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Download Poor People Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Poor People, by Fyodor Dostoevsky Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,363 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky Narrator: Patrick Cullen, Julia Emlen Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Both a masterpiece of Russian populist writing and a parody of the entire genre, Poor People is an early example of Dostoevsky’s genius.

Written as a series of letters, Poor People is the tragic tale of a petty clerk and his impossible love for a young girl. Longing to help her and her family, he sells everything he can, but his kindness leads him only into more desperate poverty, and ultimately into debauchery. As a typical “man of the underground,” he serves as the embodiment of the belief that happiness can only be achieved with riches.

This work is remarkable for its vivid characterizations, especially of Dievushkin, the clerk, solely by means of his letters to the young girl and her answers to him.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “From the first pages of Poor People I understood that Dostoevsky wrote much better than I did and, as I continued...this impression grew.”

    Dmitry Grigorovich

  • “To you, an artist, the truth has been revealed and proclaimed; it has come to you as a gift. So cherish your gift, and remain faithful to it, and be a great writer.”

    Vissarion Belinsky to Dostoevsky after reading Poor People

  • “Patrick Cullen and Julia Emlen read the letters with deep emotion, exhibiting the love, frustration, and ultimate sorrow felt by the characters. Cullen’s portrayal of Dievushkin’s bouts of drunkenness, as well as his frantic efforts to save Dobroselova, are marvelous and intense.”


  • “Excellent…Both readers express the hopeless love and rage that the two correspondents capture in their heartfelt letters.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tj | 2/19/2014

    " What's the point of happiness if you're starving to death? I suppose this is a small (in scope and in size) novel for Dostoevsky, but damn it moved me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Isabelle Duck | 2/18/2014

    " Great idea for a novel (two lovers who are too poor to be together writing to one another). The entire book is made up of letters to one another discussing their poverty and their despiration. Possibly a tad repetitive at times, but I enjoyed it all the same and was really able to believe that these two were truly in love with one another. Sad ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Zach | 1/31/2014

    " I'll be reading this book my entire life, at this rate. 1997-2050. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lis | 1/22/2014

    " the format of the book is letters going back and forth between a girl and an older man. their history and relationship get explained to an extent by the letters, but not entirely. it was definitely a bummer, and the ending felt like it came too abruptly, but it was interesting in the sense that the two people writing had their own styles which also seemed to evolve. instead of it coming off like just a schizo author, it actually did read like if you just found a bunch of old bundled up letters between two people. not much more explanation than that, but interesting all on it's own, probably more so because it forces your imagination to fill in the gaps. "

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