An ex-convict looks back on the books he read, from Dostoevsky to Malcolm X, during the decade he spent behind bars.
We all know about Tolstoy, Chekhov, and Dostoevsky, but what about their compatriot, Nikolai Leskov?
If Dostoevsky unintentionally laid the philosophical groundwork upon which Putin now stands, then Tolstoy offers the solution.
Dostoevsky is such a bad writer it is hard to take him seriously as a novelist, though he is a wonderful philosopher.
Your work has been variously, and positively, compared to Nabokov, Dostoevsky, and Camus, to name a few.
If Dostoevsky had had less vision he would have been Strindberg.
And it is here that Gorki seems to us almost to surpass Dostoevsky.
Who can tell, in Dostoevsky's grim town-scenery, what there is at the end of the street, what lies round the next corner?
And here Gorki is a true creator, even if as artist he ranks below Dostoevsky.
It is easy to see why Dostoevsky has become a popular author.