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Extended Audio Sample Notes from the Underground Audiobook, by Fyodor Dostoevsky Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (39,447 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky Narrator: Norman Dietz Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2010 ISBN: 9781400188062
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A predecessor to such monumental works as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, Notes from the Underground represents a turning point in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s writing toward the more political side. In this work, we follow the unnamed narrator of the story, who, disillusioned by the oppression and corruption of the society in which he lives, withdraws from that society into the underground. This “Underground Man” is one of the first genuine antiheroes in European literature.

The first part of this unusual work is often treated as a philosophical text in its own right; the second part illustrates the theory of the first by means of its own fictional practice. A dark and politically charged novel, Notes from the Underground shows Dostoevsky at his best.

This version of Notes from the Underground is the translation by Constance Garnett.

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Faye | 2/18/2014

    " I am not enjoying this book and thing until I am in a better mindset will put this on the back burner and return to the library. What a shame - it looked like it had potential, and from such an influential writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly Jacqueline | 2/18/2014

    " The various philosophies and experiences of the narrator really struck a chord with me. I wish there was more I could read about him! The first section was slightly tedious, but that's only because I was drowsy while reading this portion. An excellent study in philosophy and social/psychological isolation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sujatha Reghunathan | 2/18/2014

    " Worth reading at least once. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan Fritts | 2/12/2014

    " I was first introduced to this work when my mentor assigned it to me, along with Plato's Meno, to view the contrasting arguments. In Meno, Plato claims that all men desire what is good for them. In Dostoevsky's _Notes from Underground_, Fyodor argues nearly the opposite. It's a fascinating look at the thought patterns of the depraved and darkened mind. FD was truly the world's greatest psychologist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel | 2/10/2014

    " Oh Dostoyevski! You tiresome cur. As usual, this ends up being an insightful read regarding the human experience, should you lack any real moral fiber or sense of integrity. The protagonist is sheepish and trite. Better to read this and be ready to laugh, though you could possibly learn something if you approach it as an anti-thesis on how to be a good person. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angelina | 2/9/2014

    " If you wonder about the point of view of the people you don't like this is probably one of them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrewfrom5to7 | 2/5/2014

    " Did this feel like a long serious episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm to anyone else? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/5/2014

    " I LOVE THIS STORY!!! Underground Man is a very vivid and real character. Fyodor Dostoyevsky is BRILLIANT, one of the best classic writers of all time. Gotta love the Russians. "

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

    " Good psychological portrayal of the anti-hero. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ken | 2/1/2014

    " I really didn't see what the big deal was. It was Meh. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas | 1/29/2014

    " insightful and poignant in its own way "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Douglas Weathers | 1/21/2014

    " In living bookishly lies madness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 G.T. Anders | 1/19/2014

    " This ain't so much a book as a head trip. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ii z | 1/11/2014

    " Ah, my second read. How I cherish this book! It's no doubt a hallmark of his work to explore the darkest corners of the human mind, but in Notes from the Underground, he intensifies with extreme malice, and self-inflicted misery. Oh, it'll always be a favorite of mine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret Miller | 1/10/2014

    " One of the best books I've read in years. Fucking hilarious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Spillane | 1/9/2014

    " OK hmm, now being done with it I wouldn't have read it if I had known what I was getting into, however, I did highlight a ton of what I thought were above average insights in the first half of the book. For me brevity saves most things from damnation; so this easily clears the bar. It's safe to say that knowingly or not we all strive to be the opposite of the "author"/main character. SN: I know it's pre-war but still how/why does he have a servant while at the same time being poverty stricken. Before reading this I planned to never read any of his longer books and while that's still the case I now understand the attraction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine Shaw | 1/9/2014

    " I had forgotten just how much I love Dostoevsky until I finally sat down with Notes from the Underground. Written as a sort of memoir from a man who styles himself poor, despicable, and painfully self-aware, this isn't the kind of book I would read to relax - at several points I was uncomfortable enough that I had to put it down and come back later. As with so much of Dostoevsky's work, though, it's a marvelous vehicle for thoughts on the human condition and the ways man reacts to himself. I'll be rereading this one at some point; this is definitely the kind of book that gets better with repetition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Asimenia | 1/1/2014

