I couldn’t do it. Despite all my resolve, I just couldn’t do it. I failed in a category I haven’t failed in quite a while, and make it my mission to never fail in whatsoever. I pride myself on not having to say this, and yet here it is. This time I wasn’t up to the challenge.
I couldn’t finish the book.
I know that Crime and Punishment is one of the most renowned novels of all time. It is, as classics go, one that simply needs to be read. And I tried really hard. However, I only got through the first part of the book (literally Part 1) before giving it up as an exercise in futility. Here’s why.
I’ll begin by saying that I can see why this book is considered one of the best of all time. I really can. The level of writing is such that it actually provokes the reader into thought, and credit where it’s due, I’ve read less than a handful of books that have done that. And the morals which it challenges are ones that we’ve all contemplated at some time or another. It brings up the age-old battle between good and evil, and assesses the term “necessary evil” in incredible depth. Raskolniknov’s internal struggles and debates are ones we all share, or have at least encountered once or twice in our lives. It’s a psychological insight such that the world has never seen before, and for all those reasons, it deserves all the accolades its earned.
But the book is also old, which isn’t bad, but it leads to some problems. The writing feels dated, in that you won’t find any novel written in the last century that even begins resembles the writing seen in this book. Uniqueness never hurts, but in this case I’d give it up. The writing is so, so tedious. Oh my God, I thought Bran’s chapters in ASOIAF were bad – they’re nothing compared to the writing in Crime and Punishment. I’ve never read anything so difficult to get through. The book is painfully descriptive. Yes, it’s a psychological delight, but I think it would really benefit from bringing the details down a notch, or mayble a few more (no, a lot more). I’m one of those readers who only like to stop only at the end of a chapter, and this was one of the toughest books to do that for. My God, it was hard. So much so that I gave up.
Tl;DR? Crime and Punishment is a brilliant read in terms of the morals it brings up, and in the way it challenges the established order of the basic foundations of our life. But it’s also a tedious read, and likely one you won’t find pleasant unless you’re a psychology major. I couldn’t finish it, but I do encourage you to try. Maybe you’ll have better luck,
I’m reading Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath right now, so far it’s been excellent and much better than the former novel. I’ll update you soon!