Wednesday, the 23rd of November, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

This week’s pick is once again from my classics shelf, Notes from the Underground (1864) by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Written before his best-known works like Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, the ‘darkly fascinating’, Notes from the Underground is told by a nameless narrator, a ‘profoundly alienated individual’ and explores a range of themes–moral, political, religious and social. The narrative considers what is ‘true and good in a world of relative values and few absolutes’.

I have read a few of Dostoevsky’s works (only my most recent read, A Bad Business: Essential Stories by Fyodor Dostoevsky has been reviewed in this blog) and found them to be among other things, very thought provoking reads challenging for instance, the state of things in the world around us and providing insight into the (many times convoluted) minds of his characters yet keeping us guessing about their motivations, besides also offering social commentary. And this shorter piece of work appears to do the same. Considering the state of things around us today, the search for the good and true that the narrator goes through seems as relevant for us in the present as it was in the world the narrator lived in.

Have you read this one? How did you find it and how did it compare to any other Dostoevsky titles you’ve read?

Lisa’s pick this week is The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent, a piece of historical fiction about the daughter of a woman who was tried and hanged as a witch.

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11 thoughts on “Shelf Control #206: Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    1. I’d recommend Crime and Punishment or even the short stories for a start. C& P I read when I was at University and the short stories only earlier this year–the latter has a much broader range of his work, with what I’d term typical Dostevskian stories and some unexpected ones as well

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  1. I’ve read a *lot* of Dostoevsky over the years and some is harder than others. Oddly, despite its shorter length I do feel this is one of his more complex works because of all the themes it explores. I’ve read it twice and definitely think it would benefit from a third visit!!

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  2. I have not read Notes From the Underground or any of his books. I am very intrigued by Lisa’s choice this week, The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent.

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