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Extended Audio Sample Crime and Punishment Audiobook, by Fyodor Dostoevsky Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.1 out of 54.1 out of 54.1 out of 54.1 out of 54.1 out of 5 4.10 (49 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky Narrator: Alex Jennings Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2005 ISBN: 9781429589390
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Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a suspicious police investigator, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Only Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute, can offer the chance of redemption. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lynn Timberlake | 2/15/2014

    " Read it in highschool. At the time it was just ok. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 2/14/2014

    " I read this as a young woman. I think it is time I read it again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 2/8/2014

    " It is a psychological journey the reader goes through along with Raskolnikov. The main character effectively communicates with the reader, as with his inner voice, revealing his intentions and ideas. The novel is not easy to read and understand without thinking about the morals of society and concepts of right and wrong. Self-judge mental narration where a reader decides for himself whether to accept Raskolnikov for his actions or not. The setting also plays its significant heavy role on all the characters in the novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marc Fontaine | 2/5/2014

    " Did "rascal" come from Raskolnikov? He definitely was a rascal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alley | 2/3/2014

    " This is one of my top 5 favorite books of all time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 2/3/2014

    " Surprisingly good and a great psychological thriller! Classic literature isn't really my thing but all the Russian novels I've read so far, I've liked if not loved. There were definitely golden moments and I don't mind the philosophical rumination because its all part of the grand picture in the story. This is definitely one of those things people need to read before they die. It makes one think about life and consider it in a different view. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jr Bacdayan | 1/28/2014