    " loneliness, melancholy, nostalgia,"magic". Love it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan Fritts | 12/29/2013

    " I was first introduced to this work when my mentor assigned it to me, along with Plato's Meno, to view the contrasting arguments. In Meno, Plato claims that all men desire what is good for them. In Dostoevsky's _Notes from Underground_, Fyodor argues nearly the opposite. It's a fascinating look at the thought patterns of the depraved and darkened mind. FD was truly the world's greatest psychologist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grace | 12/28/2013

    " My favorite part of this book was in a chapter in which the nameless man describes how mankind strives towards a goal but does not necessarily want to achieve the goal because then there would not be a goal to attain. I love that part. It seems to say so much about human beings and the ceaseless urge to achieve but never wanting to attain the goal for a fear of what to do after the goal is completed. Not having a purpose and being insignificant seems to be such a great fear. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abdullah | 12/22/2013

    " It's a novella full of psychological intensity. I've enjoyed reading it to the last sentence. It's a brilliant writing. Mostly, I enjoyed the chapter before last. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill Mill | 12/15/2013

    " I felt like I was missing a lot of the cultural commentary that was intended by Dostoyevsky, but his writing is so outstanding anyway that I really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sabita Mehra | 12/7/2013

    " Rather tough book. Very dark and difficult but a literary masterpiece especially when it was discussed in our book club led by a professor and student of Russian literature! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Asimenia | 12/2/2013

    " loneliness, melancholy, nostalgia,"magic". Love it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina Wright | 11/28/2013

    " The musings of the "underground man" are fanatical, exquisite, and alarmingly fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 11/21/2013

    " Brutal honesty, paired with psychological profundity and a sharp sense of humor. A true stroke of genius. I find this book to be incredibly refreshing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 xhodi | 11/21/2013

    " Thone qe Cari ka qare pasi ka lexuar kete roman! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sofia | 11/13/2013

    " Dostoyevsky's writing styles was best in this book in my opinion. It really suits the nature of the story and the length. One of those that I won't forget I've read and loved. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Squanchers | 11/12/2013

    " An excellent book though not one I enjoyed reading on my birthday. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evan | 11/7/2013

    " Crime and Punishment retreads in more detail many of the themes found here, but this short work has a really unique humor about it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Moehee01 | 11/2/2013

    " This is one of the few books, I can read over, and over, and over again. For me, the first time I read it, it was life changing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Björn Bernd | 11/1/2013

    " A marvelous story put in way too many words just like all books from this era of Russian literature. It's best to read a summary of this book, not the book itself. Or if you really want to applaude your literary self by telling people stories how you read it, make sure you're drunk all the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Quhtani | 10/12/2013

    " Five stars for the first part! The author succeeded in putting it in words; the suffering of a man with a devastated soul! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff Brateman | 9/28/2013

    " I liked the second part of the book better than the first. Guess I'm just a meat and potatoes type of guy... and the second half was that. A story with a point. The first half was just babble. Overall, this book was good, and deep, but the language and tone was hard to follow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 7/6/2013

    " A very short read. I was disappointed it was over so soon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica C. | 6/9/2013

    " I think he did a better job with Notes from the Underground than Sartre did with Nausea though they're different and to each his own. I like Dostoyevsky's writing style better. Most of the time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank | 5/16/2013

    " unsettling and enlightening. ought to be part of the vocabulary of anyone interested in late nineteen/early twentieth century literature. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Silvia | 5/16/2013

    " Hard but really interesting. It really explains a lot about humans people dont talk about or dont really notice. It is full of contradictions that will leave you wiser but still confused. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christina Bell | 3/12/2013

    " What a waste of 90 pages. We get it. Everything is meaningless. Human nature is rotten and awful. But if it's all so meaningless, why write about it? There's no point to anything. So why write at all? Self-indulgent nonsense (but I guess that's the point). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy Mascola | 2/28/2013

    " The 40-year-old misanthropic narrator reminded me of Vincent Gallo's character in Buffalo '66. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrew Thibodeau | 2/27/2013

