Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Porfiry, a suspicious detective, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck.

Only Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute, can offer the chance of redemption. Along the way we hear the voices of struggling humanity in the back streets and slums of Petersburg. As the ensuing investigation and trial reveal the true identity of the murderer, Dostoyevsky’s ( dark masterpiece evokes a world where the lines between innocence and corruption, good and evil, blur and everyone’s faith in humanity is tested.

A modern day screen adaptation from 2002 ( is offered by Menahem Golan with Crispin Glover as Radion Raskolinkov, Vanessa Redgrave as Radion’s mother, and John Hurt as Porfiry the chief  investigator. Available on DVD at

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

720 pages in Penguin Classics paperback edition.

ISBN 978-0140449136

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