Fyodor Dostoevsky by Peter Leithart

Fyodor Dostoevsky was a brilliant writer in search of the teachings of Christ. One of his best known works is Crime and Punishment. We follow his life from being the child of a doctor to his roller coaster of an existence in the literary world. His brilliant mind gave us insight into aspects of humanity that had scarcely been captured before.

I learned many things I did not know about Dostoevsky. The book gives you a portrait into the private life of a profound author. We also see his drinking, affairs, gambling, and then his release from these things. How amazing that today he would be thrown out of the church, but in his day to his people he was heralded a prophet. His understanding of Christ was definitely hard won and I admire his desire and his tenacity of faith.

I think you would need some basic knowledge of Dostoevsky's life before reading this book. It flashed around between different time periods and settings quite frequently. The book seems to largely be a version of historical fiction. Most of the time is spent on conversation. It is an interesting way of showcasing the information about his life, but it leaves you with a thirst for more information. I enjoyed the style of the book as adding to my current knowledge of the man. It helped me see him more as a man and less as a literary figure. This would be a great companion book to another source of knowledge about Fyodor.

This book was graciously provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers for review.


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