    " I do not know how to begin, I am utterly troubled. What to do? What to say? In my opinion, to write a review of Dostoyevsky's great masterpiece is a very hard undertaking. To write a decent one, even harder. A week ago, if you asked me what my favorite novel was, I'd greatly struggle with it. I might consider Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Nabokov's Lolita, or probably even Heller's Catch 22. I might give varying answers. It would probably depend on my mood, or the current focus of my stream of thoughts. But, alas! Now, now I have found it! A book, unquestionable enough to be the greatest novel and work of fiction that I have read. As I say this, please bear in mind that I have humbly read very few of the novels I intend to read. Let us say that I'm still a novice of the classical greats. Call me a classical dunce, if you must. I have scarcely pierced through the surface of the greatest literary works. Scarcely. So forgive me, if you think that I overpraise this. Bear with me. Deal with me as a wise and knowing adult would deal with an inquisitive child. What I ask for, is your indulgence, if you can give it to me. Crime & Punishment. Two words. Cause & effect. Low & High. Evil & Justice. Two words that are intertwined, knitted cheek by jowl, and always associated with the other. Two words that are close yet far as possible. The title's two words is reflective of Dostoyevsky's great masterpiece itself. Of course, it certainly is about the psychology of a crime and the punishment it measures. But more than that, the novel features exceedingly contrasting views. These views, contrasting and even paradoxical, can sincerely confuse a man. But, these seemingly contrasting views when scrutinized is really just the product of a struggle inside a man's very being. A man's final struggle of whether to finally detach himself from society, from life, from his humanity, or to finally succumb to it. These struggles, or contradictory ideas can be noted several times in the book. We have Raskolnikov's Napoleonic belief that he is of the elite, and should step over obstacles without being affected even if blood is involved, as was hinted in his article. Then, later on he would admit to Sonya that he was not of the elite since he was terribly affected. But again, when he was in prison he would declare that he was not there because he was guilty of anything but rather because he was weak and confessed. Also, we have his being generous and charitable. He would give Marmaladov's widow, Katarina Ivanovna, all the remaining 25 rubles his mother sent him. Then there was his helping of his schoolmate and the crippled father, and the saving of two children in the fire. Here was a man acting as a savior to strangers yet could not even bear to look and much less talk with his mother and sister. Here was a man who believed that anything could be sacrificed for the success of his career, who killed two women yet refused that her sister be wed to a rich man for his sake. Here was a man who regarded religion as nonsense yet read the gospel and asked people to pray for him. Here was a man who didn't care if he died, didn't eat, didn't care about his illness, yet refused to commit suicide. Here was a man suffering. A man, who because of his crime, suffered his punishment of madness, of guilt, of never ending anxiety and anxiousness. I fancy that Dostoyevsky reiterates that this punishment that goes on through a criminal's mind is far more potent than the punishment of being contained in four walls. As he pointed out in the epilogue, that in prison, the convicts valued life much more. While in this state of madness, of insane ecstasy. A man would undergo extreme suffering and lose his mind and matter. In the words of Sonya, "Oh, what suffering! What suffering!" “The man who has a conscience suffers whilst acknowledging his sin. That is his punishment.” This struggle inside Raskolnikov, is enhanced by his intellect. He cannot help but disdain what is going on inside him. His reason rejects his will. If anything, the more intellectual you are, the more you are prone to detach from your surroundings. You reason that feelings and relations are merely nonsensical. You think of dialectics instead of breathing fresh air. “Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.” As I give my conclusion, let me also give some remarks about my feelings towards the end of the book. It is hard not to root for a happy ending. I was glad that Rasumikhin and Dunya had gotten theirs. And after such pain and suffering, I have forgiven Raskolnikov and want for him peace of mind too. His final realization that he indeed had love for Sonya brought me intense joy. I do not know why. Maybe it was empathy, if anyone deserved happiness it was Sonya. Sonya whose happiness was only through Raskolnikov. Here was a Murderer and a Harlot. Two shameful transgressors who believed that their transgressions were justified. One out of vanity, the other out of charity. One who is vile and contemptuous, the other loving and loyal. Bound together by some irreversible force of nature. Intertwined. Like the words Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov and Sonya are two people who are far different but are bound together. They are allegories of the words themselves. Raskolnikov stands for Crime. He is a murderer who is unrepentant, he is contemptuous, menacing, vain, and indifferent. A man who believes he is above the law. All for self-gain. Sonya stands for Punishment. She is true, loving, loyal, charitable, a woman who deserved richly but lived poorly. A call for justice. Raskolinkov and Sonya, two utterly different people that are connected by suffering. Raskolnikov is crime, he cannot atone himself no matter what he does. Sonya is the atoning punishment. Only through Punishment, can Crime be atoned. Only through Sonya, can Raskolnikov atone himself. This enduring masterpiece is a beauty to behold. A complex, broad, and psychological mastery of not only crime and punishment but also of life, death, sacrifice, society, intellect, love, and ultimately renewal and hope. As I end this review, let me leave you with this excerpts. "Go now, this minute, stand in the crossroads, bow down, first kiss the earth you've defiled, then bow down to the whole world, on all four sides, then say aloud to everyone: 'I have killed!' " "Accept suffering and redeem yourself by it, that's what you must do." "He went on down the stairs and came out in the courtyard. There in the courtyard, not far from the entrance, stood Sonya, pale, numb all over, and she gave him a wild, wild look. He stopped before her. Something painted and tormented, something desperate, showed in her face. She clasped her hands. A hideous, lost smile forced itself in his lips. He stood a while, grinned, and turned back upstairs to the office." "But all at once, in the same moment, she understood everything. Infinite happiness lit up in her eyes; she understood, and for her there was no longer any doubt that he loved her, lover her infinitely, and at last the moment had come... " "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Bugriyev | 1/26/2014

    " I thought I would go crazy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Les | 1/16/2014

    " It was at times hard to follow the story at times. However, I did enjoy reading this Russian Classic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anemarie | 1/12/2014

    " I didn't want to read it at first, because I did not find Dostoyevsky quite interesting. Then I read one of his other books (I am too lazy to go and search for the English Name). Then my obssesion started. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brad | 1/7/2014

    " Took me a while, but worth all 656 pages. So many round characters and plot points; it was difficult to put down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolyn | 1/2/2014

    " I read this in high school. I kept a notebook to help me with the Russian character names. I still remember that the main character murdered an old woman (horribly) and the book was about his mental breakdown because of his act of violence. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darka | 12/8/2013

    " one of the best works I have ever read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny Boyce | 11/20/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David Miller | 11/15/2013

