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Crime and Punishment: A Graphic Novel (Illustrated Classics)

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“And, in the dark, a thought came to me that no one had ever had before me: I wanted to kill someone, just in order to dare.”   This graphic adaptation of Crime and Punishment masterfully illuminates Dostoevsky’s psychological thriller. Acclaimed French artist Alain Korkos vividly brings to life the mental anguish and moral dilemmas that plague Raskolnikov, a poor St. Peters “And, in the dark, a thought came to me that no one had ever had before me: I wanted to kill someone, just in order to dare.”   This graphic adaptation of Crime and Punishment masterfully illuminates Dostoevsky’s psychological thriller. Acclaimed French artist Alain Korkos vividly brings to life the mental anguish and moral dilemmas that plague Raskolnikov, a poor St. Petersburg student who murders a miserly pawnbroker. In this classic of Russian literature, the hero, unable to quell his guilt and paranoia, falls from a self-styled “super human” to a tormented soul in search of redemption. Both a philosophical inquiry and searing social critique, this suspense-driven drama remains as widely popular today as ever.  


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“And, in the dark, a thought came to me that no one had ever had before me: I wanted to kill someone, just in order to dare.”   This graphic adaptation of Crime and Punishment masterfully illuminates Dostoevsky’s psychological thriller. Acclaimed French artist Alain Korkos vividly brings to life the mental anguish and moral dilemmas that plague Raskolnikov, a poor St. Peters “And, in the dark, a thought came to me that no one had ever had before me: I wanted to kill someone, just in order to dare.”   This graphic adaptation of Crime and Punishment masterfully illuminates Dostoevsky’s psychological thriller. Acclaimed French artist Alain Korkos vividly brings to life the mental anguish and moral dilemmas that plague Raskolnikov, a poor St. Petersburg student who murders a miserly pawnbroker. In this classic of Russian literature, the hero, unable to quell his guilt and paranoia, falls from a self-styled “super human” to a tormented soul in search of redemption. Both a philosophical inquiry and searing social critique, this suspense-driven drama remains as widely popular today as ever.  

30 review for Crime and Punishment: A Graphic Novel (Illustrated Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Crime and Punishment is one of my favorite books of all time, language rich, full of internal monologue and angst and despair. I am not sure what you get from this 120 page graphic adaptation of a more than 600 page epic story. This pares the story down to bare bones, but without poetry. It feels a little insulting, the very worst thing you can do to a classic, to dumb it down in the way elites have always feared comics adaptations would do to great works! If you are going to do a short adaptati Crime and Punishment is one of my favorite books of all time, language rich, full of internal monologue and angst and despair. I am not sure what you get from this 120 page graphic adaptation of a more than 600 page epic story. This pares the story down to bare bones, but without poetry. It feels a little insulting, the very worst thing you can do to a classic, to dumb it down in the way elites have always feared comics adaptations would do to great works! If you are going to do a short adaptation of a long work, do something unique with it, adapt it in an altogether new way! Okay, Mairowitz says he is "modernizing" it by setting it in the late twentieth century, or is this century. How do we know this? We see a Sex Pistols poster, and a "Scream" print. What other evidence is there for it's being modernized?! What purpose would it serve to modernize it, were it actually modernized? We get no clear answers from the text. I love this story, I mean the plot, which we do get a minimal sense of from this text, but I don't think it gets us interested in reading it if we haven't already read it, I am guessing. It just looks like a cat and mouse murder story, nothing unique about it. But I'll say, I give it two stars: one half star just because of the story, as truncated as it is, because it reminded me of the actual novel and it's nice to be reminded of its greatness, and another one and a half stars just because I liked the artwork quite a bit, and found it sometimes an interesting visualization of the characters. A talented artist shapes this story. But overall, it's a disappointment. Hitchcock said the ideal text length to adapt to a full length movie is a short story. To take a 600 page novel of remarkable complexity and depth and make it into a 120 page comic without doing anything unique to it artistically is an insult to Dostoevsky, to novelists, and to comics. So there.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Licha

