Raskolnikov, a former student who is now destitute and desperate, is seen wandering through the slums of St. Petersburg, where he commits a senseless murder without any remorse or regret. He sees himself as a great man, on par with Napoleon, who acts for a cause that is above and beyond the bounds of conventional moral law. Raskolnikov, however, is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds that the noose of his own guilt is tightening around his neck just as he embarks on a perilous game of cat and mouse with a dubious police investigator. During this time, Raskolnikov finds himself in an increasingly precarious situation. Only Sonya, a destitute prostitute, can provide the opportunity for redemption in this situation.
This lively translation of Dostoyevsky’s great novel, rendered by David McDuff, has been hailed as the most approachable version of the book because it captures the dialogue of the characters with a force and naturalism that is unmatched. In addition, this edition of Crime and Punishment has included a new chronology of both Dostoyevsky’s life and works.