    " Hated it the first time I read it. After re-reading it, liked the general theme of the story but was still thrown off by the overwhelming detail of the work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 11/11/2013

    " #1 Novel in my opinion of all time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leandro | 9/13/2013

    " Excellent. Probably only exceeded by The brothers Karamazov "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 8/19/2013

    " Not bad. It's no Brothers K, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evan Tyler | 6/24/2013

    " This book is everything that a book should be...drama, romance, insanity. Dostoyevsky has a way of making you love Raskolnikov, despite his insanity. This book...this book is honestly one of my favorites! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kenny | 6/24/2013

    " Ordinary people follow laws, structures left out by others. Extraordinary people however, break rules and creates.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 3/7/2013

    " Not an easy read by any means...but well worth the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alana Solin | 1/21/2013

    " i liked it, but i wanted to like it more than i did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexandre Gonçalves | 6/1/2012

    " Absolute favourite. Best book I've ever read, for too many reasons to describe here. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shenoah Clegg | 5/12/2012

    " Hated reading this. The crime is that it was written, the punishment is having to read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maduka Ihalagama | 1/15/2012

    " One of the greatest novels that i have ever read. Author never let our curiosity to die. And also a good story line with a good study of young intellectual "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason Antoniewicz | 12/13/2011

    " An amazing novel. Breathtaking, even if Dostoevsky can labour the reader on some subjects. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carl | 5/24/2011

    " Hands down, Dostoyevsky is my favorite author & this is a great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bina | 5/20/2011

    " I love the emotional angst in thsi book. If I fed on emotions alone this book would be a banquet! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Justin | 5/18/2011

    " Dostoevsky's response to a hypothetical "So how would you do it?" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 5/17/2011

    " Oh what a book! I couldn't put it down. I've thought of it a thousand times. It allows you into the mind of someone moral and accessible and then leads you along through the thought processes and justifications of a terrible crime. It's just fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thomas | 5/17/2011

    " The translation I read was quite dated, which might have daunted my enthusiasm some. After getting through the ol' dusty pages, I couldn't help but feel satisfied. This universe of Fjodor's has something about it, like say Kafka's. Perhaps I'll re-read it some day and up my rating, why not. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 A.abkr | 5/16/2011

    " BOOORING !!
    Other than one or two good points ,
    It's a huuuge disappointment . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 5/16/2011

    " As with Dickens "Tale of Two Cities", this book really seemed to drag at first, but the last half really draw me in and the book left me full of emotion, with tears forming in my eyes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary D. | 5/16/2011

    " Powerful book. I read it in High School and it dealt with the internal struggle with guilt. I would like to re-read this book to remember the famous names of the characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elise | 5/14/2011

    " One of my all-time favorite books. Deep and complex, dark, and thought provoking, this is Dostoyevsky's finest work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 5/14/2011

    " Great book. Lots of interesting themes on guilt and more. A bit slow at first or it would get five stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kizzann | 5/13/2011

    " Read: AP English class
    Thoughts: Interesting from the very beginning, although I don't like the ending too much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thadd | 5/13/2011

    " The life and thoughts of a killer, a man who has to come to terms with his brutal act. "

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About the Author

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (1821–1881) was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the darkest recesses of the human heart had a profound and universal influence on the twentieth-century novel. He was born in Moscow, the son of a surgeon. Leaving the study of engineering for literature, he published Poor Folk in 1846. As a member of revolutionary circles in St. Petersburg, he was condemned to death in 1849. A last-minute reprieve sent him to Siberia for hard labor. Returning to St. Petersburg in 1859, he worked as a journalist and completed his masterpiece, Crime and Punishment, as well as other works, including The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov.

About the Narrator

Alex Jennings is an award-winning narrator and actor of stage and screen. He has won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been named a finalist for the 2015 Audie Award for Best Literary Fiction Narration. As an actor, he enjoyed a highly successful run at the Old Vic in Too Clever by Half, for which he won an Olivier Award, the Drama Magazine Award, and the Plays and Players Award for Actor of the Year. He has also won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Peer Gynt. Among his numerous television credits are Inspector Alleyn, Hard Times, and the lead role in Bad Blood.