The Best Short Stories
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The Best Short Stories

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  2,178 ratings  ·  84 reviews
This collection, unique to the Modern Library, gathers seven of Dostoevsky's key works and shows him to be equally adept at the short story as with the novel. Exploring many of the same themes as in his longer works, these small masterpieces move from the tender and romantic White Nights, an archetypal nineteenth-century morality tale of pathos and loss, to the famous Note...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 13th 2001 by Modern Library (first published January 1st 1955)
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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyNotes from Underground by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Idiot by Fyodor DostoyevskyDemons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Best of Fyodor Dostoevsky
8th out of 16 books — 47 voters
Nine Stories by J.D. SalingerThe Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeA Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'ConnorDubliners by James JoyceThe Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Collections of Short Stories
262nd out of 1,622 books — 1,304 voters

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Community Reviews

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I finally picked up Crime and Punishment and read the lengthy introduction. By the end of it, I decided to first read Notes from the Underground to get a sense of Dostoevsky's early versus later writings. In this edition, you get (published in chronological order except for The Peasant Marey):

White Nights
The Honest Thief
The Christmas Tree and a Wedding
The Peasant Marey
Notes from the Underground, which is really more of a novella than a short story
A Gentle Creature
The Dream of a Rid...more
The Failed Relationship in A Gentle Creature by Fyodor Dostoesvky
Much like Notes From Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s A Gentle Creature stands out as a disturbing and forthright portrait of a contemporary man battered and warped by his time. Its narrator embarks on the same quest for self-justification, and his attempt is just as unconvincing. A Gentle Creature, however, is as deeply a meditation on a failed relationship as it is a reflection on one failed man. This is not as obvious, because...more
I had been looking forward to having a chance to read some of Dostoyevsky's short stories, as I am more familiar with his novels. So I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed, and that I immensely enjoyed this collection! First of all, from an organizational perspective, I appreciated the editor's choice to arrange the stories in chronological order. In this way, one can note Dostoyevsky's progress as a writer throughout his life. I find it fascinating to see which themes changed, and whic...more
Man, I hate this type of old style language. I mean the poetic parts are tolerable, but the shit of everyday old style conversation language annoys me... For example words like, "indutiably" and shit like "I shan't say another word"; usually its located somewhere in the dialogue...They need to make an updated hip hop version with awesome theres an idea!

This stuff is hard to quote also, cause Dostoevsky doesn't write in easily, digestible quotes; but his points and ideas go on for pa...more
White Nights: 4/5
This was written before his prison term. It's a love story. Enjoyable but nothing special.

The Honest Thief: 3/5
It was good but nothing great either. Sometimes a little draggy.

The Christmas Tree and the Wedding: 4/5
I quite like this one. It is kind of a social satire.

The Peasant Marey: 3/5
I don't quite understand this one. Or maybe there isn't much to understand about.

Notes From the Underground: 5/5
This is one of his most famous works. It is brilliant though I think I need to re-...more
I'm not very good at reading short stories because I end up thinking almost everything should be a novel so I could delve into everything to my heart's content. :)

White Nights
This is a sweet story with a good ending. However, while reading I felt Dostoyevsky went off on too many tangents. I'm not sure how the main character grew in this story, unless it was that he opened up to someone and made the friend. (view spoiler)...more
Here are my reviews:

I loved this book - it contains 7 short works including White Nights and the Dream of a Ridiculous Man, two of the best stories I've read. The opening lines are great. Notes from Underground starts off with "I am a sick man, a spiteful man. I believe something is wrong with my liver." Underground is the longest piece in the book, and the first half is a manic jumble, but the second half is a pretty good narrative. Like a lot of his books, these stories have shy, flawed charac...more
Pure pleasure, and great value. A must read, Dostoyevsky fan or not. Short stories are a great way to introduce yourself to his world, and enough for you to want more. I've certainly worn down my book front to back.

7 Short stories, all splendid.

White Nights:
The Honest Thief:
The Christmas Tree and Wedding:
The Peasant Marey:
Notes from the Underground:
A Gentle Creature:
The Dream of a Ridiculous Man:

One of the most interesting things about classical literature is in the extremes: Devastating p...more
Dan Ruprecht
White Nights: a dreamer and his would-be lover meet on the street and proceed to be undeniably sentimental and tragic.

The Honest Thief: the respectable gentleman tells a story of his attachment to an alcoholic bum.

The Christmas Tree and Wedding: a spectator sees a wealthy and ambitious gentleman plot to become significantly wealthier by taking a much younger bride.

