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Cynically Speaking

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The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The story is about three brothers thrown out by their hate filled, selfish and decadent father at a very early age and as young men have all come back to their father's town at the same time.  Conflict arises between the brothers and father, the brothers themselves and the brothers and other characters.


The story is about Love, sacrifice, bitterness, redemption and forgiveness.


The story is a very good one.


The story is a struggle.


The narration is uneven.  At the culmination of the novel our narrator states he cannot remember every detail and everything said at the culminating event but 200 or pages earlier a brother is having hallucinations and the narrator has no problems spending 20 pages or so describing that event in too much detail.


The philosophical monologues in the first half of the book are long and overwhelming and I am not sure they add to the story.


At the end we have two minor characters summarize, another 30 or so pages, the entire novel.  I just read the novel, why do I need a summary?


Parts of the novel are funny, especially in the first third.  Mrs. Hohlakovs in particular is very amusing.


But in the end it was the little things that left me unfulfilled. Lise was involved with one of the brothers on and off for most of the book then just disappears.  Koyla was introduced near the end for no purpose whatsoever that I could figure out.


But, I gave away an onion.