Art imitates life in this brilliant psychological study of a compulsive gambler, modeled on Dostoevsky's own tendencies. Like so many characters in Dostoevsky's novels, Alexei is trying to break through the wall of the established order and the human condition itself, but instead he is drawn into the vortex of the roulette wheel. With unforgettable characterizations, the novel explores the emotional roller coaster, changing fortunes, tangled love affairs, and complicated lives of the fashionable German gambling set.
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