Fyodor Dostoievski’s “Crime and Punishment” is a true psychological analysis of its main character, a terrifying murder mystery and a fascinating detective-thriller. Exploring human psychology and how the search for redemption can consume a murderer, the Russian author explains everything so vividly, as if he had committed the murder himself. In fact, maybe this is the true essence of this outstanding novel, along with the fact that it offers its readers the chance to take a deep path into the criminal mind of someone who is possessed by both evil and good. But, who is Raskolnikov? He is exponent of the XIXth century’s impoverished Russian society, a student who lives in Saint Petersburg and who conceives of himself as being an extraordinary young man, and the formulates a theory whereby the extraordinary men of the world have a right to commit any crime if they have something of worth to offer humanity. To prove his theory, he murders an old, despicable pawnbroker and her half-sister, who happened to come upon him suddenly. Immediately after his crime, he becomes ill and lies in his room semi-conscious for several days, as guilt is destroying his mental health.
The real nightmare begins when Raskolnikov recovers from his breakdown and reads about the crime in all the newspapers of the last few days, or meets an official from the police station and almost confesses his crime. Along with depicting Raskolnikov’s fight against his own conscience, Dostoievski also portraits the love story his main character shares with Sonya, to whom he confesses his crime. In fact Sonya becomes the voice of Raskolnikov’s conscience, as she convinces him to tell Porfiry, the police inspector who was investing the case. He is sentenced to eight years in a Siberian prison, and Sonya follows him, giving Raskolnikov all the support he needs to begin his regeneration. This outstanding novel, based on a man’s profound thoughts, is a true masterpiece that should be found in everybody’s personal library. In my opinion, a book which definitely is worth reading!