counter create hit Forty Stories (Vintage Classics) - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Forty Stories (Vintage Classics)

Availability: Ready to download

If any writer can be said to have invented the modern short story, it is Anton Chekhov. It is not just that Chekhov democratized this art form; more than that, he changed the thrust of short fiction from relating to revealing. And what marvelous and unbearable things are revealed in these Forty Stories. The abashed happiness of a woman in the presence of the husband who ab If any writer can be said to have invented the modern short story, it is Anton Chekhov. It is not just that Chekhov democratized this art form; more than that, he changed the thrust of short fiction from relating to revealing. And what marvelous and unbearable things are revealed in these Forty Stories. The abashed happiness of a woman in the presence of the husband who abandoned her years before. The obsequious terror of the official who accidentally sneezes on a general. The poignant astonishment of an aging Don Juan overtaken by love. Spanning the entirety of Chekhov's career and including such masterpieces as "Surgery," "The Huntsman," "Anyuta," "Sleepyhead," "The Lady With the Pet Dog," and "The Bishop," this collection manages to be amusing, dazzling, and supremely moving—often within a single page.


Compare
Ads Banner

If any writer can be said to have invented the modern short story, it is Anton Chekhov. It is not just that Chekhov democratized this art form; more than that, he changed the thrust of short fiction from relating to revealing. And what marvelous and unbearable things are revealed in these Forty Stories. The abashed happiness of a woman in the presence of the husband who ab If any writer can be said to have invented the modern short story, it is Anton Chekhov. It is not just that Chekhov democratized this art form; more than that, he changed the thrust of short fiction from relating to revealing. And what marvelous and unbearable things are revealed in these Forty Stories. The abashed happiness of a woman in the presence of the husband who abandoned her years before. The obsequious terror of the official who accidentally sneezes on a general. The poignant astonishment of an aging Don Juan overtaken by love. Spanning the entirety of Chekhov's career and including such masterpieces as "Surgery," "The Huntsman," "Anyuta," "Sleepyhead," "The Lady With the Pet Dog," and "The Bishop," this collection manages to be amusing, dazzling, and supremely moving—often within a single page.

30 review for Forty Stories (Vintage Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Justin Tate

    Ashamed to admit I'm a little disappointed. Having heard so much about Chekhov and his mastery of language, I expected something miraculous. Instead, I closed to book feeling underwhelmed. This greatest hits of 40 short stories included only 9 that I highlighted as exceptional. They were: Joy The Ninny Death of a Government Clerk The Proposal Who Is to Blame? The Princess The Student In the Horsecart The Lady with the Pet Dog Stylistically, the stories I enjoyed most tended to be very short. Some less than Ashamed to admit I'm a little disappointed. Having heard so much about Chekhov and his mastery of language, I expected something miraculous. Instead, I closed to book feeling underwhelmed. This greatest hits of 40 short stories included only 9 that I highlighted as exceptional. They were: Joy The Ninny Death of a Government Clerk The Proposal Who Is to Blame? The Princess The Student In the Horsecart The Lady with the Pet Dog Stylistically, the stories I enjoyed most tended to be very short. Some less than 4 pages. "Who Is to Blame" was my favorite, as it has a kind of Aesop fable vibe coupled with witty humor. Generally speaking, Chekhov's flash fiction always came across as the work of a great talent, while the longer pieces got muddled in too many characters and plots that were too big for their canvas. The duds weren't so bad as to completely turn me off from him, and of course I know his bibliography is much more vast than this collection, but I'm definitely not on the bandwagon yet. Maybe I'll try his plays next.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shivam Chaturvedi

