Pyotr and Stavrogin are the leaders of a Russian revolutionary cell. Their aim is 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?
Partly based on the real-life case of a student murdered by his fellow revolutionaries, Dostoyevsky's sprawling novel is a powerful and prophetic, yet lively and often comic depiction of nineteenth-century Russia, and a savage indictment of the madness and self-destruction of those who use violence to serve their beliefs.
a Dostoyevsky was the only psychologist from whom I had anything to learn: he belongs to the happiest windfalls of my life, happier even than the discovery of Stendhal.a
Robert Maguire translation