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Best Russian Short Stories

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  403 ratings  ·  45 reviews
In 1834 two short stories appeared, The Queen of Spades, by Pushkin, and The Cloak, by Gogol. The first was a finishing-off of the old, outgoing style of romanticism, the other was the beginning of the new, the characteristically Russian style. We read Pushkin's Queen of Spades, the first story in the volume, and the likelihood is we shall enjoy it greatly. "But why is it ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published November 12th 2008 by Book Jungle (first published January 1st 1925)
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I thought this anthology was great. I had never really read any works by any of the authors mentioned before and would have to credit this collection of short stories as my first introduction to Russian literature. Below is the list of the short stories that are included in this anthology - I put a next to my favorite ones.
The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin - A poor man begs an old woman for her secret to winning games. Shows how poor people can be possessed by greed if they have the oppo
Lamski Kikita
Indeed these are some of the very best short stories from Russian literature, which I have loved since I was a little girl. Gogol with his wittiness, Chekhov with his brutal satires, and Gorky's beautiful descriptions; it just does not get any better.

I will admit that loving the Russian novel is rather difficult, for it is a commitment that many are not willing to make; you enter into a contract to learn of excruciating detail of each character; some that are of great significance, and some tha
This book has been the start for my latest infatuation of collections of short stories. I’ve wanted to read Tolstoy but, like most, have been completely intimidated by size of his novels, however Anna Karenina, and War and Peace have been on my to read list since I was in High School. I thought this would be a good introduction to Russian literature and I was definitely right. I find classic Russian writing deliciously grim and depressing at times and after reading the stories with the aid of th ...more
Jun 05, 2009 El rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to El by: Josiah - by picking it up off a library shelf at random. Good c
Here are 20 of the best Russian short stories, from Pushkin to Bunin. I was finally able to check off some of the stories I've always meant to read but for one reason or another had never actually had a chance to spend time with, like Pushkin's "The Queen of Spades" or Gogol's "The Cloak". I knew the stories going into them, but having not read them previously I was excited by just how poetic they were. Being the first two stories in the collection I knew I had found a great collection. Some aut ...more
Trang Le
I've always been fascinated by short stories, and this anthology reinforces my love for this genre even more. I can't think of a short story in this collection that I don't like, except for Dostoevsky's, but I've never been impressed by his dry writing style. Normally "best" is a bit presumptuous, but I don't think the short stories here can get any better, from Gogol's wittiness, Chekhov's wicked satire, Gorky's supreme talent for narrative, Turgenev's humanity to other talented writers I don't ...more
A mixed collection - I really enjoyed Gogol's "The Cloak", Saltykov's "How a Muzhik Fed Two Officials", and Korolenko's "The Shades, a Phantasy" but disliked Andreyev's "Lazarus" and Artzybashev's "The Revolutionist". The others fell in between. This collection did give me a good sampling of classic Russian authors, including several I had never heard of before.
Colin Rush
While the stories are very good, there must be something lost in translation, as they are often dry and rambling. Also, this is not a happy book. These stories range from sad irony to outright depressing. Not that it is a bad thing, but don't read this expecting happy endings.
Karen Chung
If you are intrigued by Russian literature but don't know where to start, you need look no further. This collection is true to its name and indeed includes many exquisite shorter works. Excellent introduction to help orient you before you start. Highly recommended.
Kseniya Melnik
I got my copy from a used bookstore in Homer, Alaska; it's from 1925 (the Modern Library). The original copyright is by Boni & Liveright, Inc., from 1917. The introduction by Seltzer is great, and so is the selection of stories. Leonid Andreyev's "The Red Laugh" is mind-blowing. And-not least importantly-the book has that great old book smell! Love it.
Suzanne Auckerman
Downloaded this book from Gutenberg Press--that such a great site. While I had read many of these stories before, they were so much more meaningful after being there, seeing their museums, the monuments, churches and parks. The Russian people endure. They love their country, but their expectations for personal happiness are low. They enjoy the good times and know they will have to endure the bad. Several times I heard people say we know the low oil price will hurt the economy as well as the econ ...more
I knew very little of Russian literature, and I was very satisfied with this collection of Russian short stories. I now understand why so many authors have cited the realism of Russian writers.

A few of the nineteen stories in the collection really stood out to me, specifically Gogol's "The Cloak [Overcoat:]", Chekhov's "The Bet", Andreyev's "Lazarus", and Artzybashev's "The Revolutionist".

Also, I recommend re-reading the introduction in the beginning of the book after you have read the short sto
"Best" is a bit presumptuous, I'd say, but these are certainly all fantastic stories.

I've heard tell of the fundamental depression in the Russian author's psyche, but I don't find it so oppressive. They just go straight to the heart of the matter and ask, "Why?" At the close of the Russian imperial period, they had several good reasons to wonder what the hell the world had come to.

