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Publisher's Summary

First published in 1846, Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novella The Double is a classic doppelganger story and the second major work published by the author. It is the story of Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, a government clerk who believes that a fellow clerk has taken over his identity and is determined to bring about his ruin. Considered the most Gogolesque of Dostoyevsky's works, the novella brilliantly depicts Golyadkin's descent into madness in a way that is hauntingly poetic. The Double illustrates Dostoyevsky's uncanny ability at capturing the complexity of human emotion, especially the darker side of the human psyche.

Public Domain (P)2012 AudioGO

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  • Darwin8u
  • 07-01-2013

Wish I could have read it in the original Russian

Dostoevsky's 'The Double' is one of those novellas/novels where I REALLY wish I could have read it in the original Russian. His Gogol-inspired novella plays with language, poetry, puns and double entendres are hard to translate adequately (go with Pevear and Volokhonsky for the poetry and avoid Constance Garnett). While patterns still do emerge in translations, they are fragmented and seem often like poor reflections of what the original must be.

After reading this short, early piece of Dostoevsky it is nice to start recognizing its influence on other authors and their work. I finished reading 'the Double' and immediately started seeing how Dostoevsky fits and flips right into the whole bizarre family tree of madness literature. Dostoevsky's double/doppelgänger/unreliable narrator idea inspired a whole fugue of Nabokov novels ('Despair', 'Pale Fire', etc), entire Kafkaesque worlds, Solaris, the Riplad, etc.

Anyway, if you love Russian novels and love Dostoevsky, this is a must (especially if you also love Nabokov). If you haven't read Dostoevsky yet, I'd probably start with 'Crime & Punishment', 'Brothers Karamazov', and/or 'the Idiot' first

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  • Anthony I. Levero
  • 19-11-2020

Complex and Surreal

As with most of Dostoyevsky there are many characters and many difficult names. Some characters have two names. A good mystery that will remain a mystery until I find some notes online

3 people found this helpful

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  • Braeden Komasincki
  • 29-10-2020

Is it better than the movie?

Honestly I'd say no, but it's certainly worth the listen. Even if only because you know Dostoyevsky is a great writer.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Xavier
  • 25-06-2019

Broken Recordings

It's odd. The Narrator goes through the story as if he's reading a Superman story over 1920s radio. "Our hero leaves the shop.." etc. in this vintage tone. It doesn't seem to match the story at all.

Also, there are regular cuts and breaks in the audio where I can't tell if it's an editing error or if there is some corruption in the file itself. Every time it happens it's very jarring and makes me lose my place in an already confusing/boring story. Just not for me.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Squeak
  • 29-01-2021

Excellent narration

The narrator possesses an absolutely vivid voice that brings this short, psychological thriller to life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Yas
  • 28-01-2021

Powerful

The power of proper behavior is in the admiration it creates across the board.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • just asking for some common sense
  • 17-01-2021

Interesting psychological story

This book seems like it was ahead of its time. It raises questions - what would you do if a doppelganger showed up in your life? What if that double also had your same name? What is going on here? For me, the first third was confusing, but I checked a plot summary out and it helped me immensely. I had some clarity, probably more than the main character. Normally I don't want to know anything ahead of time, but I would have abandoned it if I hadn't done so. If it hadn't been for my confusion in the beginning it may have hit five stars. But four is respectable.

The narration was good, but not my favorite. Still it gets four stars.

I've read several of Dostoyevsky's works, but found this the most ahead of its time. I could imagine this as an updated black and white Alfred Hitchcock movie. He would have done this story well.

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  • Jade
  • 23-04-2018

Must remember to listen to sample 1st

Couldn't get past 1st chapter, sounded like a robot with no clue what was reading

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