    “Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy's Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day's work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city's reservoir, he turns to the cupboards, only to find the vodka bottle empty.” - P.G. Wodehouse I have always admired the Russians for their immense and an almost unreal understanding of the darkest recesses of human mind. Their painfully accurate ability to express and put down “Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy's Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day's work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city's reservoir, he turns to the cupboards, only to find the vodka bottle empty.” - P.G. Wodehouse I have always admired the Russians for their immense and an almost unreal understanding of the darkest recesses of human mind. Their painfully accurate ability to express and put down in words those deepest of human desires which few of us can even begin to pen down. Now I wasn't born an expert on Russian Literature and neither do I claim to be one, but I have read enough to know the real thing when I see it. Read the quote above for instance - this is Wodehouse cracking one of his countless jokes, and this one's on Russia. What't the one thing that strikes out here above everything else? What's the one thought that comes to mind reading this? That 'This is absurd!' The damned absurdity of it all! And in this very same most inexpressible of human conditions, is where the Russians find their highest form of expression. Pick up a Dostoyevsky some day and you would know what I am trying to talk about- you see I am not a Russian and I cannot express these things the way these people can. Where Mr Chekhov takes this 'expression of the absurd' a notch higher is by bringing it forth through a medium that rests on the exact opposite end of the spectrum- comedy. By combining humor and the absurd, and a beyond human understanding of what goes on inside our heads, Chekhov creates an artistic medium that leaves the reader spellbound, starry-eyed and unable to fathom as to how this guy who lived and died so long ago can speak to us with such clarity even today. And that is the hallmark of all great literature, isn't it? That even the passage of time, that great destroyer of civilizations, cannot touch it. This collection of stories covers a fairly common set of themes - love, freedom, hope, faith, death among many others. It is the beauty of Chekhov's expression that makes this book a truly wonderful piece of art. I would have liked to include some of the quotes from these stories, but there are far too many to be condensed into a coherent thread. Better then to simply pick up this book and read the whole of it. All said and done though, there is one quote I'd definitely like to include here. Its from a story where the narrator recites a tale of unrequited love. That, along with the way the author chooses to describe the setting, really captures the essence of everything that I loved about this story collection - "He had the appearance of a man who wants to tell a story. Through a window we could see a gray sky and trees drenched in rain. It was the kind of weather which makes it impossible to go anywhere, when the only thing to do is to tell stories and to listen to them. And so, he began his story.."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Weronika Zimna

    Kurt Vonnegut once wrote to his daughter: “Get a collection of the short stories of Chekhov and read every one. […] I’m not suggesting that you do these things. I am ordering you to do them.” I'll trust him with this one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    The best translation of Chekhov. Payne knows the Russian humor. At least I trust that he does. Because I'm laughing. And crying.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Chekhov, on the 99%: "It's not a question of pessimism or optimism...It's just that ninety-nine out of a hundred people don't have any brains."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Howard Cincotta

    Chekhov’s literary reputation may rest chiefly on his masterpiece plays – Seagull, Cherry Orchard, etc. – but he is also widely regarded as the father of the modern short story. This chronological story collection, which spans the years 1880 to 1903, raises the question of just what that means. If we mean the stripped down minimalist fiction and elliptical dialogue that graces many a contemporary literary magazine, then Chekhov is not your man. As editor and translator Robert Payne notes, Chekhov Chekhov’s literary reputation may rest chiefly on his masterpiece plays – Seagull, Cherry Orchard, etc. – but he is also widely regarded as the father of the modern short story. This chronological story collection, which spans the years 1880 to 1903, raises the question of just what that means. If we mean the stripped down minimalist fiction and elliptical dialogue that graces many a contemporary literary magazine, then Chekhov is not your man. As editor and translator Robert Payne notes, Chekhov wrote in old-fashioned Russian of a long-gone world of fuzzy-headed gentry and work-beaten peasants, using language that even native speakers have occasional difficulty in understanding. Many of the early stories, moreover, are really little more than sketches, vignettes – even two-page jokes – that he dashed off in the middle of his medical studies. If you want to see a more obvious forebear of modern short fiction, you would do better with Guy de Maupassant, Jack London – or in a more specialized genre – Edgar Allen Poe. How, then, is Chekhov modern? I think it is his example of absolute freedom in the form; Chekhov recognized no strictures or rules about what a short story should or shouldn’t be. He made his tales dance to whatever tune he had in his head: whether an extended joke (“The Proposal”), dark comedy (“Death of a Government Clerk”, better known as “The Sneeze”), death and transfiguration (“Gusev,” “The Bishop”), the plight of provincial Russia (“The House with the Mezzanine,” “In the Horsecart”), oppression and poverty (“Sleepyhead,” “Vanka”), and most often, love and marriage (“The Huntsman,” “Anyuta,” “Anna Round the Neck,” “The Bride,” “The Lady with the Pet Dog”). In “Gusev,” for example, we witness the suffering and death of a retired soldier aboard ship. But Chekhov doesn’t stop there: we see his body, sewn into a sailcloth, fall into the sea, dropping past schools of fish, a shark, to the bottom. And then this: The heavens turned lilac, very soft. Gazing up at the enchanted heavens, magnificent in their splendor, the sea fumed darkly at first, but soon assumed the sweet, joyous passionate colors for which there are scarcely any names in the tongues of man. Chekhov strikes the same elegiac redemptive tone following another seemingly unredeemed death in a later story “The Bishop,” although in much more stripped-down language. The bishop, subject to incessant obsequiousness in life, is almost immediately forgotten after his death; life goes on, and only his aged peasant mother recalls him as she chats with her friends. Chekhov’s modern sensibility is also apparent in his rich characterizations and ambiguous conclusions to many of his stories: presumably happy endings are laden with irony, tragic conclusions infused with the powerful sense of life’s continuity. Chekhov never passes judgment on his characters; he is both merciful and merciless, letting them make and unmake their lives and fates. It is this claim to freedom within the confines of the form, then, where Chekhov’s greatness as a short story resides. Will the illicit couple in “The Lady with the Pet Dog” find a way to happiness? We don’t know, but what do know is how much we have grown to care about the answer And it seemed as though in a little while the solution would be found and a lovely new life would begin for them; and to both of them it was clear that the end was still very far away, and the hardest and most difficult part was only beginning.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elicia

