I started reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky a few days ago. This is my first experience with Russian Literature so I’m not sure I could generalize the following impression to the entire genre, but it is very dense. Compared to the other works I’ve read recently like Hamlet and 1984, Crime and Punishment is much longer, and much more substantial. For the record, I have no aversion to long books, provided that I continue to find them interesting.
I’m only three chapters in so far, and already I feel invested in the main character Raskolnikov. Dostoyevsky does a great job of balancing precision with expediency. The explanations of the people and their surroundings are detailed enough to draw the reader in, but not tedious. The descriptions of the character’s jacket, or the state of the room are all relevant to how I visualize the situation. The text addresses all this, but doesn’t go mad with specificity.
This is definitely the sort of book I will have to invest more time and attention in, in order to make any progress. Seeing as it is a novel experience for me, that shouldn’t be too difficult. I’m afraid I don’t have much more to say about it yet, except that it’s good so far and I look forward to learning more about 19th century Russian culture as I go.