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The Brothers Karamazov: A Novel in Four Parts and an Epilogue (Penguin Classics)

The Brothers Karamazov (Penguin Classics) - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, David McDuff The firorst tiem I triesd to reviw… Oh, I can see that typing is going tro be a problem here, and honestly I do not have the patience to fix all my mistakes right now. I just want to get these thoughts down. I can see that is going to create a slurred word/poor speech effect, but in fact if you were sitting here right now, you’d know that I am in fact NOT slurring any words, and speaking with the utmost eloquance. So let’s just agree to overlook the misspellings and whatnot, shall we? So what is the Drunken Book Review for? Is it some flight of fancy, some exercise inself-flattery that I, in my altered state, will umnshackel myself from the comventional notions of book reviewing and break through transcendently to a new plane of book reviewing, ushering in a new era of golden age of literary human history, like that little baby floating in space at the end of 2001 Space Oddyssey? Not gonna happen…. But what I WILL do is review brosn … Brothers Karamazov (to be called just BK from now on)BUT BRIAN!!! YOU ALREEADY DID THAT REVIEW!! YOU DON’T HAVE TO DOI T AGAIN?!!Yes, but my review from before sucked,and everybody knows it. Check it out (insert link here) [Edit: link here]To the Brian of 2009 (B09): You love that book, and yet your review is superficial and childlike. You aren’t helping anybody, and you are making us look bad.B09: Yes I am won’t you please fix it I am trapped int the past and no longer relevant to the modern world.Me: I have to do everything around her.e.Haha. I just realized I’m drunk on scotch AND I’m wearing a plaid shirt, so I have a total Scottish theme going. I just need to get throw my golf clubs (don’t have) into the back of my McClaren (don‘t have), put on some bagpipe tunes, and go out to buy a kilt! My mother’s side of the family is Scottish (ancestry) , and they even have a unique pattern of plaid that goes with their.. Whatever… clan, I guess. That always struck me as, I don’t know, very tribal. I am going to review BK drunk because try as I might, I can’t seem to reveiw gthe damn thing sober!! That giddied book is one of my five desreet island top five picks, and I can’t even put together a decent review about it. You know what? I think BK for me is like Infginite Jest is to Greg or Flesh, because they love that book, but then (and this is no offense to you guys because you write awesome reviews( ) when you read his review, it talks about a lot of things, because it measn so many things to them, but somehow it doesn’t get into the specifics what it is about if you never heard of theat book beofe.r. Theres not mention of Hal Indaznea the whole review, which is the same as myrevfiew of BK, where I don’t mention gruashinak and alyosha the whole review! (oh god, those Russian names are gonna kill me on this) I hope nobody bgets oupste I wrote that. NOOFFENSE!! ITS because (I’m guessing) there are too many things to say, and you want to talk about them all ,and then you don‘t get around to the details.. I totally get that. I get it, so are we cool? It happepnd to me too, with BK[Brian:BK] ~ [Greg:Infinte Jest] = Flesh singeas outinfinte jestIfucked that up, but you know what I mena.(off topic) You know Star Trek? Mr. Scotty? That wasn’t very Scottish, it seems to me. Nothing specific, but I just wasn’t feelin’ it. Sorry…try again next time.(back to BK) The following reasons includes (but is not limited to) the reasons why :1) it’s too big (TWSS)No, I don’t mean that there are too many pages. I’m saying it is too broad. There’s so much nuance,a nd so many details, and so many reasons why it is wonderful. On every single page. And the CAHARCATERS! Like probvably everybody eehere, I have tried my hand at creative writing, and you knonw what? I can’t make charatgers, because they are all too much the same. They’re all basically me (that is not an original idea, but I don’t know whatere it comes form right oww, and anyhow, that’s what happens. It’s like “that’s old man Brian“, “that’s Mexican brrian“, “that’s whatever… robot/farmer/ crackwhore brian“… I can’t make those characters different enough. But dysoktaoikvky (Oh God, I’m never going to spell that right. I should cut and paste it, but I’m I just don’t see that happening. From now on, I’m going to call the author Big D) Anyhow, BigD can make all those characters different and separate individuals, and I really admire that. I can’t do that. (hey, this is correcting some of your mistakes)This isn’t even what I wanted to talk about. Yes, Ctridwern said this would happen, and youre