    " I don't know what I think, couldn't understand what he was talking about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arka | 1/21/2013

    " Stars cannot put in words how incredibly pleasurable this book is, how feeling and perfect it is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lea | 12/5/2012

    " I've read this book twice because I enjoyed it so much. The first time I read it, I thought I hated it, and proceeded to hate and scoff throughout the first three chapters. Once I discovered I loved it, however, I proceeded to do so through its finish and all through the second go. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Umut Babilon | 9/23/2012

    " Kind a view of a mind which is so closes to mine sometimes. That's why I like it that much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mikimara | 6/17/2012

    " una perfetta analisi di un "uomo-topo" affetto da manie di persecuzione e delle sue possibili memorie "dal sottosuolo". nevrotico e contemporaneamente sarcastico. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doug Rice | 5/11/2012

    " Compelling prose with profound existential insight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Howard | 4/2/2012

    " Unbelievable. What a great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joem | 10/1/2011

    " Read in high school a long time ago. I definitely liked this book. I need to read it again sometime... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marian Awad | 9/28/2011

    " Great book. Really depressing, but really great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelley | 9/24/2011

    " my favorite existentialist novel thus far "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simon | 8/5/2011

    " The Brothers Karamazov and Notes from Underground make every other novel sound like a children's book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Jane | 7/18/2011

    " Interesting - a little rambling, but very well written. The main character is odd and not very likeable. Small man's syndrome in evidence. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katrina | 7/12/2011

    " I liked the narration style, it's very dramatic but humurous, if that is possible this book has done it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jon Toboggan | 4/27/2011

    " I have read many short novels lately, something I plan on changing soon. I enjoyed both part one and two exclusively, but wasn't reading deep enough to connect the ideology in one to the story in two. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simon | 1/15/2011

    " The Brothers Karamazov and Notes from Underground make every other novel sound like a children's book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 12/2/2010

    " Books like these are good at exposing the (generation)? gap between my mother and myself, like a good Rock 'n' Roll record. She found the Narrator totally abohrrent and unreasonable whereas I found him tragically human and understandable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Everett Darling | 9/26/2010

    " Notes from The Underground or The Dangers of Neurotic Self-Consciousness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 K.J. Kron | 8/29/2010

    " For me, this book is brillant in the second part. The first section is hard to get your footing as there is nothing concrete. So if I were to give this an honest review, I'd give the first part one star and the second part five - so three seems reasonable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Gaynard | 7/26/2010

    " All of Dostoyevsky's novels are works of genius, but, as far as I am concerned, this is the best one of them all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tony | 6/11/2010

    " It's a tough life being an antihero. Inferior former schoolmates look down on you. Desperate prostitutes look up to you. But you have no answers to the questions they pose. The only solution for a spiteful antihero is to go underground and snipe at those who dwell above. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Murphy | 11/2/2008

    " This most defiantly my favorite work by Dostoyevsky a literary masterpiece to say the least...after reading this short I went and bought 3 more book by him...I read this complete novel in a single day...would defiantly recommend to anyone...and have! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adrik | 5/8/2008

    " GREAT BOOK!!! A MUST READ! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sankalp Khandelwal | 4/10/2008

    " 3.5 on 5. Some memorable quotes and haunting scenes. You feel terrible for the narrator at some points. This requires multiple reading perhaps. Better than Crime and Punishment. Asks some uncomfortable, but interesting questions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Drew | 3/22/2008

    " One of the Dead White Males closest to my heart, probably because of his affinity with Nietzsche. This short(ish) story's about the vaguries of a gambling addiction. "

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About the Author

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821­–1881) was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose writings had a profound and universal influence on the twentieth-century novel.

About the Narrator

Norman Dietz is a writer, voice-over artist, and audiobook narrator. He has won six Earphones Awards and was named one of the fifty “Best Voices of the Century” by AudioFile magazine. He and his late wife Sandra transformed an abandoned ice-cream parlor into a playhouse, which served “the world’s best hot fudge sundaes” before and after performances. The founder of Theatre in the Works, he lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.