    Can't quite rate this any higher because I haven't read the actual book and I can't compare it. I love that the classics are done in graphic novel format. It's a fabulous way to read them as a supplemental (never as a replacement of the actual novel) and also a great way to introduce someone to the classics. At least I would hope people would want to read the book after reading the graphic novel. This is a great story and has made me want to read some more of Dotoevsky's novels. The graphic nove Can't quite rate this any higher because I haven't read the actual book and I can't compare it. I love that the classics are done in graphic novel format. It's a fabulous way to read them as a supplemental (never as a replacement of the actual novel) and also a great way to introduce someone to the classics. At least I would hope people would want to read the book after reading the graphic novel. This is a great story and has made me want to read some more of Dotoevsky's novels. The graphic novel paints a depressing and stark setting for the story about a young man in despair who is grappling with the decision to commit murder and the perfect crime. It's the kind of story that always makes me want to jump inside the author's head and see how their creative juices flow. How did they come up with the story? Is there any part of it that is true to the author's life, even if it is a spectator or something he may have heard from someone? I want more of these classics in graphic format. I always seem to land on them merely by accident.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cynda

    I am preparing for a re-read of Crime and Punishment. I have read this book as a lead up to the re-read. More informative than a summary, and less troubling than the long version. The art is dramatic. This pure tonal representation and lack of color inform the sharpness of the story. Despite the hesitancy of the main character Rodyon Rasholnikov to admit his truth, his action remain definite (delineation of black and white) and self-limiting (only tones, no color). So the palette serves well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Ball

    "A black tormented feeling of solitude and alienation came over Raskolnikov. It was new and strange to him. Suddenly it was no longer possible to speak to these policeman."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Suresh

    This is my first introduction to the story of Crime and Punishment. Korkos and Mairowitz say in the introduction that Dostoevsky's novel "is generally interpreted as a story of private madness and individual redemption. Such a reading, however, is to ignore the dysfunctional social context of this virtually motiveless murder. In a world sharply divided... between the super-rich and the destitute, who is to say where the madness lies? This is a portrait of a society as a lunatic asylum, where... This is my first introduction to the story of Crime and Punishment. Korkos and Mairowitz say in the introduction that Dostoevsky's novel "is generally interpreted as a story of private madness and individual redemption. Such a reading, however, is to ignore the dysfunctional social context of this virtually motiveless murder. In a world sharply divided... between the super-rich and the destitute, who is to say where the madness lies? This is a portrait of a society as a lunatic asylum, where... the general population is left to go hang." During reading the graphic novel, I found some of the imagery and plots disturbing and I was tempted to cast the protagonist as mad and without ethics. But the words from the introduction kept coming to me, and I was easily reminded that in a world going mad and creating an unhealthy environment, it is easier for its global citizens to mirror the environment and ethics of the world. For example, we live in a world that is increasingly busy, and put at the periphery the importance of close community connection and of the value of simply being with loved ones. We always have to do, and in an increasingly capitalistic society, that doing is often encumbered with the perception that we are doing to meet our own needs. This mindset can make us go mad with the lack of inner peace it leaves us. Another global trend that can question our propensity for madness and our moral fibre is the strong meat eating culture that we exhibit where the perception and treatment of non human animal flesh is considered of far less value and easily dispensible. For a child or adult human to know of the killing and mistreatment of these animals, is to make it easier to lower the value of life and therefore to create violence towards any form of life. Therefore the madness sets in further to individuals in our society. Madness that is perpetuated by the society. As I was reading this book, I wondered why Dostoevsky choose to write this original work, as the content is so bleak and grim. I can easily understand, as I think of the culture and society he was living in. This outlook is, however, just as relevant today as it was then, as I have eluded to above. But then I wonder why choose the title of Crime and Punishment for his would be classic? That tends to highlight whether the protagonist can evade punishment for his crime rather than my reading of the content which is to highlight the effects of a mad world on its individual citizens.