In the mood for a classic? Here’s one that will keep you reading because of its psychological complexities and suspenseful plot. “Crime and Punishment,” by Fyodor Dostoevsky, is a novel about a man who tests his limits by murdering an old pawnbroker. His name is Raskolnikov, a poverty-stricken and talented student. Through him, you see someone who is punished before even being caught. Ultimately, his crime is his punishment, because paranoia drives him into a delirium. Dostoevsky shows that the punishment given by the law is actually rehabilitation, a kind of catharsis.

As for Raskolnikov’s character, he’s definitely not the kind of guy you normally sympathize with, but somehow the story still pulls you in and makes you want to find out what happens, understand his motives and analyze his psyche. Dostoevsky tests the limits of the general role of a protagonist in a story. He creates one that commits the crime of an antagonist, yet still holds the title of protagonist, which goes to show that Raskolnikov is his own enemy.

Aside from the main character, this novel has multiple side stories of interest that all, of course, connect to the main plot. What fascinates me the most, however, is how these subplots could exist on their own if need be. That is how developed both the writing and the characters are. Dostoevsky takes his focus beyond Raskolnikov and makes minor characters complex. There are hardly any flat characters in the novel, which makes practically every angle of the story interesting.

When asked what my favorite book is, I can never give a straight answer. When asked what my favorite classic is, this is always the one I mention.

If you wish to buy this particular edition, I purchased the paperback from Barnes & Noble for $7.88.

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Yousra Medhkour is Layali’s Reviews blogger. She is a senior at the University of Toledo. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of English, with a concentration in creative writing, and a minor in Studio Art. She spends her free time reading countless books, a hobby that nurtured her love for words. With this passion of hers, Yousra aspires to become a published author.


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