Inspired by the true story of a political murder that horrified Russia in 1869, Fyodor Dostoevsky concieved Demons as a "novel-pamphlet" in which he would say everything about the plague of materialist ideology that he saw infecting his native land. What he emerged with in 1872 was at once his darkest novel until The Brothers Karmazov and his most ferociously funny. For alongside its relentlessly escalating plot of conspiracy and assassination, Demons (which earlier translators eroneously titled The Possessed) is a blistering comedy of ideas run amok. And, like all of Dostoevsky's novels, it is also a riot of literary voices, whose profusion, energy, and variety are rendered wonderfully in this new English version by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, winners of the PEN Book-of-the-month Club Translation Prize.
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