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About Love and Other Stories

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4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  452 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Raymond Carver called Anton Chekhov "the greatest short story writer who has ever lived." This unequivocal verdict on Chekhov's genius has been echoed many times by writers as diverse as Katherine Mansfield, Somerset Maugham, John Cheever and Tobias Wolf. While his popularity as a playwright has sometimes overshadowed his achievements in prose, the importance of Chekhov's ...more
Paperback, 211 pages
Published August 12th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2004)
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Scott Gates
Mar 26, 2008 Scott Gates rated it really liked it
Chekhov describes a character or a scene just enough to let the reader cleanly infer what’s being indicated. His descriptions are never overstated or garish; always subtle, wavering, whimsical, but precise. He lets his stories tell themselves somehow, getting out of the way when he should.

And the descriptions of these all-too-human people in mediocre villages in one-hundred-years ago Russia are so vivid that it all seems familiar and nostalgic.

Highlights! An uncharacteristically zany story abo
...more
Jonathan
Jan 30, 2012 Jonathan rated it really liked it
This collection featured many stories I had previously read last year but those I had not read were refreshing. The difference in translation of the old stories however was both refreshing and disappointing.

While I felt with stories previously read I was reading them afresh the change in meaning was a disappointment at times. While at times things made unclear in previous translations were revealed with more clarity.

On the whole as with any work of Chekhov's worth reading to observe a master sh
...more
Gerald
Mar 06, 2016 Gerald rated it it was amazing
Chekhov is one of a kind! Every single story in this superb collection, is an exquisitely crafted and miniature world, in itself! Chekhov is a master at depicting the most subtle of details and turns of phrase in the dialogue between characters in each story, and in his use of colorfully vivid imagery, whether in carefully describing a supposedly humdrum scene of life, or in capturing idyllic and picturesque natural settings, as if you were right there, gazing in wonder, alongside with the chara ...more
Naile Berna
Nov 09, 2013 Naile Berna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know I liked reading short stories. Apparently I do.

My favorites were Lady with the Little Dog, Gooseberries, Rothschild's' Violin, About Love.

It's interesting Chekhov keeps using the same character names. It can be confusing sometimes with remnants of one character attached to a name, blending into an unrelated one.

Descending Angel
Jul 17, 2016 Descending Angel rated it it was ok
Shelves: chekhov
It's been awhile since i read a short story collection, i like russian literature and Chekhov has a reputation of being one of the best short story writers of all time. Unfortunately this collection doesn't prove that. Most of the stories are too short and aren't satisfying in the least and they aren't gunna bring you back to read them again and again. A couple favorites ~ "The Black Monk", "The Man In A Case" and "The House With The Mezzanine" are worth reading.
Ally
May 27, 2012 Ally rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure I 'got' these stories. For me it was a one-dimensional look at human behaviours, the negative side of life and love. While interesting and universal, to me this was just half the story. I was also a bit disappointed that the inspiration behind so many of my favourite authors, particularly Katherine Mansfield, didn't really live up to my expectations. BUT...I'm sure I'm missing something so I want to re-visit these stories in a few years time. Maybe I'll appreciate them more at anoth ...more
aaron
May 17, 2011 aaron rated it really liked it
A short story writer whose terse statements of late-19th century Russian life left an indelible impression on my mind - Chekhov was the first writer of fiction that I reached for after finishing my degree. I was not disappointed. I have yet to meet any other short story writer of the modernist period or otherwise that commands such a profound grasp of the simple sentence or the laconic phrase; Chekhov's prose economy is fittingly frugal.
Mogbolahan Koya-Oyagbola
I read this book very quickly. The edition I read had only five stories so I don't really feel qualified to comment. I suppose the two stories I liked best were:

the one about the country doctor (I can't remember the titles);
and the one about the woman and the dog.

Not much of a review I realise but these are not the best stories I've read. I much prefer Tolstoy's shorts.
Jenny
Mar 10, 2010 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Upon buying this book I neglected to read the table of contents and have come to find that there are a few stories from the Lady with the Little Dog stories that I had read earlier.
Laura
Jan 31, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steven
Sep 09, 2015 Steven rated it really liked it
My first reading of anything by Chekhov. I listened to the audiobook version. I confess I didn't get the point of most of them, but I admire the clean, plain style of writing, with just enough detail to form a mental picture. I loved the first sentence of the story "About Love," which begins "At lunch next day there were very nice pies, crayfish, and mutton cutlets;..." That "next day" just plops you right into the story!

But my absolute favorite story was "Fortune." I won't spoil things, but yo
...more
Roger DeBlanck
Aug 10, 2015 Roger DeBlanck rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Chekhov’s stories can be admired on a variety of levels. The fluidity, clarity, and straightforwardness of his prose take on a lyricism that is wonderfully accessible. He tackles themes of personal dilemmas that pose philosophical questions to humanity’s vulnerability to feel safe and protected while also seeking to define its strengths against the forces of weaknesses that prevent humans from their full capability to prosper and reach a feeling of happiness. The indecisive, often confounded, ma ...more
Jaimella Shaikh
Oct 27, 2014 Jaimella Shaikh rated it really liked it
Bringing together stories from across Chekhov's career on the themes of love and loss, there are few happily ever afters here. These spare, subtle stories are full of unanswered questions as Chekhov dissects love in all its forms.

