One of the world's greatest novels, Crime and Punishment is the story of a murder and its consequences—a tale of suspense without equal, set in the midst of nineteenth-century Russia's troubled transition to the modern age. The novel's young protagonist, Raskolnikov, is a sensitive intellectual driven by poverty to believe he is exempt from moral law. In this brilliant translation by noted scholar and literary critic Sidney Monas, we are privy to the supreme expression of an author who "explored pathological states and the psychology of high tension, the realm of 'obsession' and 'possession,' because it was there one could most clearly and dramatically see the human consequences of an idea carried ruthlessly through to its logical conclusion. . . .For Dostoyevsky, an idea always has skin around it, and a human personality."
An illuminating introduction, written by Leonard J. Stanton and James D. Hardy, Jr., defines the global literary significance of Crime and Punishment, and focuses on the spiritual dimension of the novel as one of a Christian journey in the classic tradition.