    Chekhov is my friend because he is definitely a socialist. Case in point, from "The Bride:" "'You must realize how immoral and unclean your idle life is,' Sasha went on. 'Can't you realize that to enable you and your mother and your grandmother to live a life of leisure, others have to work for you, and you are devouring their lives? Is that right?'" The stories are so true to life. It's impressive how he can make me completely relate to people from the late 1800's, in Russia, before electricity Chekhov is my friend because he is definitely a socialist. Case in point, from "The Bride:" "'You must realize how immoral and unclean your idle life is,' Sasha went on. 'Can't you realize that to enable you and your mother and your grandmother to live a life of leisure, others have to work for you, and you are devouring their lives? Is that right?'" The stories are so true to life. It's impressive how he can make me completely relate to people from the late 1800's, in Russia, before electricity, using horses and carriages for transport, and with servants commonplace in households. It's because he gets to the core of what it is to be a human, in many different life situations. The crux of it is, everyone is in an impossible situation that they cannot get out of. And this often holds true today, albeit less extremely so. Don't read Chekhov if you are prone to depression. Death is everywhere. One story is a military infirmary on a ship, in which every single character dies, and then the story keeps going along with the body in the sea. Also he wrote some hilarious satire, like the guy who goes crazy with embarrassment for sneezing on someone.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Salil Kanitkar

    This was my first Chekhov book and I can't remember the last time I was so deeply moved by a short story collection. Forty Stories is a great read, Chekhov's acute observations of the human spirit, the beautifully portrayed 19th century Russian countryside and the gut-wrenching emotional turmoil of his characters leaves a lasting impact. In my mind, the first few stories didn't really seem that captivating and were somewhat off-putting but the last few stories more than made up for it. By the ti This was my first Chekhov book and I can't remember the last time I was so deeply moved by a short story collection. Forty Stories is a great read, Chekhov's acute observations of the human spirit, the beautifully portrayed 19th century Russian countryside and the gut-wrenching emotional turmoil of his characters leaves a lasting impact. In my mind, the first few stories didn't really seem that captivating and were somewhat off-putting but the last few stories more than made up for it. By the time I turned the last page of the book, I felt awestruck by Chekhov's ability to paint vivid and lasting images of his characters. Even though the stories are over 130 years old, each and every character feels hauntingly real and each story reminds us of the intricacies of human personalities. All in all, 4/5, a great read indeed.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zoe's Human

    I think what amazes me the most about Anton Chekhov is the way he is able to paint such vivid images of characters who epitomize humanity. You know these people. Even over 130 years later, you recognize them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Jones

