realistic than that. He, in some ways, reminded me of Alexei from The Brothers Karamazov.

The Idiot is a good book; it's worth reading even if it isn't as edifying as The Brothers Karamazov, but be warned that it won't end even as well as The Brothers Karamzov does.