Cliff Ward opines on Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment:
"I am more of a human being for having read this novel. I hope it lasts.
This and Anna Karenina are almost tied for the best and most
elevating novels I've ever read (though Anna Karenina holds a hardy
first). It made me cry and wrench in emotional anguish more than most
books and less than Dostoevsky likely intended. The Greeks valued this
kind of tragedy for its cathartic effect, but I know of no group of
sufferers so adept at writing them than Russians. It was meant to evoke
pity and disgust and love and pure hope. And that is what it did for me.
I loved this book like I would love a person. Although, it is one
that you need to be ready for. You have to want to be made better by
it, not just entertained. For example, it’s easy for some parents to
give up on a child who seems to be forever lost. But it’s the parents
who endure with hope, even amidst seemingly insuperable suffering, that
find out what parenthood is really about—they discover, through
overcoming, the infinite nature of love. The same type of thing will
inevitably happen if you can resist giving up, avoid hanging yourself,
and read Crime and Punishment in its soul-informing entirety.
Thank you Dostoevsky for your obvious suffering and for doing something with that suffering."