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Download The Possessed Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Possessed (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (10,900 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky Narrator: Patrick Cullen Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN:
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Loosely based on sensational press reports of a Moscow student's murder by fellow revolutionists, The Possessed depicts the destructive chaos caused by outside agitators who move into a provincial town.

The enigmatic Stavrogin dominates the novel. His magnetic personality influences his tutor, the liberal intellectual poseur Stepan Verhovensky, and the teacher's revolutionary son Pyotr, as well as other radicals.

Stavrogin is portrayed as a man of strength without direction, capable of goodness and nobility. When Stavrogin loses his faith in God, however, he is seized by brutal desires he does not fully understand.

Widely considered the greatest political novel ever written, The Possessed showcases Dostoevsky's brilliant characterization, amazing insight into the human heart, and crushing criticism of the desire to manipulate the thought and behavior of others.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin | 2/20/2014

    " It has also been translated into "The Possessed" and "Devils." This is a book about tragedy, although Dostoevsky peppers it with humor and irony, something "Crime and Punishment" sorely lacks. It is the story of a group of men who want to cause a political uprising, but instead, cause mayhem and devastation for a select few. Dostoevsky understood the dangerous times and the struggles the Russian people went through. He explored the fallacies of their ideas and shows why these attempts to change things are bound to fail. He is quite prophetic, by the end of the book you can practically hear the violence of the Russian Revolution some half century later. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven | 2/9/2014

    " This novel is a bit slow-paced in places, as Dostoyevsky's novels often are, but it all culminates in a finale that really packs a punch, and so it's well worth the effort. The narrative follows the doings of a great array of characters (and I admit that at times I had difficulty keeping track of them all) who, in some way or another, come into contact with a small group of revolutionaries secretly plotting to, in some vague manner, disrupt the fabric of Russian society and thereby spur a nationwide uprising. Among those we encounter are socialists, anarchists, nihilists, artisans and poets, and various ne'er-do-wells of both the privileged and peasant classes. There is some high melodrama and a good bit of humor, but it all leads unrelentingly to a tragic and, as the author apparently sees it, inevitable end. Some have praised the novel as a prophecy of the Bolshevik Revolution (of which, Dostoyevsky, had he still been around, would most likely not have approved); however, all one needed to do at the time was read the headlines to know that Russia was near the boiling point as far as the potential for social upheaval was concerned. In fact, to some degree, that's just what Dostoyevsky did, as parts of the novel are drawn directly from real-life incidents. Dostoyevsky was in many ways a man plagued by contradictions, and this is often reflected in his writing. He aspired to be a champion of religious orthodoxy but could never seem to shake his own doubts about God, and he often tried to present himself as a humanitarian while staunchly defending the Tsar and the system of aristocratic privilege that was nineteenth century Russia. Although he was a keen observer of humanity and could draw characters with a dramatic intensity seldom seen in other writers, as a political critic and analyst he was rather simple. His depictions of revolutionary movements of the time are not at all sympathetic; the characters that are devoted to overthrowing Tsarist oppression are depicted as egomaniacal buffoons, completely lacking in morality or competence. Perhaps some of them were as he depicts them, but it seems unfair, and surely not accurate, to write such a sweeping epic of revolutionary times without at least one slightly heroic figure. Much as I enjoyed this novel, I was left wondering what the author, who was clearly a compassionate chronicler of the human condition, would have suggested as his solution to the ills of his time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 1/24/2014

    " I can't lie, the first 600 pages of this book dragged for me, and if not for my stubbornness and deep faith in Dostoevsky, I might have given up. DON'T GIVE UP. The last few chapters of this book make it all worth it. This is probably the most disturbing of his novels that I've read; haunting, moving, terrifying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 1/18/2014

    " Although this book was, of course, written exceptionally well and covered rather important societal themes, the fact that this has to be one of Dostoevsky's darkest works made this a tough read. I doubt I'll ever read this one a second time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 1/9/2014

    " make that 4.5 stars. I feel like he got carried away with the caricatures on this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Conrad | 12/27/2013

    " Not the best of his work but a dark look into the consequences of modernist thinking and humanistic philosophy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pperkins | 12/21/2013

    " Getting through the first half was the key to reading this challenging novel for me... and a character cheat sheet from Wikipedia! Anarchist groups eerily relevant to today's extremists. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cher | 12/18/2013

    " This book is usually translated as being titled: The Possessed. Absolutely brilliant work in which a politico couple come in to a town & totally "play" everyone in it, abusing their best intentions. It's sort of a political version of Dangerous Liaisons, only full of extra-tragic Russian melodrama. "

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

    " Its a good book, everyone should read it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Charles | 8/12/2013

    " I had to read The Possessed for a class in undergrad - I remember really dreading it and being super-intimidated, having to keep all the names straight. In the end, I really enjoyed it - perhaps a little too much - I think I became a little "possessed" myself... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mimi | 7/25/2013

    " Doestoevsky books (with the exception of "Crime and Punishment") have absolutely amazing, beautiful, and powerful vignettes, and slightly plodding plots. This definitely fits this pattern. However, the language in his novels are always absolutely amazing, and this translation is excellent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 keri | 5/6/2013

    " Sometimes think I like this better than any other Dostoyevsky because it feels so tightly wound. And it's totally frightening. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Desiree | 12/31/2012

    " One of my favorite books. Delves into socialism and revolution. Opened my eyes. Dostoyevsky is my favorite author. He is a masterful writer that interweaves serious themes with engaging characters. Ideas should never come before people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 6/30/2012

    " I love Dostoevsky and wish I could read him in the original Russian. That not being an option I highly recommend anything translated by Peavear. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris Lawnsby | 5/26/2012

    " I spent about 20 hours reading this book, and I literally don't remember anything about it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gruia Novac | 4/19/2012

    " My favorite book. What do these books have in common? They are life changing. This is the one that made me "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amina | 2/14/2012

    " I liked The Demons, mostly its characters, though sometimes the dialogue devolves in such funny ways. The translation may be a bit uneven. This is not the translation I read, actually, but the one by Magarshack. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Taylor | 1/31/2012

    " Awesome book. I wanna be Nikolai Stavrogin someday... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 AnnaV | 11/28/2011

    " All ugly things that can be in people are so meticulously presented in this book. i'd never believe one book can be so repulsive and fascinating at the same time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anton Anton | 7/18/2011

    " Antoher dostoevsky. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olegs | 4/23/2011

    " The book I read many times, probably one of the best books I have read. The book is a perfect predicition of the century of geo-political demons - 20th century! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roxy | 4/19/2011

    " This book went way too slowly, but overall was quite good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick | 3/6/2011

    " Beware of liberals keen to impress young radicals. In certain cases can lead to nihilism, suicide and murder. And pages and pages of existential crises. Masterful! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 2/8/2011

    " Good book. It was written to be a part of the Idiot so I think they should be read together. Or one after the other. Lots of correlations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pperkins | 1/11/2011

    " Had to put it aside for now, brain just not up to the challenge right now. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meghan | 1/6/2011

    " i think i missed a lot of the "thrust" of this book because i'm not russian and from the 19th century. but, it was interesting to see how each character played off each other. "

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About the Narrator

Patrick Cullen (a.k.a. John Lescault), a native of Massachusetts, is a graduate of the Catholic University of America. He lives in Washington, DC, where he works in theater.