right. Talking about other things I didn’t thingk agout before. When I said it’s too big, I meant that any review of BK is bound to be like a review of the Grand Canyon. Think about it… how would you review the Grand Canyon if you were talking to somebody who never heard of it? “It’s really deep? There are many wonderful different colored rocks? It’s really pretty when the sun setting on it?” Those descriptions are such a joke. They are pathetic If you’ve ever SEEN the Grand Canyon, you’d know how short hthose descriptions frall from the actual experience of seeing it in real life. If you’ve actually BEEN THERE standing on the edge at Bright Angel, looking out onf the magnificence of it- the vast expanse of sky above you, and the hideous intense raw beauty of ten thousand geologic eons screeming along your optic nerves and biting into your brain , engulfing you like the deepest void of outer space on the blackest night, transcending and completely dwarfing the entire bucking and shuddering drama of human history, reducing it to a barely perceptible quivver, and extending out beyond the furthest light have ever reached until you are completely humbled by the infinitude of it all. Then why would you even TRY to review something like that? Because you would look like a DUMBASS!!! It’s like “Oh, I’m a piece of plankton,and I’ve decided that I’m going to write a review of all of the life in the ocean, with all the complex little ecosystems and niches, and the complex interractions and the dependencies and interdependencies and the food web of the food chain, DNA, evolution, the moon effecting the tides, and modern technologies nuclear submarines at the bottom of the ocean. I’ve got my pen ready! I’m going to find some paper! I’m just about to get started! Here I go! It’s going to b e chapter one… OH WAIT! I’m a plankton, with a little plankton’s brain, and I could nevrer comprehend what’s even twenty feet away from me.. I don’t even know that I myself am alive or exist! So maybe I better think twice about my grandiose plans to cataloge every last organism in history and the entire ocean and its contents with all of the inner workings and everything contained within. Don’t you really think that would be a better idea, maybe to just keep floating here and go where the tide takes me??BUT HERE’S THE SURPRISE TWIST YOU WEREN’T EXPECTING (AND neithener did I until I just realixed it)… Now I HAVE TO reveiew it, or else I become guilty of the FAKERS FREE PASS EFFECT (FFPE) which I fought against valiantly my whole life, particularly it seems (but not exclusively) in high school, where so much drama happens and kids have time to waste thinking about that kind of shit. WHATES THE FFPE BRAIN? WE NEVER HEARD OF THAT- PLEASE TELL US HWHATISIT?I MEAN WHAT IS IT? WHAT COULD IT POSSIBLY BE?As follows:There are some great things, like Shakespeare, (Or likle Mozart for music) which areso widely appreciated that it is common knowledge to everybody that they are great. So then you run into the cases where people who don’t know shit and didn’t even read it except the Cliff notes KNOW that they can get by just praising it without being too specific, and they when they don’t have an opinion and BRING NOTHING TO THE TABLE BUTt hey know nobody will ever challenge them, because hey! Who can argue with saying that Shakespeare is great? You can’t. so it’s like a free pass. That’s the lazy student’s way. That’s the faker’s free PASS And it used to get me so pissed off. In twelft grade English class was the height of this, I knew some people were doing this, so I took the position that Shakespeare was overrated (even though Romeo and Juliet is fun, and Julias Ceasar is obviously cool, and after high school I read Othello and he was the shit too) just to give people a hard time if I thought they were using FAKERS FREE PASS, and we’d get into arguments that I didn’t even believe myself… which is dumb, because of course the teacher never wanted to agree with any of my points, even though I WAS DOING HIS FUCKING JOB FOR HIM, because that’s what he was supposed to do, right? Make them work for it, don’t just say “yeah, you get an A because you said “Shakespeare’s mastry of imagery and beautiful language” without giving any examples. He thought I was an idiot, and I actually LIKED those plays.So to ward off any suspicion of FAKERS FREE PASS I must prodceed tpo review the BK, which I am in no fucking shape to be doing., and which in a round about way drunk book review was kind of a strategy to avoid doin g int the firtst place because I could have NOT talked about the book and then blamed it on”I was drunk” but that’s not my way, and I want to set a good example for the children, finishing what I started and not turning back just because