Dostoevsky’s novella is brimming with irony: It was hastily written (dictated, in fact) in 1866 so the author could pay back debts he had incurred at the roulette wheel. The novella is told from the point of view of Alexei Ivanovich, who is love with Polina, a woman who exploits his ardor. Narrator Michael Kramer faces many challenges—Russian names, a variety of European accents, and several passages of untranslated French. He ably overcomes them all. In an almost-supercilious tone he portrays Alexei, who embodies all of Dostoevsky’s feelings about gambling’s seductive but devastating charms. Kramer also switches skillfully to the graceful Polina, the buffoonish general, and the haggard grandmother, giving full voice to the colorful cast of this psychologically rich novella. D.B. © AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2011]
Trade Ed. Tantor Media 2010
CD ISBN 9781452600727 $27.99 Six CDs
MP3-CD ISBN 9781452650722 $19.99 One MP3-CDs
DD ISBN multiple sources
Library Ed. Tantor Media 2010
CD ISBN 9781452630724 $66.99 Six CDs
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