With a title about a preliminary investigation and the first few chapters all about the various lieutenants and prosecutors district attorneys and such, I did not have very high hopes for this book. Coming straight from the frenzy of Mitya’s mind in book 8, this section immediately pivots to something else: a murder mystery novel. I admit, this is not my favorite genre, but sprinkled throughout this book there are enough twists and turns and interesting tidbits that kept me going from page to page.
I think what I most enjoyed was the slow revelation of why Dmitri acted as he did in the previous book. As I mentioned, I didn’t understand him nor enjoy his monologues. But this book revealed the angst that the supposed death of Grigory put on him, as well as his anguish at being a thief, and his desire to end his life. I ended up having such overwhelming compassion for Dmitri in this book, which I believe shows Dostoevsky’s skill as a writer.
The differences in tone, theme, and perspective from section to section can get a bit jarring, but it also keeps me interested. It is obvious we are now supposed to be on Dmitri’s side. We are to believe him when he says he did not kill his father and feel a particular anguish for him that glory and redemption could be around the corner for him and Grushenka, if the world and the justice system weren’t about to grind him to a pulp.
At the very end, I was intrigued by Dmitri’s dream and wondered what it meant. Indeed, near the end of this section, I just kept wondering, what is it that Dostoevsky is trying to say to us here? And at the very end, the scene with Kalganov saying goodbye as Dmitri is hauled off in custody–I think this gets to the heart of it. Kalganov is dejected because he believes Dmitri did it, he believes that in his 20s he has seen all the world has to offer and that it is full of drunken parties and men who murder–suffering, lying, evil, one long scheme to have enough money and power to survive. “Is it worth it, is it worth it?” he keeps asking himself, a question I am sure that so many have asked, and continue to wail to God in our darkest times. I believe Dostoevsky aims to tell us yes. And I look forward to seeing how he gets there.
What stood out to you in this section? Any favorite moments or quotes? Keep going–we are officially in the last section and have already read over 500 pages! So pat yourself on the back and gird up your loins for the beginning of the end.