The Gambler (Kobo eBook)
First published in Russian in 1866, “The Gambler”, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is a gripping narrative of the dangers of gambling. As was common with Dostoyevsky’s other writings, he draws upon his own life in a semi-autobiographical way. Dostoyevksy himself suffered from a compulsion to gambling and had to complete “The Gambler” under a strict deadline to pay off his own debts. These first-hand experiences bring a depth of realism to the novel and to his portrayal of the main character, Alexei Ivanovitch, a young man who is working as a tutor to a Russian family living in a German hotel. This wealthy family has money troubles of their own and as a result of his association with them and their reckless attitude towards money, Alexei becomes addicted to the game of roulette. Alexei wins and loses vast sums of money in his pursuit of love, wealth, and acceptance by the aristocracy that he works for. Yet, like his winnings, these relationships are transitory, superficial, and ultimately sacrificed for his addiction. “The Gambler” is an insightful look at the compulsive nature of the gambling addict and the tragic consequences of such an addiction. This edition follows the translation of C. J. Hogarth and includes a biographical afterword.