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Synopsis

The publisher's special commentary chapter and the author's biography are included in this version.

The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoyevsky portrays the life of convicts in a Siberian prison camp. The novel has also been published under the titles Memoirs from the House of The Dead and Notes from the Dead House.

The book is a loosely-knit collection of facts and events connected to life in a Siberian prison, organized by ""theme"" rather than as a continuous story. Dostoyevsky himself spent four years in exile in such a camp following his conviction for involvement in the Petrashevsky Circle. This experience allowed him to describe with great authenticity the conditions of prison life and the characters of the convicts.

This novel mirrors several of the horrifying experiences he witnessed while in prison. He recalls the guards’ brutality and relish in performing unspeakably cruel acts, the crimes that the convicted criminals committed, and the fact that tousled amongst these great brutes were good and decent individuals. However, he also displays admiration for the convicts’ abilities to commit murders without the slightest change in conscience.

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