Devils by Fyodor Dostoevsky A young Russian was strangled, shot in the head, and thrown into a pond in 1869. What was his crime? The desire to leave a group of violent and alienated revolutionaries. The Devil refers to these young radicals as well as the materialistic attitudes that seized the minds of many thinking people in Russian society at the time, who took as their subject and culmination the real-life catastrophe described by Dostoevsky in Devils. Considering the all-too-recognizable descendants of the revolutionaries in the real world since then, the portrayals of the revolutionaries seem exaggerated with their naveté, single-mindedness, and willingness to murder and destroy. The key figure in the novel, however, is beyond politics. Nikolay Stavrogin, another product of rationalism run wild, exercises his charisma with ruthless authority and total amorality. His unhappiness is accounted for when he confesses to a ghastly sexual crime - in a chapter-long suppressed by the censor. This prophetic account of modern morals and politics, with its fifty-odd characters, amazing events, and challenging ideas, is seen by some critics as Dostoevsky's masterpiece.