The unnamed narrator of the novel, a former government official, has decided to retire from the world and lead a life of inactivity and contemplation. His fiercely bitter, cynical and witty monologue ranges from general observations and philosophical musings to memorable
scenes from his own life, including his obsessive plans to exact revenge on an officer who has shown him disrespect and a dramatic encounter with a prostitute.
Seen by many as the first existentialist novel and showcasing the best of Dostoevsky’s dry humour, Notes from Underground
was a pivotal moment in the development of modern literature and has inspired countless novelists, thinkers and film-makers.
'The real nineteenth-century prophet was Dostoevsky, not Karl Marx.' Albert Camus
Read an excerpt from Notes from Underground
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