The Idiot: Final Thoughts

I finished The Idiot by Dostoyevsky this past weekend, and before I move on, I have a few final words about my first Classics Club read of 2023.

STATS: 643 pages in 23.5 hours.

That’s around 30 pages an hour, in 13 days, or around 2 hours of reading a day. An hour in the morning, and an hour in the evening. See? It’s not that much. I get a lot of comments about how much I read, and sometimes I get defensive about it. I don’t think it’s that much, not really.

Besides, what’s TOO MUCH reading, anyway? I get my work done. I socialize. Don’t be jealous!

The ending was… unexpected and thrilling. The last day or two of reading, I kept wanting to get back to it. I was one hundred pages from the end and didn’t know what was going to happen. It felt tragic. I mean, it’s Dostoyevsky, so of course it’s going to be tragic. But I didn’t expect what happened.

That’s my way of getting you to read the book. What happened? You have to read it to find out!

As is my style, I looked to see if anyone has made a movie of this glorious book and found out that the answer is yes, but I can’t watch it, AGAIN! I can see the trailer and fall in love with it, but I can’t find the movie.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why every movie on the planet is not readily available to watch on my tv. What year is it, good sir?!


Watching the trailer gave me a whole new perspective on the characters. From my reading, I didn’t get the sense of how innocent and a bit obsessive Prince Myshkin was. And Nastassya, wow. Once again, I’m wondering, was it the translation, or my lack of insight?

When I read the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of Crime & Punishment, I was in tears. The version I have of The Idiot is by Carlisle and written in 1969. Reading it, I thought maybe the book wasn’t as good as Crime & Punishment, but then I saw that trailer on YouTube and my heart was stolen.

That’s it. I’m getting the other version and skimming through it.

Here’s my final quote from the book.

“It is true that there was in her a great deal that was bookish, dreamily romantic, capricious, and fanciful, but there was also much that was strong and deep.”

No need to expand on that, other than to say it described who I dream that I am.

Want to read more? Start from my first post New CLASSIC Read: The Idiot.

It’s windy and cold outside. Like, The Wizard of Oz kind of windy. Desert winter. It may not be below zero or snowing, but damn… 40 degrees and 40mph winds are just not fun. To steer clear of it, I’m deep in an organizing and cleaning binge, wondering if it would be a good idea to spend the entire day alphabetizing my non-fiction shelves. What do you think?

full book shelves

I probably should put my Christmas decorations away first, but I’d have to go outside and get the boxes. No thanks.

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