The Gambler

The Gambler

Book - 1981
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Its story of passion and despair is based on Dostoevsky's own experience as a compulsive gambler--but Dostoevsky was able to break away, whereas Alexei vows to quit as soon as he breaks even--an event, it is clear, that will never happen.Like so many other characters in Dostoeveky's novels, Alexei is trying to break through the wall of the established order and the human condition itself. But instead he is drawn into the roulette wheel's vortex.
Publisher: New York : London : W.W. Norton, 1981 (1997 [printing])
ISBN: 9780393316490
Branch Call Number: FICTION 1997
Characteristics: 180 p. ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Igrok. English


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Dec 08, 2011

Written in the space of a month to satisfy his publisher’s demands and to pay off gambling debts, Dostoyevsky wrote about a subject that he was very intimate with: addiction to gambling. This story deals with an array of mostly mean spirited and emotionally crippled characters that are impatiently waiting for a person whom they refer to as ‘Grandmother’ to die and subsequently inherit her fortune. To their total surprise, she appears at their hotel/casino where they are staying and to their horror begins to gamble at the roulette wheel, losing large sums.
Dostoyevsky’s skills in understanding human behaviour are clearly displayed in this dark but sometimes comical tale. Although not his best, this novel is worthy for anyone with an affinity for Dostoyevsky’s literature.

akarenina Apr 27, 2011

A rather light read for Dostoyevsky with no preaching or philosophizing about Orthodox Christianity.


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