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    I was skeptical about a graphic novel adaptation of Crime and Punishment--one of my favorite novels--but I saw it on the shelf at the public library and the black and white illustrations grabbed my attention, so I checked it out. Now that I've read it, I see that I was right to be skeptical. The adaptation doesn't really work on any level. The primary difficulty is that Crime and Punishment is a very internal novel. Words, and especially the words of people's thoughts, are much more important th I was skeptical about a graphic novel adaptation of Crime and Punishment--one of my favorite novels--but I saw it on the shelf at the public library and the black and white illustrations grabbed my attention, so I checked it out. Now that I've read it, I see that I was right to be skeptical. The adaptation doesn't really work on any level. The primary difficulty is that Crime and Punishment is a very internal novel. Words, and especially the words of people's thoughts, are much more important than actions or visuals (though those are of course a big part of the novel as well). Dostoevsky's novel is a delight for a logophile like me. Translating that into graphic novel panels just loses too much. The visuals cannot convey everything that was in the words, and so the result is that this adaptation feels slight and confusing. With no knowledge of the original novel, I don't know how anyone would be able to understand what's happening in the graphic novel. A minor annoyance in this adaptation is the present-day Russia setting. I see no reason for this, and it adds nothing to the story. It allows the illustrator to put generic "emo" artwork (movie poster for Scream??) on people's apartment walls, and that is about all. The black and white illustrations are okay. They looked striking as I first flipped through the book, but on closer reading there's nothing really special about them. It would have been more interesting to use occasional colors--red blood, or other colors marking out places or people--but it wasn't done here. There may be a possibility of a better graphic novel adaptation of Crime and Punishment (I'd like to see Bill Sienkiewicz try it), but ultimately I think it's a tough project from the start and should probably be left alone. There is little to recommend in this attempt by Mairowitz and Korkos.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    I haven't read the original version of Crime and Punishment yet, but I am familiar with other Dostoevsky works, and combined with the excellent quality of this book, I am pretty sure it is an excellent adaptation and remains true to the story and its themes. The artwork seems to capture the depressing-reality nature of Dostoevsky's Russia, and is timely and important. This version really seems to sum up Crime and Punishment without the hundreds of pages which can sometimes be tedious and oh too I haven't read the original version of Crime and Punishment yet, but I am familiar with other Dostoevsky works, and combined with the excellent quality of this book, I am pretty sure it is an excellent adaptation and remains true to the story and its themes. The artwork seems to capture the depressing-reality nature of Dostoevsky's Russia, and is timely and important. This version really seems to sum up Crime and Punishment without the hundreds of pages which can sometimes be tedious and oh too depressing to read. On the other hand, certain no doubt important scenes are quickly skipped through by the GN, which only ensures that I will someday read the original to get the full message and experience. The images and philosophy of Crime and Punishment are just as relevant today, and in any place in the world, as they were in Dostoevsky's time; particularly the ethical/societal questions surrounding the right to and morality of killing, and the morality of actions in a world where morals are simply unnatural constructs.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    It must be hard to distil a 600 page novel into a fairly short graphic work, and this book is a fair indication of that. Needlessly updating the story to modern Russia (nothing is gained from this, the work is just as relevant today in its original setting), this book works on a superficial level but cannot gain the depth of the source material. Illustratively, the artwork is adequate, and assists the novel in moving at a fast pace; but ultimately it is the pace which undoes it. Crime And Punish It must be hard to distil a 600 page novel into a fairly short graphic work, and this book is a fair indication of that. Needlessly updating the story to modern Russia (nothing is gained from this, the work is just as relevant today in its original setting), this book works on a superficial level but cannot gain the depth of the source material. Illustratively, the artwork is adequate, and assists the novel in moving at a fast pace; but ultimately it is the pace which undoes it. Crime And Punishment is a work to be savoured, not quickly ingested, disgested, and ejected within the hour. For those who haven't read the source material, it is that book which is highly recommended.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Hollo

