The Eternal Husband and Other Stories
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The Eternal Husband and Other Stories

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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,280 ratings  ·  45 reviews
The centerpiece of this collection, "The Eternal Husband" (1890) is one of Dostoevsky's most perfect works. Classical in form, it presents his most profound exploration of mimetic rivalry and the duality of human consciousness. Told from the point of view of a rich and idle man who is confronted by a younger rival, the husband of his former, and now deceased, mistress, the...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 2nd 1997 by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
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Christina
The short stories in this book range from very dark to quite hilarious. "A Nasty Anecdote" describes a high-status man who tries to socialize with the "little people" to show them just how humane he is, but he fails and what Dostoevsky presents is an extremely awkward situation that almost hurts to read, yet is still very funny (kind of like the UK The Office, which is painfully and hilariously awkward).

"The Eternal Husband" is an amazing story. I was blown away. It is very intense; there are so...more
Frederick
The title story is a novella. That is the part I read. "The Eternal Husband" is the model for Saul Bellow's novel, THE VICTIM. Having read and liked THE VICTIM, I decided to read Dostoevsky's novella. I read it in the translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky. (That's the Bantam edition with the Magritte-like painting on the cover, with the man's back to us.) Dostoevsky's masterpiece is not only the model for Bellow's book, it is the blueprint. Bellow's genius was to introduce the theme of antisemit...more
Harman
Dostoevsky is known for his long fiction, and for good reason; it seems that his short stories are hit-and-miss. I gave the book four stars because the stories that I did like I did so much as to counterbalance those that I did not.
A Nasty Anecdote seemed to be a super-abridged version of a Dostoevsky novel, to the point that the drama and bite inherent in his loner works is watered-down, if not absent. It was a good story, with witty, even embarrassingly hilarious moments, but altogether it fel...more
Frankie
A Nasty Anecdote, also known as An Unpleasant Predicament along with every other possible translation of the words, is not as pristine of plot as D's previous stories. The paralleled figures, Pralinsky and Pseldonymov, seem to be developed fully, but many of the detailed characters like Mlekopitaev remain offstage. The main idea behind the conflict of the story is brilliant, and apropos to the subject matter of the day. Alexander II had just freed Russia from serfdom, and the intelligentsia were...more
Karan Gupta
This is another one of those books that I ordered as a step forth in my attempt to complete Dostoyevsky's works. The name of the primary story was somewhat intriguing and Dostoyevsky is always a good bet. Hence I ordered it without much thought. The book turned out to have five short stories, two of which ("Bobok" and "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man") I had already covered in another compilation. The other three, I read with relish.

A very short note about Dostoyevsky's writing in this book : the...more
Jonathon
Overall, a great collection of some of Dostoevsky's lesser known works. This book collects one long novella (The Eternal Husband, clocking in close to 200 pages), and four short stories. What's surprising is the amount of dark humor on display here. Dostoevsky is usually thought of as a very serious writer, and yet these stories feature some fantastically awkward comedy. Here is a breakdown of the stories:

