Friday, April 21, 2017
Paul Strathern's "Dostoevsky in 90 Minutes": Audiobook Review
Robert Whitfield in the audio's 128 minutes gallops through Paul Strathern's Dostoevsky in 90 Minutes. Whitfield channels Strathern's condensation of the author's essence. Strathern. He hears rants in the less "civilized" Dostoevsky, for whom those in their late teens comprise his fan-base.
I checked this out from my library's download as it was the only audio title I could find on this writer. It opens with the famous vignette of the man facing imminent execution as part of a set-up, before he served four years in Siberia for seditious activities. That is, joining a reading group on utopian socialism. Dostoevsky was sentenced to hard labor. But out of this struggle began the impetus for his greatest works. Strathern regards them as not quite the equal perhaps of Tolstoy, the inevitable rival.
Yet for their literary intensity, their depictions of distorted ideals and tragic souls, his fiction endures. It may not be as polished as other Russian authors, but it does speak to the unleashed forces within us. This audio goes rapidly, but you get the gist of his career with excerpts from his major novels. (Amazon US 4/20/17)