The Brothers Karamazov
Upon the untimely death of the brutal Fyodor Karamazov, a dramatic unravelling ensues. The murder of a man who has lived solely, and heedlessly, to satiate himself is hardly tragic, but proves to alter the lives of his three sons. The passionate and turbulent Dmitri's enmity with his father is well-known; the coldly intellectual Ivan realizes that his rationalism has unexpected consequences; the infallible Alyosha strives to keep his faith in the face of conflict. Vastly different, yet bound by circumstance, each must resolve his culpability in the crime. On the surface, the novel grapples with base things; money, rivalry and murder. At a deeper level, it ponders fundamental questions concerning free will and morality, suffering and forgiveness and, finally, the possibility of redemption in a bleak world. Completed shortly before Dostoyevsky's death, The Brothers Karamazov is considered to be his richest novel.