“The Idiot” by Dostoevsky

  “The Idiot” is one of Dostoevsky’s most intriguing novels, as it is Dostoevsky’s attempt to write a novel about a character who is purely good.  I studied this book in undergrad and so could go on about it for hours, but I shall try to be a bit more succinct. Prince Myshkin is theRead more

“Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

  I just finished reading “Slaughterhouse Five” for the first time.  I should have read it years ago; in fact, I attempted to read it my freshmen year of high school, but then was mildly traumatized after reading that a soldier in the novel carried around a picture of a girl attempting intercourse with aRead more

“The Nose” by Gogol

“The Nose” is a short story by Nikolai Gogol, and is one of the first examples of surrealism in literature.  It was written in the 1830s, so it’s about a hundred years before surrealism became common.  For anyone who is interested in reading it, it can be found here full text in English. The storyRead more

“Demons” by Fyodor Dostoevsky

  This book was singlehandedly responsible for getting me into Russian literature.  I came across a battered paperback copy in my high school library (a terrible translation, mind you, with the title still as “The Possessed” instead of “Demons”) and was immediately sucked in.  Now I’m a huge Russian lit nerd.  Dostoevsky, I blame you!Read more

“Pale Fire” by Vladimir Nabokov

This novel is written in a rather unique style.  It opens with an epic poem by the fictitious author John Shade about his daughter’s suicide.  The rest of the novel is then a commentary on the poem by the poet’s friend, Charles Kinbote.  True to his style, Nabokov uses the narcissistic Kinbote as an unreliableRead more