It was my birthday, you see, and my daughter was looking for an extra present for me. I'd asked her for a Home Magazine (always enjoying, as I do, a chance to marvel at other people's willingness to live with plastic palm trees etc).
But, as I said, she couldn't find any Home Magazines so she bought me Crime and Punishment instead - and then, of course, I had to read it.
I was expecting wall to wall gloom (rather, now I come to think about it, like several recent Home Magazines), but that wasn't how Crime and Punishment turned out to be. There's a feverish energy about the book. It's black, certainly, but not really gloomy.
There's murder, hatred, madness, misery, and one of the very best death scenes I've ever read; but there's genuine virtue, too, and a huge empathy with even the most despised and depraved of mankind.
It also has a very surprising ending indeed.
So Crime and Punishment turned out not only to be a great masterpiece (which I already knew) but one that turned out to be not nearly as repulsive as I'd thought.
Word To Use Today: crime. This word comes from the Old French from the Latin crīmen which means verdict, accusation or crime.