    Of the great Russian writers that I have read, Chekhov is the best at expressing the inner life of his characters: their dreams, desires and self-deceptions. This collection contains many of his earlier works - shorter comic pieces - which I found to be less impressive than the detail-rich stories he wrote later. But still!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Randy Wambold

    As is probably inevitable in a 40 story collection, a few of these short stories I thought among the most memorable I've ever read ("The Bishop," for one), but many did not engage me. All in all though, definitely worth reading.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian

    In the unlikely event you are reading this snippet review while contemplating whether or not your should read this collection of Chekhov short stories, the answer, of course, is that you should, particularly if you've never read him before. Chekhov is probably the all-time master in the universe of short stories, and his direct influence on some of my favorite short story writers (Cheever, Carver, even Updike) is transparently obvious. He works like a painter, giving the reader a clear sense of In the unlikely event you are reading this snippet review while contemplating whether or not your should read this collection of Chekhov short stories, the answer, of course, is that you should, particularly if you've never read him before. Chekhov is probably the all-time master in the universe of short stories, and his direct influence on some of my favorite short story writers (Cheever, Carver, even Updike) is transparently obvious. He works like a painter, giving the reader a clear sense of time and place, but he goes much further beyond his beautifully created scenes (as befitting a writer who mocks the self-righteousness and listlessness of a landscape painter in perhaps the only first person story in the collection). He fills the pages with a piercing realist's eye, while displaying wonderful flourishes, capturing the inner worlds of a huge variety of people, all with economical prose, and all with an undeniable empathy towards his often wretched subjects. He's also one of those types of literary "broccoli" that goes down much easier than you might believe. This is particularly true in this collection, with many of the stories lasting less than five pages. My one point of contention relates to the entertaining and useful introduction to the version of Forty Stories I read, written by the translator, Robert Payne. In describing both the author's private life and his work, Payne continuously emphasizes Chekhov's humor and mischievousness. To me, Chekhov's dominant displayed emotions/moods in these works are curiosity (towards people of all backgrounds, as well as to the larger mysteries of life) and melancholia (death, disease and discontentment haunt the subjects of his fiction -- often those living without hope in abject poverty or conversely those surrounded by wealth but trapped in their empty, frivolous lives). This all makes for a fascinating panoramic portrait of Russia at the turn of the twentieth century, but not one, to my eyes, that presents humor in any conventional sense. Humaneness, perhaps, is a better way to describe Chekhov's gentleness and his often (though not exclusively) warm observations of those on the outskirts of society. In this way, for example, he differs greatly from literary descendant Carver, who may have inherited Chekhov's interests in helpless subjects -- the drunks, the poor, the emotionally turbulent -- but who captured them with a menacing almost monotone, unblinking style that presents great discomfort to the reader. In contrast, most of Chekhov's works left me wistful, or empathetic or, in the very best of his works, humbled by the enormity of existence. Yeah, some of these stories are that good.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    This was an absolute joy to read! I didn't know much about Chekhov - apparently he is the 'father of the short story' - who knew? Plus, in general I am not a super big fan of short stories...BUT these are really fantastic...smooth as silk, effortless to read, and just great all the way through. Most of these are wonderful vignettes, where you feel as tho you've been plucked by the shoulder and dropped down into the middle of the lives of one of his characters - whether it's the dying soldier's r This was an absolute joy to read! I didn't know much about Chekhov - apparently he is the 'father of the short story' - who knew? Plus, in general I am not a super big fan of short stories...BUT these are really fantastic...smooth as silk, effortless to read, and just great all the way through. Most of these are wonderful vignettes, where you feel as tho you've been plucked by the shoulder and dropped down into the middle of the lives of one of his characters - whether it's the dying soldier's remembrances, the young serf-girl who can't stay awake, the abandoned young bride, or the young government official. All are beautifully sketched where you are involved in the story from the first few lines. I MUST give an excerpt...this is a paragraph where Chekhov describes a cat's dream...really!!...amazing... " The kitten lay awake thinking. Of what? Unacquainted with real life, having no store of accumulated impressions, his mental processes could only be instinctive, and he could but picture life in accordance with the conceptions that he had inherited, together with his flesh and blood, from his ancestors, the tigers (vide Darwin). His thoughts were of the nature of day-dreams. His feline imagination pictured something like the Arabian desert, over which flitted shadows closely resembling Praskovya, the stove, the broom. In the midst of the shadows there suddenly appeared a saucer of milk; the saucer began to grow paws, it began moving and displayed a tendency to run; the kitten made a bound, and with a thrill of blood-thirsty sensuality thrust his claws into it. When the saucer had vanished into obscurity a piece of meat appeared, dropped by Praskovya; the meat ran away with a cowardly squeak, but the kitten made a bound and got his claws into it. . . . Everything that rose before the imagination of the young dreamer had for its starting-point leaps, claws, and teeth. . . The soul of another is darkness, and a cat's soul more than most, but how near the visions just described are to the truth may be seen from the following fact: under the influence of his day-dreams the kitten suddenly leaped up, looked with flashing eyes at Praskovya, ruffled up his coat, and making one bound, thrust his claws into the cook's skirt. Obviously he was born a mouse catcher, a worthy son of his bloodthirsty ancestors. Fate had destined him to be the terror of cellars, store-rooms and cornbins, and had it not been for education . . . we will not anticipate, however. " A kitten attacking a retreating saucer of milk in its' dreams - who in the world can pull that off so wonderfully?!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    The Vintage edition arranges Checkhov's stories in chronological order -- a good idea that lets readers see the development of the author's talent. Holding the stories together is a sort of minimalism: Checkhov only gives us enough information to move the action along, a technique many readers favor. The last few stories are notably good. The first ones, for me, were too short, often only a page or two long. Although cleverly conceived, these micro-stories have no staying power, and I too quickly The Vintage edition arranges Checkhov's stories in chronological order -- a good idea that lets readers see the development of the author's talent. Holding the stories together is a sort of minimalism: Checkhov only gives us enough information to move the action along, a technique many readers favor. The last few stories are notably good. The first ones, for me, were too short, often only a page or two long. Although cleverly conceived, these micro-stories have no staying power, and I too quickly forgot them as I went along. This is a good book to skip around in, picking and choosing whichever stories you'd like to read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Darran Mclaughlin