things have become difficult for me in a turn of events which nobody could have expected,and which cannot be rightly laid on my doorstep as a consequence of which I am solely responsible. First of all, every one of those characters has their own motivations. The family is totally dysfunctional, but in a way where they are each acting rationally (well that’s how it always is, isn’t it?) even though the father is mostly an asshole. I don’t know why this fascinates me so much, because my family was for most part got along well, and my parents were pretty good to me and my sister. My Dad wasn’t like the father in BK at all. My sister did her own thing, and I we fought some when we were younger, which is normal but basically got along okay when she got more mature and could see how right I am about everything (just ikidding) But the only time I saw anything in my family like the dysfunctional family in BK was once… and I’m not going to air dirty laundry here, but just a legal matter involving all the siblings of my grandparents (I’m trying to be vague here- it‘sn to important) , and you could kind of see both sides of it, and each person wanted to press their point and get their way, and if it wasn’t in the family it would probably be like all-out war, but since you kind of have that gravity of familial bonds pulling people back in, that keeps people from acting out in a way that can’t be repaired, so not only isthere all of this inter-person tension, but then EACH person has a tenstion inside them which they are also wrestling with, which is an added layer of complexity, and that is a hard thing to even get your heard around in real live, but BigD WRITES ABOUT IT in fiction and makes it seem so real, and believable. (Goddamn, I’m drunk but that actually kind of came out sounding not too bad! Or will I wake up tomorrow and it doesn’t make sense, like when people trip out on LSD and paint something they think is a masterpiece but the next day its total garbage? I used to paint a lot for a hobby, and some of it was kind of surreal and trippy, and once this friend of minewas looking at what I painted and she started talking about how great LSD is, and all these trips she had, and I was thinking like “Why is she telling me all this?” and then I found out that she just assumed I was big into LSD because ofmy paintings! I never took it though.Oh, this is a good place to start talking about Grushenka! Grushika is just like Mildred from Sommerste Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage”- just a miserable person, yet she’s the focus of farther ahdn son competing for her affections… why? What do they see in her? So first of all, it’s “like father like son” right? I mean we see our parents and say “I won’t make the same misktakes as them” but you’ve got their dna AND they raised you, so you’re fighting NATURE AND NURTURE trying not to be like your parents. And why settle for trash like Grushenka anyway? Because she really is kind of miserable. But you kind of have to take it symbolically, like it doesn‘t matter who or what she is, but if the older Karomrazov wants her, then so does Dmitry, just because she‘s there and he wants what his father wants and doesn’t want him to get her. But look at her… it’s not much of a life. Why not try for something better? Well, the fucked up thing is that Dmitiry actually has something better- Katrina, who loves him and wants to marry him. So what does he do? Borrow some money from her and spend it on grushenka… then try to get his brother to get Katrina to break up with him. That’s pathetic. Look at this whole family- they are miserable, and instead of inspiring and helping each other achieve a better life, they jealously hold each other back and fight over the little scraps when it should be intuitive to even the most casual impartial observer they could be having a feast if they helped each other get ahead… which, by the way, what the fuck is a family even FOR if it isn‘t to help each other in a world which has many dangers and people who would like to take advantage of you? It should be like the one safe place. The father doesn’t want to give dmitry his inheritance, just out of greed (to spend it on booze and women), and partly out of spite/vanity (don’t want to see his son use it to achieve a better life). But isn’t it obvious that Dmitry is intelligent, and if he took that money in his youth and struck out to make a name for himself, and if he met with success, he’d take care of his father in his old age? Maybe he’d have a place in the city where the father could meet some woman (symbol for a whole lifestyle) ten times hotter than Grushenka, chick who was actually NICE, like Katrina who has some substance. And that goes for all the brothers. Okay, this