Review: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘Notes From Underground’ (See the light after you’ve read it!)

The Double is also worth a read (and after you've read it, watch the film by Richard Ayoade...)
The Double is also worth a read (and after you’ve read it, watch the film by Richard Ayoade…)

“I am a sick man, I am an angry man…”

As it’s World Book Day, I thought I’d review one of my favourite short stories. If you want a short introduction to existentialism, then forget those terrible ‘Short Introduction’ booklets that are meant for children. Don’t be a pretentious prat and vouch for Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘Existentialism and Humanism’, either (unless you want to improve your bookshelf, and if that’s the case I would recommend ‘Being and Nothingness’ instead, about 100 times the size of ‘Existentialism…). Instead, buy/borrow Dostoyevsky’s ‘Notes from Underground’. This also serves nicely as a ‘Short Introduction’ for Fyodor’s later works, as themes explored in this novel are embellished in his later greats such as ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ (which should be compulsory reading for everyone) and ‘Crime and Punishment.’ It prepares readers for his peculiarly 19th century Russian way of writing.  Continue reading