    Chekhov has been one of the few major writers I haven't read yet for a long time. I love Chekhov inluenced writers like Katherine Mansfield and Raymond Carver so I was looking forward to reading their forebear. This collection is organised in chronological order and at first I found the stories a bit disappointing. They were good but not quite as good as I had anticipated them to be. However he kept getting better and better and by the time I got to the Lady with a Pet Dog and The Bishop he had Chekhov has been one of the few major writers I haven't read yet for a long time. I love Chekhov inluenced writers like Katherine Mansfield and Raymond Carver so I was looking forward to reading their forebear. This collection is organised in chronological order and at first I found the stories a bit disappointing. They were good but not quite as good as I had anticipated them to be. However he kept getting better and better and by the time I got to the Lady with a Pet Dog and The Bishop he had become a master. Those stories are incredibly moving and yet very simple. You can see why he is considered to be the father of the modern short story.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jose

    Great stories, some better than others, but still great.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    I borrowed this from the library, but I'm going to buy a copy for myself to have on hand for future rereads.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karan

    What a buoyant collection of stories: one of those rare triumphs in translation where the translator suffuses every page with real feeling, real rhythm that makes these stories eminently readable. The imagery and the capture of consciousness literally dances up from the page and grabs you. That's Chekhov for you. It's got none of the weight or age of being written in late 19th century at all. I suppose writing about universalities and common frailties with precision and empathy would do that. Ak What a buoyant collection of stories: one of those rare triumphs in translation where the translator suffuses every page with real feeling, real rhythm that makes these stories eminently readable. The imagery and the capture of consciousness literally dances up from the page and grabs you. That's Chekhov for you. It's got none of the weight or age of being written in late 19th century at all. I suppose writing about universalities and common frailties with precision and empathy would do that. Akin to bingeing on a boxset, I read this volume cover to cover and true to the compilation's original title "the image of Chekhov", a sort of an image of Chekhov the storyteller does emerge (I would wholly recommend Payne's clipped biography in the Introduction to go away with the right image of the person behind these). The earlier year's tragicomic sketches, casually mixed aperitifs lay ground for throwaway-genius moment-capture pieces which lay further ground for deep and hearty main courses of later capacious symphonies patiently drawn up in his later years. It is beautifully and thoughtfully compiled as a collection I was swept away many a times, not once bored to switch to the next story but there are many pieces that stand out. There is Sergeant Prishibeyev which encapsulates Chekhov's brand of comedy in a bystanding third-person narrator who patiently sees the downfall of an obsessed-with-officiousness, now non-commissioned officer who arrests and reprimands people for the slightest of infarctions. He is brought to court and it makes for quite a scene. Close on its heels is The Malefactor, another courtroom comedy where a peasant who steals nuts off train-rails, jeopardising lives of hundreds, only to act as sinkers for fishing cannot see the head or tail of his offence. In two of his stories Heartache and Who is to Blame, I was completely surprised at how his characters noticed the presence of animals around them, tried inhabiting their invisible minds and found solace borrowing them to offload their own troubles with death and dead languages. Not far