One of the most significant of Dostoyevsky’s existential classics, The Possessed, (also translated into English as The Devils and Demons), offers a surprisingly modern hallucinatory nightmare in which Pyotr and Stavrogin are the leaders of a Russian revolutionary cell planning to overthrow the Tsar, destroy society and seize power for themselves. Together they train terrorists who are willing to go to any lengths to achieve their goals, even if the mission means suicide. But when it seems the group is about to be discovered, will their recruits be willing to kill one of their own circle in order to cover their tracks? Based on the real-life case of a Russian student murdered by his fellow revolutionaries, Dostoyevsky’s expansive novel is a commanding and prophetic depiction of nineteenth-century Russia, and a savage indictment of the madness and self-destruction of those who would use violence to achieve their ends.
FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY (1821-1881), one of the greatest of Russian authors, transformed the art of fiction. Author of numerous novels and short stories, including Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov, he is considered to be a literary colossus, and a central figure in the development of the modern novel.