In the title story his dispassionate, doctor's eye is alert to the first flush of love: 'I didn't think about her, but it was as if her graceful shadow lay across my soul.' The flickering of the scarcely noticeable symptoms of a love that is destined to remain an unspo
...more
Hardyreader
Oct 30, 2013 Hardyreader rated it it was ok
This was my first experience with Chekhov, and as a fan of the short story genre I was looking forward to it. After struggling through the first few stories, I found myself disappointed. Like another person here said, I didn't "get it." I appreciate the common characteristic of short stories, that the ending can be rather haphazard without a complete resolution, but Chekhov seems to take that to its extreme.

As a reader who enjoys and values the beauty of a perfectly constructed sentiment, senten
...more
Heather Pagano
Apr 17, 2015 Heather Pagano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chekhov is always a treat to read. The theme for this collection was love, but I saw several other themes that repeated throughout the story. There's a strong man vs. nature conflict, in which nature is depicted as a wild, beautiful force that cares nothing for the fates of humans. There's also a repeated sentiment that happiness is not what we really want. Most of the stories try to work out what, then, if not happiness, are we seeking.
KEN!
Apr 17, 2016 KEN! rated it it was amazing
A diverse selection; all stories of good quality. The Black Monk was a favourite of mine. Will re-read the majority of these in time.
Sara
It took me a while to read these due to a busy schedule, but they were enjoyable. Last year, my husband and I went to Chekhov's estate in Russia and got to tour his land. It definitely helps when you create visuals of the stories and the time period. I do struggle with the typical tomes of Russian literature that you see in the average bookshop, but Chekhov is different. His writing is light, short, comical and light-hearted. Half the time, you can't believe that Chekhov puts his characters in s ...more
Stella
Literatura rusa, esa gran desconocida!... al menos para mí... me agradó mucho :)
Aisling
Oct 17, 2015 Aisling is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
“You don't understand, you fool' says Yegor, looking dreamily up at the sky. 'You've never understood what kind of person I am, nor will you in a million years...You just think I'm a mad person who has thrown his life away...Once the free spirit has taken hold of a man, there's no way of getting it out of him.”

Image: Herbert Behrens, Kralingen festival, 1970

Herbert Behrens, Kralingen festival, 1970
Marin Sophia
Mar 24, 2016 Marin Sophia rated it it was ok
Most soporific book I have read so far.. I hate to say it, but Chekhov, in my opinion, is highly over-rated.
Austin
Mar 11, 2016 Austin rated it it was amazing
my favorite selection of Chekhov's stories. i was pleased with the translation and enjoyed the introduction
Greta Nettleton
Jun 05, 2013 Greta Nettleton rated it it was amazing
Perfection! Inspiration! tales not only of love, but also of women healers, 19th century science vs. the natural world, lies, denial, and a physician's universal insight (Chekhov was a practicing physician in the Russian provinces most of his life) in this quote: "Happiness does not exist and it should not exist, and if there is a meaning and purpose to life, then that meaning and purpose is certainly not for us to be happy, but something far greater and wiser, Do good!"
Mejix
Apr 27, 2014 Mejix rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book. I was looking a collection that would justify Chekhov's reputation and this was it. A couple of these stories hit too close to home. The audiobook version was superb.
Simon
Sep 22, 2012 Simon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Beyond good. Perhaps the best things I've read.
Fuller review to follow.
I'd been aiming at 333 books in 3 calendar years. This was the 333rd. I'd saved my first experience of Chechov's prose until now. I wasn't disappointed.
Becky
Feb 07, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it
It's Chekhov...
Andrew Rogers
Nov 03, 2012 Andrew Rogers rated it it was amazing
A wonderful translation by Rosamumd Bartlett, I found it easier to read grammatically than earlier translations, and with a more contemporary style.
KEN!
May 24, 2016 KEN! rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished this ages ago. Very good very nice. The Black Monk was a vivid experience.

A nice pool to jump in every now and then.

Augustus
Mar 28, 2013 Augustus rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic
Chekov gives such wonderful three-dimensional characters, even in a story that's only 2 or 3 pages long.
Bettie☯
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fatih Gökmen
Feb 19, 2013 Fatih Gökmen rated it it was amazing
very good
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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in the small seaport of Taganrog, southern Russia, the son of a grocer. Chekhov's grandfather was a serf, who had bought his own freedom and that of his three sons in 1841. He also taught himself to read and write. Yevgenia Morozova, Chekhov's mother, was the daughter of a cloth merchant.

"When I think back on my childhood," Chekhov recalled, "it all seems quite glo
...more
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“Three o'clock in the morning. The soft April night is looking at my windows and caressingly winking at me with its stars. I can't sleep, I am so happy.” 78 likes
“You don't understand, you fool' says Yegor, looking dreamily up at the sky. 'You've never understood what kind of person I am, nor will you in a million years... You just think I'm a mad person who has thrown his life away... Once the free spirit has taken hold of a man, there's no way of getting it out of him.” 49 likes
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