There was a time when I would have never dared to criticize Dostoyevsky. But that was a long time ago; nothing is sacred to me anymore.
Dostoyevsky started off strong talking about genius, tormented artists and how talent needs hard work otherwise it will only lead you to ruin. This part that dealt with Netochka’s stepfather was really good but then he died and we were left with Netochka.
From then on, all the characters concentrate mostly on blushing, going pale, fainting, swooning, and taking to bed due to emotional distress. I mean it, that’s all they do, especially Netochka. Sometimes I didn’t even get what they were upset about, I thought: “Oh my God, Netochka, stop being such a drama queen! What are you fainting about now?”.
This book is only about 175 pages but it is unfinished. You can tell Fyodor meant it to be a proper doorstopper but he must’ve realized he was losing the plot a bit and he couldn’t go on about people fainting for another 400 pages.
That said, I will give him a few bonus points for some proto-lesbianism you will find in the book.