Notes From Underground is a novel that completely changed my view of literature. I would hate to spoil the potential mind massage that would come from this book so I’ll keep my thoughts brief. “Notes From Underground,” however, remains anything but brief. We are shown an unfiltered series of our main characters' thoughts. We learn this nameless man is a pessimistic and cynical man with a troubled past. This information leads us into his heart-wrenching past where we see an insecure and socially awkward man try and communicate to women and his fellow peers while trying to feel like he’s won in some way during his life. All of these stories and moments are delivered with such realness that some very insignificant yet powerful parts of normal human interaction are brought to the forefront and force you to rethink every mindless and subconscious conversation you had this week. To top it all off this book was written in the 1800s, cementing its place as a true classic. To be more personal, though, I think this book really opened my eyes to a new world of writing. Dostoevsky’s ideas and writing styles, while negative, really lead me to a new place of literature that appeals to the part of me that appreciates very odd and wordy poetry, as convoluted as it may be. In conclusion, I think this book should be required reading for every teenager that hates reading.
Review by: Ian Pagan
Ian is a teen volunteer at West Los Angeles Library. He is a rising senior at University High School.
—Carrie Davies, Young Adult Librarian, West Los Angeles Branch Library