A Nasty Anecdote (4/5): This is a hilariously cringe-inducing story that could double as a...more
Jason Goodman
Well, I have not been jumping up and down clicking my heels if that is what you are asking. Since when does a secret group of people get together and decide that they are going to make an authors book a classic of print? Personally, I have read a number of Russian authors and I do not feel that Fyodor is one of the better writers. Is that going to damn me to hell fire? These stories were difficult, not because of some deep esoteric implication, there were entire page's that just went on and on t...more
Stoyan Petrov
Dostoyevsky is amazing, even his short stories (some of them not that short at all) are great. I particularly liked "Вечный муж", "Село Степанчиково и его обитатели" and "Дядюшкин сон". As an author, he is an astonishing researcher of the human soul and likes bringing to the surface all the misery, greediness and hypocrisy mankind possesses. It's not an easy read but it's definitely worth it.
Len Lennon
Perhaps the other stories in this particular edition were different to the other stories in my edition (it's got a different front cover), but I read 'The Eternal Husband'. Didn't think much of it but I can't remember the content of it now, only a bit of the feeling it created in me.
Richard
Dostoevsky was clearly NOT the master of the short story in the way that he was the master of the prolonged novel of humanity, but the title story of this book (more like a short novel running in at just under 200 pages) really kept me hooked, and I kept wanting to come back to it to finish it. In the title story, a man runs into the widower of a woman he'd had an affair with years ago. With it comes all of the great Dostoevsky humor and human extremism that he is well-canoned for. The last thre...more
Jessica C.
I love anything Dostoevsky. In spite of the writing conditions he placed himself under always gambling, drinking, owing everyone money, and his distinctive experience with his hairbreadth escape from being on the receiving end of a shooting squad he maintained an amazing incite into the human condition. He spent 5 years in Siberia for his involvement with anti-government elements but rose to greatness after his death as one of the forerunners into the mind of a man tortured by his existence;he s...more
Anna
In Polish edition under the title The eternal husband and and other stories there are four novellas - Honest thief, The Christmas tree and the wedding, The eternal husband and Stiepanchzikovo town and its citizens. Dostoevsky in smaller forms than Crime and Punishment or The Brothers Karamazov.
Jennifer
I really enjoyed this collection of stories especially the first two. I found "A Nasty Anecdote" to be hilarious and "The Eternal Husband" was thoroughly fascinating and engaging. I was so completely involved in the story that when I finished I felt that I had to take a break. As I told a friend, Dostoyevsky is like red meat - very rich, very good, but very heavy and sometimes you have to take a break. The last few stories I didn't enjoy as much, but thought they were still worth reading.
Christopher
Don’t know where I picked up my addition, but it is only the Eternal Husband. If you have red his stories, the characters are keeping with his style and comical and painful to witness at the same time.
What if you are lonely and the only person you have to befriend is also someone you want to seek revenge on. That is the conflict of the novel and worth the read.
Nicholas
A great collection of short stories by Dostoevsky. Although "The Eternal Husband" is a bit long, it proves to be very satisfying. Within this collection my favorites were "The Meek One" and "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man." Actually the latter of my favorites provides a good description of paradise without the Fall as seen from an Eastern Christian perspective.
Charlise
"No artistic salon singer could ever have achieved such an effect. In this romance, the intensity of the passion rises and grows with every line, every word; precisely because of this extraordinary intensity, the slightest falseness, the slightest exaggeration or untruth -- which one gets away with so easily in opera -- would here ruin and distort the whole meaning."
Janet
4.5. Characters awesome, dark, and often funny.
Jonathan Dickstein
I liked all these pieces. Notably, however, read this for Bobok (a funny short piece about death) and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. As a note, I wouldn't recommend reading The Dream of a Ridiculous Man until reading most, if not all, of the major pieces by Dostoevsky: this little piece tells everything.
Julies
If you've never read Dostoevsky's shorter works, you should really get on that. There's some fantastic satire in here, some of his best humor, and some really heart-wrenching stuff. If you're into undiscovered gems of great authors, this is a great collection with which to start.
Phani Tholeti
Five stories:
The meek one
The dream of a ridiculous man
Bobok
The eternal husband
A nasty anecdote

Eternal Husband becomes long and boring at places. But the others are good. Too good. The non-continuity in the thoughts of a human are so clearly brought out, its amazing to read.
David Williamson
A book illuminating aspects fo Dostoevsky's thought and philosophy - a Dostoevsky abridged or lite. Some moments of real anguish and touching psychology, although I'm not sure how well Dostoevsky lends himself to short stories; even at 150 pages for a story.
Erma Odrach
All but one of these stories were written in the last ten years of Dostoevsky's life. There's a lot of the usual psychological interplay, and the chracters are all to real. My favorite was The Meek One, where a man deals with the suicide of his wife.
Vangelicmonk
Sep 23, 2007 Vangelicmonk rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dosteovsky Fans
Shelves: fiction
A great compliation of Dosteovsky short stories. I didn't like all of them, but I did like "The Eternal Husband," "The Meek One" and "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man." The other two stories were ok, but nothing special. I recommend the book.
Kate
Dostoevsky unfurls his characters' psyches here with even more intensity and depth than in his novels (see "The Meek One," "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man"). An change of pace in the surprisingly funny "Bobok." Excellent notes, also.
Noam
pretty much all good. also mostly all lesser, derivative versions of the big novels, but lesser and derivative versions of those are better than most novels. the titular novel and dream of a ridiculous man were particularly good!
Bill Barker
First reading of Dostoevsky. I enjoyed the writing but all the stories were so grim both the setting and story, even with the glint of humor which Dostoevsky displays. I intend to read more of this author.
Karen
i found the first story fairly slow but the rest of this collection, in particular the last 3, were very enjoyable
Karen
Jan 24, 2010 Karen rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dostoyevsky fans
Overall structure, plot, experience of reading -- not earth-shaking, but there are some great quotes on human nature. I much prefer other works, esp. Crime and Punishment and The Idiot.
James
Short and straight to the point. If you want to understand who an eternal husband is and what roles or responsibilities they should have in dostoevsky's words, look no further than this.
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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...
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