Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Notes from Underground

Blurb: The unnamed narrator of the novel, a former government official, has decided to retire from the world and lead a life of inactivity and contemplation. His fiercely bitter, cynical and witty monologue ranges from general observations and philosophical musings to memorable scenes from his own life, including his obsessive plans to exact revenge on an officer who has shown him disrespect and a dramatic encounter with a prostitute.

Thoughts: If you don't like a bitter, pretentious, at times knowingly dishonest protagonists wallowing in self-pity, do not read this book. However, conversely, that is almost exactly what I look for in a book. No sarcasm intended. Dostoevsky's portrayal of his "Underground Man" is perfect; the over-thought intellectualism, maddening stupidity and his witticisms on philosophy, religion, politics and life.  The character, though deeply flawed, seems to me to ring true of human nature. Perhaps it is simply that I am a bitter, pretentious philosophising lunatic, but this book is, honestly, bloody brilliant.


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