The Brothers Karamazov

A literary and philosophical masterpiece

David Pizarro & Tamler Sommers

David Pizarro & Tamler Sommers

Hosts of Very Bad Wizards podcast

  • Overview
  • Episodes
  • Recommended for you


Tamler Sommers (a philosopher) and David Pizarro (a psychologist) are the hosts of the Very Bad Wizards podcast. For over eight years they’ve covered major works of philosophy, psychology, literature, and film - but they’ve been restricted to shorter texts that can be covered in one or at most two episodes. 

This special five episode mini-series gives them the opportunity to dive into one of the greatest works of Western literature - Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov – and give it the in-depth treatment that this famous work deserves. Dostoevsky’s fast-paced tale of sex, violence, murder, and spiritual yearning has been hailed for its deep insight into psychology and its treatment of timeless philosophical questions concerning free will, faith, nihilism, and morality. The novel consists of four parts and an epilogue, and the mini-series will devote an episode to each of them. Join Tamler and David as they bring their expertise, their contagious curiosity, and unique sense of humor to this transcendent work of art.      

What You'll Learn

  • Context and plot of one of the greatest works of world literature

  • Unconventional perspectives of the novel's many themes


5 Episodes

1. Meet the Karamazovs


David and Tamler talk about Part 1 of Dostoevsky’s masterpiece. Dmitri and Fyodor fight over money and women, Ivan the atheist writes about church and state, and a meeting at the monastery descends into chaos.

2. Jesus on Trial

1h 27min

David and Tamler talk about Part 2 of Dostoevsky’s masterpiece. Alyosha gets in the middle of a rock fight, Ivan makes a devastating moral case against God, and the Grand Inquisitor convicts Jesus Christ of heresy against the church.

3. Dmitri on the Fence

1h 12min

David and Tamler talk about Part 3 of Dostoevsky’s masterpiece. A holy man’s corpse stinks up the monastery, Fyodor meets a brutal end, and Dmitri and Grushenka go on a spree to end all sprees.

4. The Real Killer

1h 3min

David and Tamler talk about Part 4 of Dostoevsky’s masterpiece. Young Kolya finally meets Alyosha, Ivan descends into madness, and the murderer is revealed.

5. Schrödinger’s Devil

1h 13min

David and Tamler conclude their discussion of Part 4 and the epilogue of Dostoevsky’s masterpiece. Ivan has a demonic visitor, the jury delivers their verdict, and Alyosha gathers the boys for poor Ilyusha’s funeral.

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