    Read this to get out of reading the long version. Glad I didn't read the long version, this one was boring enough as it was!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Iris D

    Page 27 is absolutely hilarious.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elle Kay

    As someone who has not read the original text, this was my first foray into Crime and Punishment and I felt that this adaption made sense and kept my interest for the entirety of the read. The story itself I can see could have a lot more detail, especially in the characters, and this was lacking in this graphic version but if you just want to be introdyced to Dostoevsky, then this is the perfect vehicle and the art style fits the dark nature of the tale really well.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laurel L. Perez

    3.5-4stars. I think this would be a great way to teach Crime and Punishment to high schoolers. It's much shorter than the original text, but touches on some big ideas that would be interesting to pull apart in the classroom.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Darina

    Didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paul Grass

    Easy to read This book was much easier to read then the long form and is a great alternative to the og novel.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    I think a lot was lost in translation from the original novel to this graphic novel adaptation. And the art was just...well, it wasn't my cup of tea. Would not recommend.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    I found this book quite hair-raising. The main character is quite mad, and the happenings in the book, that he partakes in, or witnesses, are shocking and unpleasant. I did know that the story wasn't going to be sunshine and sweetness, but I didn't realise it would be as unremitting dark as it is.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Becky B

    This is a graphic novel adaptation of Dostoevsky's classic about a man who thinks he can commit murder and get away with it, but the guilt drives him mad. And he ends up confessing to his otherwise perfect (and he thinks permissible) crime. After reading this I've realized there are probably some classics that are better off not in visual format. The book was going along, doing an ok job of portraying the classic novel in a re-imagined modern Russian context. But in being a part of the Russian lo This is a graphic novel adaptation of Dostoevsky's classic about a man who thinks he can commit murder and get away with it, but the guilt drives him mad. And he ends up confessing to his otherwise perfect (and he thinks permissible) crime. After reading this I've realized there are probably some classics that are better off not in visual format. The book was going along, doing an ok job of portraying the classic novel in a re-imagined modern Russian context. But in being a part of the Russian lower class, the main character is often and bars and other less reputable places. In portraying this the artist threw in some content that was really not necessary (view spoiler)[a stripper bar, a woman being groped in another bar, and a dream sequence that included several drawings of a naked woman in bed (hide spoiler)] and ruined it for me and for putting on the shelves for kids as I was hoping to do. Pick up an abridged version of the original in text only format if you want an easier read of the classic. Notes on content: A couple minor swear words. One non-verbal "swearing" (a woman giving someone the finger). There is the unnecessary sensual content noted above in the spoiler. And there are three murders portrayed, two with an ax and one with a gun.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jack Waters

    Of course it isn't as good as the ever-so-excellent "regular" version, but it was fun to see Raskolnikov drawn out and wandering in his confusion. I would recommend it to someone that has already read the unabridged classic already, lest the person feels they get the gist of the story, which would be a horrible thing to reduce Dostoevsky's prose to black and white panels with a general storyline. What I didn't like about it was the modernization of it. As far as I know -- and I could be wrong -- Of course it isn't as good as the ever-so-excellent "regular" version, but it was fun to see Raskolnikov drawn out and wandering in his confusion. I would recommend it to someone that has already read the unabridged classic already, lest the person feels they get the gist of the story, which would be a horrible thing to reduce Dostoevsky's prose to black and white panels with a general storyline. What I didn't like about it was the modernization of it. As far as I know -- and I could be wrong -- there weren't phones, laptops, Sex Pistols and Scream (the movie) posters around when Fyodor penned the book. Again, I could be wrong. What an unfortunate eyesore they were on the walls in a few frames of the graphic novel.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    My friends loved Crime and Punishment when they read it in high school, but I chose King Lear for that assignment and never got a chance with C&P, which I bought sometime around that year and have been sitting on ever since. This graphic novel is so slight that it is really nothing more than a summary, but by putting the story in modern times, and basically abridging the novel to 1/100th its original length, it still renewed my interest in the novel itself. That would really be the only purpose My friends loved Crime and Punishment when they read it in high school, but I chose King Lear for that assignment and never got a chance with C&P, which I bought sometime around that year and have been sitting on ever since. This graphic novel is so slight that it is really nothing more than a summary, but by putting the story in modern times, and basically abridging the novel to 1/100th its original length, it still renewed my interest in the novel itself. That would really be the only purpose of this book, and if I end up still not reading C&P, then this book basically has no reason to exist.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kerrie

    I started reading the original novel for our library book club. It's an enormous novel and not one of those books you can't wait to sit down and read each day. I decided life's too short to read a book you don't really like, and was told about the graphic novel. I read it in about a day and it was actually quite enjoyable. I've never read a graphic novel before, so that in itself was fun. I got an overview of what happens in the original book, which is good. Now I'm going to look through my list I started reading the original novel for our library book club. It's an enormous novel and not one of those books you can't wait to sit down and read each day. I decided life's too short to read a book you don't really like, and was told about the graphic novel. I read it in about a day and it was actually quite enjoyable. I've never read a graphic novel before, so that in itself was fun. I got an overview of what happens in the original book, which is good. Now I'm going to look through my list of other books in my "to read" list here on Goodreads, and find something I'm excited about reading.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Artguy

