Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 275
Dostoyevsky wrote Notes from Underground (1864) just before Crime and Punishment. Narrated by a tormented, alienated anti-hero, it introduces the moral, political, and social ideas developed in Crime and Punishment. Among Dostoyevsky's later novels, The Possessed (1871-72) is noteworthy for its critical portrayal of young Russian revolutionaries.
Dostoyevsky's last novel, The Brothers Karamazov (1880), is generally considered his masterpiece. A family tragedy of epic proportions, it too involves a murder. However, it is best known for its philosophical treatment of the nature of good and evil and the existence of God.
The hero of Fathers and Sons by Dostoyevsky's contemporary, Ivan Turgenev, is a young radical. Turgenev's political and social views were the opposite of Dostoyevsky's. This novel aroused much controversy when it was published in 1862.
Leo Tolstoy's epic novel War and Peace (1863-69) came out in serial form at about the same time as Crime and Punishment. It portrays upper-class Russian society during the Napoleonic wars. Tolstoy's clear, lucid style is often contrasted with Dostoyevsky's more intense and abrupt writing style.
The American scholar Joseph Frank has written a definitive multivolume biography of Dostoyevsky. Volume One, Dostoyevsky: The Seeds of Revolt (1976), covers the novelist's early life and his involvement in radical Russian politics. Volume Two, The Years of Ordeal, 1850-1859 (1983), covers Dostoyevsky's spiritual and political conversion in Siberia. Volume Three, The Stir of Liberation, 1860-1865 (1986), covers the years that led up to the writing of Crime and Punishment.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn (born 1918) is the twentieth-century Russian writer most often compared to Dostoyevsky. His novella One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962; English-language translation published 1963) is an account of life in a Soviet prison camp in Siberia.