The Peasant Marey: autobiographical story about a saint-like peasant who cared about Dostoyevsky without particular reason.

Notes fr...more
Hah, random side story. I brought this collection on my honeymoon, which my husband found wildly amusing. Heavy fare, right? And then I saw what he packed - a book about Chinese grammar. Are we perfectly matched nerds or what? Anyways, I didn't finish it before classes started again, and for some reason, I didn't pick it back up until now.

The first four stories are interesting to Dostoyevsky fans that want to watch his development as an author. I don't think they would have been very memorable w...more
Jun 16, 2014 jim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jim by: no one
It is frustrating that a volume containing all of Dostoevsky’s short stories does not appear to exist in English… nor does it seem that all of them are even available in hardcover across multiple collections. Be that as it may this was a nice collection of a handful of stories from very early in his career mixed in with the final few short stories he put to paper. My reading of Dostoevsky has been all over the place chronologically speaking, so I appreciated that these stories were laid out in t...more
Jeanette Jenkins
I'm not an expert but found some of the short stories difficult to persevere with. The most enjoyable, profound and poignant short story for me in this book was "THE PEASANT MAREY' and is only 7 pages in length. It is about a serf (or slave) who belonged to Dostoevsky's father(they called him Marey) and was ploughing out in the field with his old mare. Dostoevsky was just a child and had been enjoying nature in the fields when he says "Suddently amid the dead silence I heard clearly and distinct...more
well i knew this book would be great from the get go as few names are as revered and mentioned in world literature as that of Fyodor Dostoevsky. well this book makes a very bold statement by being named "The Best Short Stories of Fyodor Dostoevsky" now i must admit i havent read much of his work but have heard great things of both his novels and short stories but after having read this,bear in mind i say this with the limited knowledge of his short stories, it is exactly what it claims to be. i...more
I only read 4 of the short stories here. Half the book is taken up by "Notes from the Underground" which was one of my favorite novellas in college, and I even made a mixtape adaptation starring Notorious B.I.G., Lil Kim, Curtis Mayfield, and Nancy Sinatra. So I'm not reviewing that story, since it's been a while. I read a pre-prison story, "White Nights", which was awful. Treacly and fatalistic at the same time, it was recently adapted into a huge Bollywood movie "Sawariyaa". I didn't like the...more
“Notes from the Underground”

Oh, if only I had done nothing merely out of laziness! Lord, how I should have respected myself then. I should have respected myself just because I should at least have been able to be lazy; I should at least have possessed one quality which might be mistaken for a positive one and in which I could have believed myself. Question—who is he? Answer—a loafer. I must say it would have been a real pleasure to have heard that said about myself, for it would have meant tha...more
I picked this up purely to read "White Nights." I had recently seen "Saawariya," a Bollywood film inspired by the story, which was pretty but lifeless. The story is just as dreamy as the movie, but what the movie lacked was the story's strong focus on what makes the main character a dreamer, and what it costs him to live so much in his own head. What the story lacks that the movie has is ... lots of very pretty musical numbers. I guess it's no surprise that Dostoevsky creams Sanjay Leela Bhansal...more
Erik Graff
May 24, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dostoevsky fans
Recommended to Erik by: Janny Marie Willis
Shelves: literature
My first really serious relationship was with a woman who had read pretty much all of Dostoevsky--and Tolstoy and lots of other impressive writers. We had met during my last year at Grinnell College in Iowa. It could have ended there as I was back in Illinois working that subsequent summer, but we corresponded, she came to stay at my home there and, eventually, a semester later, she transferred from Grinnell to Barnard College, moving into my dorm room at Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan....more
Tom Newth
not sure i really like dostoevsky all that much as it turns out, even white nights. few appealing characters in this, mostly whiny, self-pitying, and misanthropic to one degree or another, observed well enough, but in the end i'm just not that interested
Cheryl Scott
Jan 26, 2014 Cheryl Scott rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Russian lit., short stories, 19th century writiers
Shelves: russia
A collection of 7 of Dostoevsky's stories, including the famous and wonderful 'Notes from the Underground.' (Although any collection that doesn't contain 'Bobok' can't be called 'best' IMO)

If you haven't read Dostoevsky, this collection is a nice introduction.
David Spencer
[to review later, tl;dr the last book I read had a few of the same stories, but the ones that were new to me here were pretty good and the ones I had already read I re-read because they're so fucking good]
Dostoevsky is certainly not for everyone, but I'm a huge fan. His short stories may be a good way to get your feet wet if you're not ready to venture into the deeper waters of his extraordinary novels.