behind is his capture of the hallucinatory state endowed by illness and sleep deprivation: making for sometimes chilling read (Sleepyhead). The ultimate tour-de-force for me came mid-volume in the form of the Princess in which we begin ourselves perched on the shoulder of appreciative, precious little Marie Antoinette-like figure who is seen innocently wishing for simpler times as she wakes up in a monastery absorbing the elements and taking a stroll and having pleasant thoughts but as she bumps into a doctor-an erstwhile physician at the court, who, unimpressed by her self-delusions, gives her such a piece of her mind that his monologue could be read to all the rich, preening, hypocritical narcissists guilty of virtue signalling and token philanthropy down the ages and not a word more will be required. What a telling-off! I almost wanted to applaud. Straight after the Princess, we find ourselves parked at the threshold of a bounty of Chekhov's later pieces. There is Gusev, staged aboard a ship, which reads like something Melville would have written, then The Peasant Women which is rather Dickensian, which bleeds into the smalltown madness of distant Siberia in the Exile, a reprieve with amusing little character-pieces where earnest adults are held in throes after reading the Bible or absorbing some high art (The Student, After the Theater) and finally, reminiscent of Tolstoy there is a trail of stories where female characters are seen convincingly suffocated in bad marriages with their lovers so close yet so far (Big Volodya and Little Volodya, On Love, The Lady with the Pet Dog). They are questioning the institution privately and publicly, often resigning themselves to their fate (The Bride). However, there is hope in this movement of female self-awareness in female characters who can intimidate male narrators (House with the Mezzanine), and who know that their incandescent personalities and minds must deserve better than being the sobbing, servile fools society wants them to be (Anna round the neck). Nestled between these later stories about women with unsuccessful marriages and unconsummated loves is a story of the Bishop (apparently Chekhov toiled close to a decade on this) who over the years of his small-town closeted ecclesiastical existence observes and meditates in deep melancholy at the passage of life, changing times and the Purpose. I liked it for the change of mood it brought. Very deeply felt. In all, flush with characters from all walks of society who are imagined with all their little vexations, foibles, faults, eccentricities, throes of passion, mood swings and grander strokes of sacrifice, love, societal obligations, Chekhov has something for everyone and Payne ensures everyone gets it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Louisa Smith

    What a shame that this volume didn't include three of my favorite Chekhov short stories-- "Rothchild's Violin" from 1894 and "Gooseberries" and "The Man in a Case", both from 1898. All three are available for free as pdf files if you search the internet. I did enjoy the Introduction. And I enjoyed the way the stories are set in chronological order so that you can witness the point where Chekov's writing actually grabs you. The Huntsman, Heartache, The Princess, Gusev, In Exile, Big Volodya and L What a shame that this volume didn't include three of my favorite Chekhov short stories-- "Rothchild's Violin" from 1894 and "Gooseberries" and "The Man in a Case", both from 1898. All three are available for free as pdf files if you search the internet. I did enjoy the Introduction. And I enjoyed the way the stories are set in chronological order so that you can witness the point where Chekov's writing actually grabs you. The Huntsman, Heartache, The Princess, Gusev, In Exile, Big Volodya and Little Volodya, The House with the Mezzanine, The Lady with the Pet Dog, and The Bride were my favorites. If you enjoy these stories, I recommend you also check out his plays-- The Seagull is fantasic.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kusaimamekirai

