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Constantly rebuffed from the social circles he aspires to frequent, the timid clerk Golyadkin is confronted by the sudden appearance of his double, a more brazen, confident and socially successful version of himself, who abuses and victimizes the original. As he is increasingly persecuted, Golyadkin finds his social, romantic and professional life unravelling, in a spiral that leads to a catastrophic denouement.
The Double, Dostoevsky’s second published work of fiction, which foreshadows in its themes many of his mature novels, is the surreal and hallucinatory tale of an unfortunate anti-hero, at once chilling in its depiction of the dark sides of human nature and exuberantly comical.
“The real nineteenth-century prophet was Dostoevsky, not Karl Marx.” Albert Camus
“The most impressive thing about The Double is how pertinent it feels today… like all the best fiction, The Double reinvents and rewrites itself for the current age.” Jeremy Dyson