is complicated…. It isn’t like Grushenka is as bad as you think at first either. It‘s been a while so I don‘t remember everything but there are some things revealed…she has some emotional baggage and other things going on, so by the end of the book, you don‘t dislike her, you just feel sorry for her. There’s something else I wanted to say here about ---- the bastard son (the one with the complicated name) who the father is keeping as a servant. That’s fucked up.. Like the father, who is whoring around, drinking his kids’ inheritance, dragging the family name through the mud… now all the sudden he’s worried about what the neighbors would think that he had a kid out of wedlock? So you treat him like a fucking second class citizen instead of your own flesh and blood. Who’s that racist senator who had a black daughter out of wedlock, and then denied her his whole life? It’s probably in Google. Fuck him- if there’s a hell, he needs to be burning in it. But you know? After he died, she came out and said "I'm his daughter" and she was the sweetest old lady (now) and he always shunned her and never got to really know her, but she was such a wonderful person he denied himself knowning, and that is a kind of hell too- that he made for himself. Or not hell, but punishment. It’s a microcosm of the whole human race- we could be advancing together and everybody benefits, but instead we’re like the crabs waiting in the tank at the restaurant, and when one crab tries to get to the top, the other ones below pull him back down. They all get cooked in the end (by international bankers building a police state) but it wouldn’t have to be that way. Anyhow, later the father was murdered, and it was a big mystery who did it, and looked a lot like (Smerdy? Was that his name?) did it… and I was like “fuck yeah, who can blame him?” The way the brothers interacted was very complex though. (examples?)Yeah, I wanted to say something about the justice system too- because the father wants to go to the monistarya to get the old priest (I forget his name) to arbitrate about the matter of the inheritance, because the church has respectability, but then when he gets there he starts acting like a total douche. Why? Garuneteed every time when someboy is acting like an asshole, it’s either because: (1) they are irritable because some need is not being met (sleep, hunger, etc) or (2) out of insecurity or weakness, feeling of vulnerability, or (3) psychopath (but this is very rare) Well, it turns out that was exactly the reason. The father got the notion that maybe the old priest won’t arbitrate IN HIS FAVOR, then he goes on to deny the legitimacy of the church, religion, the priesthood, etc etc etc. Not exactly the best guest in a monistary. It’s like every social contract is essentially self-interested, which on one level I completely understand, but then if you abandon the foundational principles when it suits you, and deny legitimacy of these things, it shows that self interest is the ONLY thing you have… all the institutions, philosophies never meant anything, because they were just a means to an end, and the entire industry built up around supporting those things have either been a complete waste of time, or worse yet, they are exploitive… because if somebody else out there is supporting it, what’s their angle, and why are they supporting it, and what are they getting out of it? In that regard, maybe the only virtuous person is somebody with nothing to lose and no investment in society, like homelss people, and the biggest criminals are the people behind our institutions, and at the positions of leadership… and I can’t always believe that either, because look at people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who were wealthy, but obviously had higher ideals. Washington was offered kingship and turned it down. Jeffernson wrote the Declaration of Independence, at great personal risk to himself, in the service of ideals. So obviously SOME important people DO actually believe the lofty principles… the question is how many people believe, and how many people are just parasites using the sytem only for personal gain? Alyosha The priest is the character those questions reveolve around because the priesthood was houw you got ahead in those days. Only the church and the the landed aristocracy had any good life. You had to be born into the aristocracy, but if you were smart, you could make it into the church.. But then what kind of people do you get in charge ofr the church? Social climbersand ambitious people who want the money and power of the church, but fuck if they believe in the morality the church is supposed to stand for. (I will come back to this part- I want to saysomethign about the other brother0 (CONTINUED BELOW)