    I really enjoyed these stories. Not all of them were of the same quality, but Chekhov's mediocre is still better than most short stories you'll ever read. What I enjoyed most is the scope of emotions these cover. From loneliness in "Heartache"(a man with nobody to talk to turns to his horse), to anger in "The Princess"(where a snooty princess gets a reality check she wasn't ready for), to comedy in "The Threat"(where a man threatens to deal with a horse thief in the same unorthodox way his fat I really enjoyed these stories. Not all of them were of the same quality, but Chekhov's mediocre is still better than most short stories you'll ever read. What I enjoyed most is the scope of emotions these cover. From loneliness in "Heartache"(a man with nobody to talk to turns to his horse), to anger in "The Princess"(where a snooty princess gets a reality check she wasn't ready for), to comedy in "The Threat"(where a man threatens to deal with a horse thief in the same unorthodox way his father did). Take your time, enjoy each one slowly, and appreciate what a master of the human condition Chekhov was.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    What can you say about Chekhov. Perhaps more can be said about this particularly collection. The stories appear to be in chronological order, and you can trace the development of his style and maturity as you read through the stories. The translation seems good. Not speaking Russian I can't say how well done it is, but it didn't get in way of reading the stories. I am a huge fan of his plays and I was intrigued to see how some characters, topics, themes and events intersected or echoed some of h What can you say about Chekhov. Perhaps more can be said about this particularly collection. The stories appear to be in chronological order, and you can trace the development of his style and maturity as you read through the stories. The translation seems good. Not speaking Russian I can't say how well done it is, but it didn't get in way of reading the stories. I am a huge fan of his plays and I was intrigued to see how some characters, topics, themes and events intersected or echoed some of his plays. This also got me to read Janet Malcolm's Reading Checkhov as well as to revisit Carver's short story about Chekhov's death.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sasha Kaufmann

    A brilliant collection; Chekhov is master of the short story. In a few pages, he can bring you closer to a character than many authors can over the course of a novel. These stories add up to a vivid picture of 19th century Russia with a patchwork of characters spanning classes. Kindness, innocence, guilt, miserliness and cruelty are all on display in sometimes surprising and somewhat shocking situations. Personally I found The Little Apples, The Ninny, The Huntsman, The Malefactor, The Peasant W A brilliant collection; Chekhov is master of the short story. In a few pages, he can bring you closer to a character than many authors can over the course of a novel. These stories add up to a vivid picture of 19th century Russia with a patchwork of characters spanning classes. Kindness, innocence, guilt, miserliness and cruelty are all on display in sometimes surprising and somewhat shocking situations. Personally I found The Little Apples, The Ninny, The Huntsman, The Malefactor, The Peasant Women, After the Theatre, The Lady with the Pet Dog and The Bride to be the most interesting.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paithan Campbell

    Chekhov is a famous name and is heralded as one of the greatest Russian writers of all time. But I didn't understand what was so great about it. Sure it is well written, but nothing seems to happen. Every story seems to be people sad that they are lonely, or fell in love with someone they now tolerate (at best). Not for me. I want to read about things I can't experience in my life. Not things I'm currently struggling with.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Flob

    I was expecting to be more blown away than I was. Well this is Chekhov. I did enjoy this and these were nice little vignettes of Russia at that time. Mostly I found them interesting and some hit the mark for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    There are some real gems in here, the short stories are all worth reading. The stories can be really funny, profound, or rich with information on Russian life. My favourite stories were: The lady and her pet dog, anna round the neck, the house with the mezzanine, and on love... all really great.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karina

    The Bishop and The House with the Mezzanine were my favorite stories in this collection.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura Dabrowski

    He wrote like a storyteller - one of the best.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Can you even rate Chekhov?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Macky

    Rating for BBC 3 audio rendition of Chekhov’s short story ‘A Dreadful Night’.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sven

    Engaging views of life in pre-revolution Russia. The stories are intimate and complex.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.