by Fyodor Dostoyevsky | Grades 11-12 | Lexile Level 900
Determined to overreach his humanity and assert his untrammelled individual will, Raskolnikov, an impoverished student living in the St. Petersburg of the Tsars, commits an act of murder and theft and sets into motion a story which, for its excrutiating suspense, its atmospheric vividness, and its profundity of characterization and vision, is almost unequaled in the literatures of the world.
One of the world's greatest novels, Crime and Punishment is the story of a murder and its consequences--an unparalleled tale of suspense set in the midst of nineteenth-century Russia's troubled transition to the modern age.
In the slums of czarist St. Petersburg lives young Raskolnikov, a sensitive, intellectual student. The poverty he has always known drives him to believe that he is exempt from moral law. But when he puts this belief to the test, he suffers unbearably. Crime and punishment, the novel reminds us, grow from the same seed.