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Extended Audio Sample The Double 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 (971 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781455195176
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This is the story of Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin.

Mr. Golyadkin, a minor government official, is a rather middling man. Then one day he meets his “double”—a man with the same name, face, and background. Initially charmed by the coincidence, Golyadkin soon notices a discernable cooling in the reaction of his friends and colleagues, while his double seems to grow in popularity. Mr. Golyadkin, unable to escape the relentless presence of “Golyadkin junior,” finds that even the most ordinary activities begin to take on a terrifying significance, until he finds himself on the verge of a breakdown.

The Double introduced the concept of the split personality or divided soul that would become a common psychological feature of the characters of Dostoevsky’s later novels. Considered the most Gogolesque of Dostoevsky’s works, the novella brilliantly depicts Golyadkin’s descent into madness in a way that is hauntingly poetic. The Double illustrates Dostoevsky’s uncanny ability to capture the complexity of human emotion especially the darker side of the human psyche. In this remarkable work of doppelgänger literature, Dostoevsky examines the neurosis and paranoia that cripple a seemingly ordinary man, producing a thoroughly modern nightmare, brilliantly foreshadowing the works of Kafka and Sartre.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In The Double, Dostoevsky’s method and his love for psychological analysis are revealed in all their fullness and originality. In this work he has penetrated so deep into the human soul, has gazed so fearlessly and feelingly into the innermost workings of human emotions, thoughts, and affairs that the impression produced by reading The Double may be compared only with the experience of a man of inquiring mind who has penetrated into the chemical composition of matter.”

    Valerian Maikov, Russian literary critic and publicist

  • “It’s the very complexity of ideas that the notion of a Double throws up that make this short novel so engaging and ultimately still so pertinent.”

    Jeremy Dyson, English screenwriter

  • The Double is the classic doppelganger tale, the story of a Russian bureaucrat who arrives at work one day to discover that a literal facsimile of himself has begun working there…An extremely dark and disturbing work of psychological horror, though the story also offers the potential for comedy.”

    Guardian (London)

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rhonda | 2/15/2014

    " I only read the Gambler, but it was enough. "

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

    " I love both of these novellas, though I really adored The Double. I know it's basically a rip-off of Gogol, but...I love Gogol. The Double is hilarious in ways Dostoevsky usually isn't; The Gambler is more "mature". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Benjamin | 1/31/2014

    " The Double is a classic, and The Gambler is quite the autobiographical story. Don't read these however until you've had some exposure to Dostoevsky. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/24/2014

    " The Double was a challenge and read a little like Tsarist Russian Fight Club. Very trippy. The Gambler was much more straight forward and quite sad, especially considering Dostoevsky himself was a gambler who lost all he had at the Roulette table. He used his experience to expert effect in his short novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben | 1/7/2014

    " Just finished the Double.. I wish I had someone I could talk to to help me understand it better. It was a bit difficult to follow at points, but I did enjoy it. I would read it again with a better understanding. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ali | 11/23/2013

    " The writing is of course good, as is the translation. I didn't adore it, though. I hated the dialogue, and I was thoroughly confused by the story. But that was, of course, the point. "

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

    " In The Double Dostoevsky explores the psychology revolving around a doppelganger and Goliadkin's breakdown. The Gambler highlights the life of a man addicted to gambling. This latter story ultimately depicts the dangers of an addiction overcoming a victim. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Liana | 10/29/2013

    " I read The Double and it was BOOOOOOO-RING! I could barely see through its verboseness to get to the literary pulp. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jordan | 9/10/2013

    " I love the Russians, I hate the Russians....I think I am a Russian. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dorothy | 5/4/2013

    " My go-to guy if I want a really good read, the kind I have to puzzle over for days. This is a two-for-one deal, and they're both fantastic, although The Gambler is the star of this volume. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 11/5/2012

    " Loved The Gambler, but could have done without The Double. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 11/2/2012

    " "The Double" should get three stars and "The Gambler" should get five. It doesn't really make sense to read them together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neil Randall | 9/15/2012

    " The ultimate in terror - you go to your suffocating, spirit crushing office job and see your exact double - clothes, looks - sitting opposite. Paranoia gone mad. Nabokov called it 'one of the finest books in the Russian literary canon'. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 ds white | 4/12/2010

    " This one is worth the Double alone. I think Fyodor wanted to be kind of Edgar Alllen Poe style writer, thank god he got past that, but this will send some chiulls up thew old frame. Also opne of if not his first published in full novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin Richey | 3/29/2010

    " I've only read The Gambler from this collection. It's worth the book in itself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 5/29/2009

    " sorry fd, this one only gets 5* for the gambler. one might say, "rockin." "

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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

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014, and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.