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The Gentleman from San Francisco and Other Stories (Penguin Modern Classics)
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The Gentleman from San Francisco and Other Stories (Penguin Modern Classics)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  1,228 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
A much neglected literary figure, Ivan Bunin is one of Russia's major writers and ranks with Tolstoy and Chekhov at the forefront of the Russian Realists. Drawing artistic inspiration from his personal experience, these powerful, evocative stories are set in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Russia of his youth, in the countries that he visited and in ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 26th 1992 by Penguin Classics (first published January 1st 1922)
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--The Gentleman from San Francisco
--The Primer of Love
--Chang's Dreams
--Long Ago
--An Unknown Friend
--At Sea, at Night
--Mitya's Love
--The Caucasus
--Late Hour
--Visiting Cards
--Zoyka and Valeria
--The Riverside Tavern
--A Cold Autumn
Erma Odrach
Oct 01, 2009 Erma Odrach rated it it was amazing
Ivan Bunin (1870-1953) is one of Russia's most overlooked writers. The stories are set in Russia, parts of Europe and France, where the author lived the last 30 years of his life. The pieces are really extraordinary in that they are about ordinary people who are brought to life in very colorful ways. The language is rich and detailed, sensuous, and reads like poetry. Nobel prize for 1933 and 1st Russian to win it.
Mar 25, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it
I would love to read more Bunin. Beautiful short stories. He isn't a Russian author that many people know about, which is a real shame.
Nov 23, 2013 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ivan Bunin was the odd man out of Russian letters the early nineteenth century -- in a highly factionalized literary world, he stood by himself, or rather, in what he saw as the grand tradition of realists, not in the revolutionary vein of Gorky's but instead that of Tolstoy. Yet he clearly lacked Tolstoy's grand vision; what this volume reveals him to be, concerned mostly with the Russian countryside and failed love, is a Chekhov but without the exploration of how people interact and affect ...more
Jamyang Phuntsok
Jan 15, 2013 Jamyang Phuntsok rated it it was ok
Shelves: russian-lit
As I read the stories I became increasingly convinced that Bunin had been influenced by Buddhism. Most of the stories had very little plot, no great dialogues, they were rather sketches of a fleeting encounter, or an affair or a nostalgic recollection that echoed the fragility of our joys and existence. The title story itself sets the tone from the beginning - an American gentleman, holidaying in Italy with his family, meets with an unexpected end. The whole episode is narrated with almost ...more
Jan 18, 2013 Tony rated it really liked it
THE GENTLEMAN FROM SAN FRANCISCO and other stories. (1923). Ivan Bunin. ****.
Ivan Bunin (1870-1953) was the first Russian writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1933. He wrote several novels, but was primarily known for his short stories. This collection was read in an on-line version scanned in from an editon published by Thomas Seltzer, Pubisher, in New York. What made this interesting was that translation was attributed to three men, two of whom were Leonard Woolf and D. H. Lawrence
Scott Cox
The most unforgettable story was the title story, "Gentleman from San Francisco" (how could a gentleman from San Francisco not say so??). However, the other stories by the Russian author Ivan Bunin were excellent as well. Perhaps most haunting, most intriguing are the series of letters to “An Unknown Friend.” In it, the mysterious friend receives in a letter an excellent treatise on the nature of love, best exemplified by the following quote, “Perhaps as a result of my having experienced certain ...more
Jul 31, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-fiction
Excellent book! Even more surprisingly this is an easy read - not a phrase commonly used to describe Russian writers' books.

Bunin has an incredible talent for making normal people and events seem extraordinary. The Gentleman from San Francisco is a brilliant story. I was captivated the entire time, and I even found myself laughing in certain parts. The rest of the book was just as fun to read.

Russian writers have never been my favorite, but Bunin reads more like a British writer than his Russian
Greg Fanoe
Dec 01, 2013 Greg Fanoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nobel Prize Project
Year: 1933
Winner: Ivan Bunin

Review: The title story was great, one of the most insightful, thought provoking stories I've read in a long time. The other three stories in the collection were fairly innocuous character portraits, not exactly exciting but well-written. "Son" was the best of those. I will definitely be checking out more by this guy.

Verdict: I don't know whether he was the best possible choice, but this is fundamentally Nobel-quality writing.
Sep 01, 2013 TarasProkopyuk rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Этот рассказ служит очередным напоминанием людям об ложных жизненных ценностях.

Иван Бунин приложил усилия для того чтобы читатель иногда вспоминал подлинные ценности жизни, а возможно и переосмыслил текущие.

Ничем таким особенным это произведение автора не выделяется, но эта работа несомненно стоит внимания.
Sep 02, 2016 Daria rated it it was amazing
All gems...
When I first read it, 'A Cold Autumn' brought tears to my eyes and shivers up my spine. And it still does.
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See Иван Бунин
Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin (Russian: Иван Алексеевич Бунин) was the first Russian writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was noted for the strict artistry with which he carried on the classical Russian traditions in the writing of prose and poetry. The texture of his poems and stories, sometimes referred to as "Bunin brocade", is considered to be one of the richest in the lan
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“Having shaved, washed, and dexterously arranged several artificial teeth, standing in front of the mirror, he moistened his silver-mounted brushes and plastered the remains of his thick pearly hair on his swarthy yellow skull. He drew on to his strong old body, with its abdomen protuberant from excessive good living, his cream-colored silk underwear, put black silk socks and patent-leather slippers on his flat-footed feet. He put sleeve-links in the shining cuffs of his snow-white shirt, and bending forward so that his shirt front bulged out, he arranged his trousers that were pulled up high by his silk braces, and began to torture himself, putting his collar-stud through the stiff collar. The floor was still rocking beneath him, the tips of his fingers hurt, the stud at moments pinched the flabby skin in the recess under his Adam's apple, but he persisted, and at last, with eyes all strained and face dove-blue from the over-tight collar that enclosed his throat, he finished the business and sat down exhausted in front of the pier glass, which reflected the whole of him, and repeated him in all the other mirrors.

" It is awful ! " he muttered, dropping his strong, bald head, but without trying to understand or to know what was awful. Then, with habitual careful attention examining his gouty-jointed short fingers and large, convex, almond-shaped finger-nails, he repeated : " It is awful. . . .”
“The middle of the 'Atlantis' the warm, luxurious cabins,ining-rooms, halls, shed light and joy, buzzed with the chatter of an elegant crowd, was fragrant with fresh flowers, and quivered with the sounds of a string orchestra. And again amidst that crowd, amidst the brilliance of lights, silks, diamonds, and bare feminine shoulders, a slim and supple pair of hired lovers painfully writhed and at moments convulsively clashed. A sinfully discreet, pretty girl with lowered lashes and hair innocently dressed, and a tallish young man with black hair looking as if it were glued on, pale with powder, and wearing the most elegant patent-leather shoes and a narrow, long-tailed dress coat, a beau resembling an enormous leech. And no one knew that this couple had long since grown weary of shamly tormenting themselves with their beatific love-tortures, to the sound of bawdy-sad music ; nor did any one know of that thing which lay deep, deep below at the very bottom of the dark hold, near the gloomy and sultry bowels of the ship that was so gravely overcoming the darkness, the ocean, the blizzard.” 6 likes
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