Favorites are hard to choose, but I found "Lazarus" the most fascinating, "Queen of Spades" the most amusing, "Vank
Santanu Dutta
Its a superb compilation of good classic Russian literature short stories and short novels. I already have put reviews on three that I read as small books. The Overcoat, The Queen Of Spades, and Christmas Tree and a Wedding. This collection bears stories even surpassing the styles and humanity as,we see in Queen if Spades and Christmas Tree.
I should define my best fav sequence as under.
1. Hide and Seek by Sologub 5x
2. The Darling by Chekhov 5x
3. One Autumn Night by Gorky 5x
4. Her lover by Gorky
A beautiful collection from the best Russian writers. The stories I enjoyed the most were:
"The Queen of Spades" by Pushkin
"The Cloak" by Gogol
"The Christmas Tree and the Wedding" by Dostoyevsky
"The Signal" by Garshin
"Hide and Seek" by Sologub
"The Bet" by Anton Chekhov
"Dethroned" by Ignatii Potapenko
"Her Lover" by Maxim Gorky
Mary Mcclain
This was a really interesting collection of Russian short stories... but read the preface first so you understand why they were selected to show how both literature and the Russian society progressed over this time period. Understanding the context made a big difference to me. Sort of a mini-class on Russian lit.
My favorites were "The Queen of Spades" by Pushkin; "The Cloak" by Gogol; "The Christmas Tree and the Wedding" by Dostoyevsky; "The Signal" by Garshin; "Hide and Seek" by Sologub; "The Bet" by Anton Chekhov; "Dethroned" by Ignatii Potapenko; and "Her Lover" by Maxim Gorky.
Interesting collection of stories. The main themes appear to be death, illness, greed, simplicity, and naivety. Russian storytelling is not exactly cheerful, and at times the reader's spirit feels as cold as a Siberian winter once she reaches the end of a story.
This was a very interesting set of stories. All set in a different culture and a different time, but humans are always humans. The Cloak by Gogol was my favorite of the bunch.
A nice insight into Russian short stories, some really excellent, some terrible unfortunately.
Of course in most anthologies there are some stories you don't like, but there were too many in here and some of them not only boring but of terrible writing style even. With my method of skipping stories if they aren't interesting after a couple pages this was manageable though. Unfortunately i forced myself to read through the first one, which made me suffer quite a bit.

The excellent stories by Chekho
Abdulmunaim Eid
It's definitely hard to determine which Russian short story is the best and which is the second best and so forth. However, you can be assured that the collection in this book contains some of the best short stories not only of the Russian literature but also of the human one. You can easily get so involved into the life of an unknown poor official with no special skills or virtues, just a simple man who needed a new cloak. You may realize that ,as all good literature, this is not about the cloa ...more
Further review to follow....but basically, started reading this after I finished Dead Souls. From the reviews I'd heard talk about The Nose and The Overcoat/The Cloak, two of Gogol's better known short stories. I picked up both on Project Gutenberg. The later was part of this compilation. When I finished the Cloak, which I enjoyed immensely, I decided to dive into the others. I had been reading Tristram Shandy as my, er, bathroom book at the office. I wasn't really feeling it, so figured I'd giv ...more
jim copley
Exciting and informative

All the stories are well written. Seeing the subjects from a different society shed a slightly different light on them.
I've only read The Bet by A.P. Chekhov out of these short stories. A.P. Chekhov amazed me with his ability to write something as profound as The Bet in as few words as he used. Though I don't completely agree with the principles expressed in this short story, it provided me with a perspective of life I had not considered. Plus, I've always wondered what isolation would be like, but have never wanted to experience it myself. It's short but not very light hearted. I do recommend it for one of thos ...more
Great samples from the works of Gorky, Chekov, dostoyevsky and tolstoy
I think this is a great book. I'm attempting to read a bunch of Russian literature, and this was my first step into Chechov. There were a couple other authors that I'd heard of and wanted to check out as well; namely Gogol.

This was a lot easier than I expected and I would recommend it to anyone as a leaping off point if they want to get into this genre.

There were many that I liked, but I would have to say that "Lazarus" by Leonid Andreyev was probably my favorite.
My first introduction to Russian literature. It provided me with a unique perspective of life which i did not considered or ignored earlier. A sensitive read with lots opportunity to introspect and reflect.

A must read for the new fast going generation for understanding that there cant be no human without humanism. I felt a social attachment with these slow and inspiring stories.

I will wait for the day when i can read these stories for my son.
A great collection and probably a good place to start if you want to try out Russian Literature. It has all the usual suspects like Pushkin, Gogol, Gorky, Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky. I just want to give extra attention to two stories: "The Shades" by Vladimir Korolenko and "Lazarus" by Leonid Andreyev. I had never heard of these authors and both of these stories are amazing. Seriously try to read them if you have the chance.
Nathan C.
There are a few jewels in the handful; but some are quite ordinary stones, and there are a few cockroaches in it as well. All of Chekhov's are good writing, but not all are honest. Tolstoy is clean gold, again and again. There was also a very good one by a writer I had never heard of before--a Vsevolod Garshin.
This is a collection of stories by superb writers, Pushkin,Gogol,Turgenov, Tolsoy, Dostoyevsky etc etc. I like the style of all these writers, who seem very contemporary. They tend to write with force and without flowery phrases. The only problem is they tend to be downers, and I can only take so much weight.
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