Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, commits a random murder without remorse or regret, imagining himself to be a great man far above moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with a suspicious police investigator, his own conscience begins to torment him and he seeks sympathy and redemption from Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute.
How Raskolnikov, a former student, deluded, kind, handsome, mercilessly intellectual, comes half-dreaming with a borrowed hatchet to murder an old woman money-lender, is the central action of Crime and Punishment.
From its opening pages Dostoyevsky attaches us unreservedly to his hero, creating an intimacy that is claustrophobic, full of tension, and as haunting and relentless as a love affair. Begun as a novel concerned with the psychology of a crime and the process of guilt, it surpasses itself to take on the tragic forces of myth.
Original title: Преступление и Наказание (Prestuplenije i nakzanilje)
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Literary Fiction/classics