The Gambler was written twenty years later, under the pressure of crushing debt. It is a stunning psychological portrait of a young man’s exhilarating and destructive addiction, a compulsion that Dostoevsky–who once gambled away his young wife’s wedding ring–knew intimately from his own experience. In the disastrous love affairs and gambling adventures of his character, Alexei Ivanovich, Dostoevsky explores the irresistible temptation to look into the abyss of ultimate risk that he believed was an essential part of the Russian national character. Dostoevsky's NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND is a psychological study of the deepest darkest skeletons in the closet of the human mind. The first novel from Dostoevsky's mature "second period" works, divided in two parts, presents an unnamed protagonist, a twisted angry student, and his worldview. It is one proud man's cry for help and perverse rejection of the world around him.