Crime and Punishment

Remember that one post when I said Crime and Punishment was good so far, and I was looking forward to reading more?  Turns out, I was wrong.  Crime and Punishment moved so slowly, I’m sure the plot progressed more in the epilogue than the preceding 700 pages.  Nothing.  Happened.

Maybe I’m missing something, maybe it was a great novel, maybe I shouldn’t judge one of the most famous literary works according to my personal opinion.  But it didn’t make any sense.  The “Crime” event felt dry. It was interesting of course, especially compared to the tedious descriptions comprising 4/5ths of the text, so that was refreshing.  The “Punishment” section didn’t really take place until the epilogue.  The entire book, I’m waiting for Raskolnikov to either get caught or turn himself in.  And it doesn’t happen until the very end.  (Unless you consider his mental anguish to be Punishment, in which case, that’s all over the place.)

Dostoyevsky would go on and on describing secondary characters, and their backstories.  Which only seemed relevant insofar as exposing more of Raskolnikov’s character and mannerisms.  We were able to learn more about him through his interactions with the gallery of secondary characters.  Having finally finished it, the plot didn’t go anywhere, and I felt that nothing happened.  Considering the length of the text, it was disappointing.

Of course I learned a few things from this experience.  If I ever write a longer story or novel, I’ll make sure that the plot progresses at a reasonable pace.  I’ll employ descriptions as Dostoyevsky did, but I’ll keep them shorter.  Secondary characters will be created as such.  They’ll have their parts to play, but unless they get a point of view or a major role, I won’t waste the reader’s time learning the life story of an extraneous individual.

I’m glad I read it.  But I’m also glad it’s finished.

Crime and Punishment