Winner of the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize
This translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky remains true to the verbal inventiveness of Dostoevsky's prose, preserving the multiple voices, the humor, and the surprising modernity of the original.
The Brothers Karamazov is a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an exploration of erotic rivalry in a series of triangular love affairs involving the "wicked and sentimental" Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov and his three sons—impulsive and sensual Dmitri; the coldly rational Ivan; and the healthy, red-cheeked young novice Alyosha. Through the gripping events of their story, Dostoevsky portrays the whole of Russian life, its social and spiritual strivings, in what was both the golden age and a tragic turning point in Russian culture.
"It may well be that Dostoevsky's [world], with all its resourceful energies of life and language, is only now—and through the medium of [this] new translation—beginning to come home to the English-speaking reader."—John Bayley, The New York Review of Books
"[Dostoevsky is] at once the most literary and compulsively readable of novelists we continue to regard as great . . . The Brothers Karamazov stands as the culmination of his art—his last, longest, richest and most capacious book. [This] scrupulous rendition can only be welcomed. It returns to us a work we thought we knew, subtly altered and so made new again."—Donald Fanger, Washington Post Book World
"Absolutely faithful . . . Fulfills in remarkable measure most of the criteria for an ideal translation . . . The stylistic accuracy and versatility of registers used [by Pevear and Volokhonsky] bring out the richness and depth of the original in a way similar to a fitful and sensitive restoration of a painting."—The Independent (London)
"No reader who knows The Brothers Karamazov should ignore this magnificent translation. And no reader who doesn't should wait any longer to acquaint himself with one of the peaks of modern fiction."—USA Today
"This acclaimed English version of Dostoevsky's magnificent last novel does justice to all its levels of artistry and intention: as murder mystery, black comedy, pioneering work of psychological realism, and enduring statement about freedom, sin, and suffering . . . [The translators] come as close to Dostoevsky's Russian as possible."—Joseph Frank, Princeton University
"Far and away the best translation of Dostoevsky into English that I have seen . . . faithful . . . extremely readable . . . gripping."—Sidney Monas, University of Texas