The Brothers Karamazov

by Fyodor Dostoyevsky · read May 2, 2020


An absolutely incredible book. If I think about the scope and depth of the plot and characterizations, it definitely contained multiple novels. I especially enjoyed the mini-stories within the greater scheme of the plot, like Zosima's life story and Kolya and Ilyusha's friendship and fallout, and the characters' discussions about faith and conviction.

In some novels, there's a sentence or turn of phrase that seems to encapsulate something critical to the heart of the book. In this case, at the very end of the story, Kolya remarks to Alyosha that their religion is so strange because it involves "such grief, and then pancakes". What a perfect summary of an 800 page novel in only 5 words!

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