I finished The Brothers Karamazov, not only my first Dostoevsky but my first substantial piece of Russian Literature. I had read a lot of Tolstoy's philosophical writings but that's all. It is a predictably heavy novel in tone and spirit, but what was not as predictable is the many moments of comedy and out-and-out satire. The central family has shades of the farcical melodrama of The Royal Tenenbaums or Magnificent Ambersons without losing that famed Russian humanism.
It's outstanding, one of the best books ever written on a bunch of interconnected themes but also probably one of the best written period. I can hardly name another book that better articulates the ignorant complicities of our behavior in the world, good and mostly bad, and how to lead a good, moral life that pleases ones soul in the process. It tackles the Problem of Evil and the Problem of Suffering in the world, and challenges the reader to what extent they contribute to either.
I have not related to a character as much as Ivan Karamazov since Hal from Infinite Jest.
I could not recommend this enough, particularly those living in spiritual angst.
I’ll need to read Brothers, Vader. I’m currently reading IQ84 (amazing btw) and it was referenced in it.
i'm a huge murakami guy in general. I have a copy of 1Q84 but haven't started it yet. I know a lot of folks think its way too long and meandering, but others who love it. I've read four of his books, two of which are favorites (Wind Up Bird and Kafka).
I just finished reading Metabolism in Architecture by Kisho Kurokawa.
Oh, and my 5 favourite English books are probably, as of now,
* East of Eden - John Steinbeck
* Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
* Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
* Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
* The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck