“What classic has most surprised you so far, and why?”
Frankly, I considered not answering this question because I was stumped for quite awhile, until I revisited my list of completed novels. As I mulled over the list, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky translated by Constance Garnett really stood out. This was my first Russian novel, and I was honestly intimidated by it. In fact, in my initial review of this title, I noted that I would have completely ignored it because of my intimidation. I would have never put it on my reading list, considering it would have been out of my league; but it was on the WEM list, and I had to attempt it.
Not only was I surprised by the ease and pleasure of reading and comprehension, but also I thoroughly enjoyed the mounting plot, the suspenseful moments, and the intertwining network of all of the characters. At times it was nail biting, and other times the author reduced me to bare empathy even for the criminal. The environment was unforgettable because of the poverty for many of the characters, and that stands out to me, especially considering many of the surrounding novels I am reading are set in more content and prosperous settings.
It was very well done, and I shall never forget my experience reading through Crime and Punishment.