Notes from the House of the Dead
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More About This Title Notes from the House of the Dead


Master translation of a neglected Russian classic into English

Long before Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago came Dostoevsky's Notes from the House of the Dead, a compelling account of the horrific conditions in Siberian labor camps. First published in 1861, this novel, based on Dostoevsky's own experience as a political prisoner, is a forerunner of his famous novels Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.

The characters and situations that Dostoevsky encountered in prison were so violent and extraordinary that they changed his psyche profoundly. Through that experience, he later said, he was resurrected into a new spiritual condition -- one in which he would create some of the greatest novels ever written.

Including an illuminating introduction by James Scanlan on Dostoevsky's prison years, this totally new translation by Boris Jakim captures Dostoevsky's semi-autobiographical narrative -- at times coarse, at times intensely emotional, at times philosophical -- in rich American English.


Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881) was a prominentRussiannovelist and writer and is widely considered one of themost outstanding and influential writers of modernliterature.


Rowan Williams
-- author of Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction
"As usual, Boris Jakim offers a fluent and accessible translation, giving us a new opportunity to encounter one of Dostoevsky's most seminal works. So much of the vision and insight of the great novels has its roots here in his nightmare experience in the Siberian penal camps, and here we have a first-class new rendering of this unique chronicle."

Robert Bird
-- author of Fyodor Dostoevsky
"This startling book was a sensation in its day and became the source of all of Dostoevsky's mature fictions. . . . Leo Tolstoy wrote that he did not know 'a better book in all modern literature.' One hundred and fifty years later, Notes from the House of the Dead still retains the quality of a literary experiment capable of shocking and moving its readers. Boris Jakim's new translation vividly and sensitively communicates the sense of discovery the work had for its first readers."

David Bentley Hart
-- author of The Beauty of the Infinite and Atheist Delusions
"Jakim captures Dostoevsky's voice with an immediacy and power that is perhaps a little uncanny. This should by all rights become the standard English edition of this book."