So everyone in this ends up either dead, mad or broke and miserable. So it’s Russian then. A good one by Dostoyevsky, the gambling refers not only to the betting that ruins pretty much each and every one of the characters in the story, but the choices and decisions each make when weathering their rises and falls in fortune. A good book to read if you enjoyed Kurt Vonnegut’s Hocus Pocus.

The person I really sympathised with was Polina. Yes she can be a bitch from time to time, but she is surrounded by dissolute, melodramatic fools and is the only one who seems to have her head screwed on. She’s like a woman tied to the train tracks, watching the utter destruction of her family coming at her head-on and unable to stop it. All the while she has this idiot fluttering around her, professing a lot of hot air about devotion and making a lot of grand gestures, but nothing she actually fucking needs, like an even keel and some actual practical help. Then he turns out to be a degenerate gambler just like her father. No wonder she can be a bitch sometimes, who wouldn’t be in those circumstances?

A good Dostoyevsky and a good book.