Book Review | The Gambler by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky

Updated: Jun 24

Birth: November 11, 1821, Moscow, Russia

Death: February 9, 1881, St. Petersburg, Russia


The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky - 1866

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born on November 11, 1821 in Moscow. Dostoevsky published his first book "Poor Folk" in 1846. Dostoevsky was arrested in 1849, for alleged involvement in a conspiracy against the state. The novels he wrote after exile glorified Russian literature: Notes from Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Gambler, The Brothers Karamazov...

I would like to share with you today; The Gambler by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky.



Normally I started this book because I had nothing to do at home that day. But in the first two pages, it became my addiction for the following hours. I had never read Dostoevsky but I think I'm now going to.

His prose is full with beautiful metaphors and the dialogs are amazing. In my opinion, they are one of the best features of this book. I also admired the intensity of the characters and how they are so different and end up becoming all mad.


But the most interesting aspect of the book is that Dostoevsky has written the book just in a month to repay his gambling debts. This information should been known before start to reading this book.



“People really do like seeing their best friends humiliated; a large part of the friendship is based on humiliation; and that is an old truth,well known to all intelligent people.” /Dostoevsky
“It's curious and ridiculous how much the gaze of a prudish and painfully chaste man touched by love can sometimes express and that precisely at a moment when the man would of course sooner be glad to fall through the earth than to express anything with a word or a look.” /Dostoevsky
“But gamblers know how a man can sit for almost twenty-four hours at cards, without looking to right, or to left.” /Dostoevsky
“Know that I've forgotten precisely nothing; but I've driven it all out of my head for a time, even the memories--until I've radically improved my circumstances. Then...then you'll see, I'll rise from the dead!” /Dostoevsky
“I wanted to fathom her secrets; I wanted her to come to me and say: "I love you," and if not that, if that was senseless insanity, then...well, what was there to care about? Did I know what I wanted? I was like one demented: all I wanted was to be near her, in the halo of her glory, in her radiance, always, for ever, all my life. I knew nothing more!” /Dostoevsky

“But gamblers know how a man can sit for almost twenty-four hours at cards, without looking to right, or to left.”

“Russians alone are able to combine so many opposites in themselves at one and the same time.” /Dostoevsky
“If she had ordered me to throw myself down then, I would have done it! If she had said it only as a joke, said it with contempt, spitting on me... even then I would have jumped!” /Dostoevsky
“Nothing could be more absurd than moral lessons at such a moment! Oh, self-satisfied people: with what proud self-satisfaction such babblers are ready to utter their pronouncements! If they only knew to what degree I myself understand all the loathsomeness of my present condition, they wouldn't have the heart to teach me.” /Dostoevsky
“Can I possibly not understand myself that I'm a lost man? But--why can't I resurrect? Yes! it only takes being calculating and patient at least once in your life and--that's all! It only takes being steadfast at least once, and in an hour I can change my whole destiny!” /Dostoevsky


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