I wouldn't start with Notes From the Underground. It's certainly the most interesting piece in the collection, but it's a tad bizarre. Underground is a psychological exploration of human nature, which happens to be Dostoevsky's forte. If Notes From the Underground turns you off, then maybe Dostoevs...more
Derlemede yer alan öyküler ve (bir kısmı daha önce ayrı kitaplar olarak yayımlanmış) uzun öyküler,Dostoyevski'nin romanlarında geliştirdiği temaların küçük birer çekirdeği gibi görülebilir, ama bu, onun öykülerinin romanlarından daha az önemli olduğu anlamına gelmez. Tuhaflıkların yazarı, kitabın arka kapağında belirtildiği gibi, elini attığı her konuyu esrarlı bir hikâyeye dönüştürüyor ve bu hikâyelerde, ruhsal çözümlemeler kadar, sürükleyici kurguların, yer yer fantastikleşen absürd mizah unsu...more
Timothy Good
Very fine though Dostoevsky was not born to the short story as a genre as Chekhov clearly was. Some of these stories feel not so much like crafted short stories--with all aspects like character, setting and plot subordinated to the genre--as they do character studies, pencil sketches of the kind an artist might undertake in preparation for some more magisterial piece. I am most likely projecting 'backwards' through the lens of his novels to these short works, but for those who have read the nove...more
Madison Cerizo
white nights and the dream of a ridiculous man is where it's at
Apr 03, 2009 Annie added it
My friend Sam loves Dostoevsky, and he gave me this book for Christmas 2007. The short stories in this book were great. Dostoevsky really brings you inside his main characters. Each one is painfully shy and has, to me, bizarre world views. However, his writing is so good that I really enjoyed being with his characters. I hesitate to write any more, knowing that whole careers have been built on analyzing and criticizing Dostoevsky. This book has inspired me to add some classic novels to the moder...more
I find that I must always be in a certain odd, fairly pensive mood to read Dostoyevsky well, but for the sake of having to return the book to the library in time, I couldn't. My favourites were 'The Christmas Tree and the Wedding' and 'The Honest Thief'. Musings and impassioned declarations from 'Notes from the Underground' are very interesting, but I find it better to read these excerpts when I am in the aforementioned mood, and not while I'm reading for the first time, for the sake of getting...more
i think i'm about ready to give up on reading classic literature. i'm finding the narrative voice just as irritating here as in the many long diversions on the evils of atheism and the character of the russian peasant that ruined the brothers karamazov for me. it doesn't help that he's addressing the reader and ascribing annoying straw man arguments to "you" so he can rant about the laws of nature and determinism. does it improve and actually develop some plot at any point or should i give up no...more
i think i'm about ready to give up on reading classic literature. i'm finding the narrative voice just as irritating here as in the many long diversions on the evils of atheism and the character of the russian peasant that ruined the brothers karamazov for me. it doesn't help that he's addressing the reader and ascribing annoying straw man arguments to "you" so he can rant about the laws of nature and determinism. does it improve and actually develop some plot at any point or should i give up no...more
Jigar patel
When i read the story Christmas Tree and The Wedding; I just fell into reverie for an hour... how can someone write such splendid, sterling, supreme a story. Before reading that story I actually didn't know that such a writer could possibly exist in the world. This is one great book; just read it.. up.

Nietzsche referred to Dostoevsky as "the only psychologist from whom I have something to learn: he belongs to the happiest windfalls of my life, happier even than the discovery of Stendhal."
Dostoevsky was suggested by a friend.....thought I would start with some 'short stories' to see if this was something I would like. Thoroughly enjoyed "White Nights" and "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man". As Dostoevsky commands your full attention, it does take some time and commitment to finish even his short stories. This being said, I think I will save 'Crime and Punishment' and 'The Idiot' until the new year....and will focus on a completely different genre for the time being.
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  • Great Short Works
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment (Monarch Notes)
  • The Enchanted Wanderer: Selected Tales
  • First Love and Other Stories (World's Classics)
  • Five Great Short Stories
  • The Overcoat and Other Short Stories
  • Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt, 1821-1849
  • Literature and Revolution
  • The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Golovlyov Family
  • The Collected Stories
  • Soul
  • Sofia Petrovna
  • The Portable Twentieth-Century Russian Reader
  • Collected Stories
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the human soul had a profound influence on the 20th century novel.

Dostoevsky was the second son of a former army doctor. He was educated at home and at a private school. Shortly after the death...more
More about Fyodor Dostoyevsky...
Crime and Punishment The Brothers Karamazov The Idiot Notes from Underground Demons

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