    It is quite an ambitious undertaking to try to convert a Russian masterpiece known for its reflective and complicated characters. Of course, the original was fantastic, although dark and rather nihilistic. This version leave much to be desired, unfortunately. It seems obvious that converting this novel into a 120 graphic novel means that it will be watered down, but this one is far too watery. They would have been better off trying to focus on one element, one major scene, but instead they take It is quite an ambitious undertaking to try to convert a Russian masterpiece known for its reflective and complicated characters. Of course, the original was fantastic, although dark and rather nihilistic. This version leave much to be desired, unfortunately. It seems obvious that converting this novel into a 120 graphic novel means that it will be watered down, but this one is far too watery. They would have been better off trying to focus on one element, one major scene, but instead they take you on a whirlwind flight through all the major points of the book. Like all cursory tours, it is all gloss and no substance.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    This modern retelling of Dostoevsky's classic has good points, but is so remarkably rushed that the pacing felt really awkward, and there was no sense that Raskolnikov actually suffered for his deeds, or from his paranoia about being investigated. By modernizing the story, rather than leaving it a period piece, the graphic novel creators put themselves up as almost competing with the original, and to that extent it suffers in the comparison. If you read it as if you'd never heard of the original, This modern retelling of Dostoevsky's classic has good points, but is so remarkably rushed that the pacing felt really awkward, and there was no sense that Raskolnikov actually suffered for his deeds, or from his paranoia about being investigated. By modernizing the story, rather than leaving it a period piece, the graphic novel creators put themselves up as almost competing with the original, and to that extent it suffers in the comparison. If you read it as if you'd never heard of the original, it will stand fairly well on its own, but the rushed pacing keeps me from giving it more than a third star.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    Public library copy. Purists of classic literature beware this unfaithful comic book adaptation based on Dostoyevsky's popular novel. This effort would have fared better if it were handled in the way Classics Illustrated treated material they published. Unfortunately, the story has been modernized to 21st Century, but worse of all there is no continuity to word balloons making it quite a task for the reader to follow the conversations between two people even though two separate panels are meant Public library copy. Purists of classic literature beware this unfaithful comic book adaptation based on Dostoyevsky's popular novel. This effort would have fared better if it were handled in the way Classics Illustrated treated material they published. Unfortunately, the story has been modernized to 21st Century, but worse of all there is no continuity to word balloons making it quite a task for the reader to follow the conversations between two people even though two separate panels are meant to be read in a back-and-forth manner.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nerdish Mum

    I feel badly that I'm giving this such a low score as Crime and Punishment is in my top three books of all time and I think everyone should read it. However this version just leaves me cold and by making the changes they did and moving it to "modern day" it has lost the magic and feeling that the original has. The reason it's three stars instead of less is that it is well written for all its let downs, and the art is well done and matches the tone, however the odd film/band posters were quite ja I feel badly that I'm giving this such a low score as Crime and Punishment is in my top three books of all time and I think everyone should read it. However this version just leaves me cold and by making the changes they did and moving it to "modern day" it has lost the magic and feeling that the original has. The reason it's three stars instead of less is that it is well written for all its let downs, and the art is well done and matches the tone, however the odd film/band posters were quite jarring.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I have not read the full-length novel, nor am I overly familiar with Russian literature. The Graphic Novel is visually interesting (the style seems influenced by Jamie Hewlett and Mike Mignola)and overall this makes for a nice, quick read. I admit there is a lot here I did not understand, and I would probably appreciate it more if I took a class on Russian literature. It's definitely not fluffy bunny subject matter.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fred Hudson

    The art was meh... The story was, well, I haven't read the original, but the story wasn't that wonderful. I think that there was some disconnect between the story and art, because I was left staring at a couple of pages trying to determine what was/had happened. Maybe if I read the original material I would like it better. The philosophically moral conundrum this book addresses never felt fully fleshed out. Therefore, it had no real lasting impact.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jj

    I thought this book was great, but I also felt bad for Raskolnikov. He did what he thought was noble, and courageous, by planning to kill an pawnbroker for her cash. Raskolnikov thinks that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds ,while ridding the world of a insects. I like how the graphic novel stays with the classical plot and characters. However, it adds its 21 century spin on the famous novel. I enjoyed this book and the author as well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I really liked how they moved the story from old Russia to new Russia, it still worked really well with the subject matter. The drawings were great. However, what I didn't like was seeing full frontal depictions of a teenage girl. That unnerved me. This alone is what caused me to give it a low rating. *shivers*

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    The chief virtue of this synopsis for me, as somebody who recently read the full-text version, is demonstrating by contrast how richly detailed and complex Dostoyevsky's novel really is. Boiling it down to 119 pages of text and image, Korkos and Mairowitz barely have room to get the plot outlined, let alone the nuances.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jami Zahemski

    This wasn't great. I've read other graphic novel adaptations of classics and they have always been good and added in my understanding of the original story. This was just confusing and juvenile, it read like a crappy soap opera. I understood the plot but the progression of the story was so confusing. I only gave it 2 stars because it did pick up slightly at the end.

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