A Curse on Dostoevsky

A Curse on Dostoevsky

Book - 2013
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A devilishly clever re-working and refractive, subversive story of a protagonist in thrall to 'Crime and Punishment', striving for a universal morality, and for meaning in his life, in a modern context with ancient rules where all this makes perfect, nightmarish sense.
Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus, 2013
ISBN: 9780701187187
0701187182
9781590515471
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 250 pages ; 23 cm

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In French-Algerian writer Rahimi’s novel about Afghanistan, he sets Dostoevsky’s Crime in Punishment in Kabul following the Russian withdrawal and before the rise of the Taliban. Rahimi’s novel is neither a sentimental story nor a political allegory. It is more of a philosophical puzzle that shou... Read More »


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bibliofinn
Jul 06, 2014

This is a brilliant novel of soaring ambition that takes Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment as a point of departure. Like Raskolnikov, the protagonist of the story, bludgeons a vicious old woman to death (or does he?), and then embarks on a quest for redemption in the war-torn streets and spit-and-baling-wire machinery of justice in war-torn Kabul. His quest is reminiscent of Kafka's The Trial, but Rassoul is his own prosecutor and judge. A sustained meditation on responsibility, the way we accept and sneak away from it, this novel also paints a vivid picture of everyday life in Afghanistan, and helps us understand the crushing burdens and incredible resilience of its people. One of the strongest novels I've read this year.

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