Saturday, February 24, 2018

Me? Listen to Audio?! #7

Here's what I listened to this week.

Brothers Karamazov. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Dramatized by Melissa Murray. Directed by Marc Beeby and Colin Guthrie. Starring Roy Marsden as Fyodor Karamazov. Five one hour episodes.

I listened to episodes two through five. I read the book last winter. Perhaps I should say I savored the book. I found it a wonderful read. I read it somewhat slowly; I read it while drinking tea for the most part.

I didn't enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed reading it. Dramas--radio dramas--should be well-paced. In my head, I know this. They should focus on action and intensity and, well, DRAMA. They shouldn't focus on the internal dialogue of a single character.

From my review of the book:

If you're looking for DRAMA and philosophy, look no further than Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov.

If Jerry Springer had had a talk show in the nineteenth century, the Karamazov family would have been his guests. Where to start?!

The father Fyodor has three sons by two different wives. Dmitry (Mitya, Mitry) is his oldest son, but, the two are VERY, VERY estranged. Why, you ask!!! Because both of them are chasing the same woman--Grushenka (Agrafena). She is possibly the town's most notorious 'loose' woman. Dmitry is not really free--in terms of honor--to chase her. He's technically engaged to another woman, Katerina Ivanovna. But for the past month--before the novel opens--he's seen only Grushenka. Ivan (Vanya) has fallen in love with his brother's cast off fiancee. And Katerina doesn't know which role she wants to play in this: the heartbroken victim or the strong survivor who moves on with her life and makes a new start.

On a fateful day, the three brothers, and, the has-no-shame father meet Starets Zosima privately at a monastery. Zosima is a local legend, a local holy man, and Aleksei (Alyosha) reveres him. (Alyosha is a monk at the time, and he remains so until Zosima's death). This family has brought a few tag along friends with them to witness the spectacle. And it is a spectacle. A cover-your-eyes and squirm-a-little spectacle where the father offends everyone but himself. Alyosha is soon torn in a dozen directions by his brothers. He's the perfect mediator it seems, too bad he never seems to find whatever brother he's looking for at the time! Still. He always listens and listens well as each brother confides in him. In fact, it's just not his brothers who confide in him, it seems the whole town knows he's a good listener.

Dmitry is absolutely desperate for money. But is he desperate enough to kill his father, and to steal his father's envelope of money? Yes, he's got a temper. Yes, his temper is made worse when he's been drinking. Yes, he makes dozens--if not hundreds--of "I'm going to kill him one of these days" statements. But is he capable of murder? And is love--or lust--motivation enough to kill a man he hates?

My thoughts: This one is a GREAT read. I loved the writing; I loved the increasing level of suspense. I loved, loved, loved Alyosha. I felt for many of the characters and genuinely wanted to see justice done. 

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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