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The Idiot

The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Robert Whitfield Well, I am really glad that I listened to The Idiot on audiobook, because I am absolutely certain that I would not have gotten through this if I had read it! As it was, I had to read the last 50 pages or so, so I am not just speculating here. This book was dense, full of ideas, and philosophies, and messages that I don't think I could fully process without discussing this book with some really smart people who adore Russian literature. But honestly, this book didn't hold me because of the ideas it contained. It held me because it was a pretty darn good story about an exceedingly kind but naive man, and his doomed attempt to fit into society, love, and, well, life. I don't know if I'll remember The Idiot in a few years, but I'd like to think that I will. The main character is pure and his story is compelling.

Robert Whitfield, the narrator of this audiobook, was outstanding. This narrator must have understood each of the characters in this story in order to bring them to life the way he did. He didn't just read the words that Dostoyevsky wrote, he knew why the characters were saying those words, and why they were saying them the way they were. His different voices for each of the characters were extremely helpful. His voices enabled me to keep track of everyone, and they enabled me to recall relationships among the characters. Without Whitfield's narration, I would not have enjoyed this book as much as I did. Heck, I wouldn't have even made it to the end!