Selected Stories
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Selected Stories

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  16,870 ratings  ·  302 reviews
With an Introduction and Notes by Joe Andrew, Professor of Russian Literature, Keele University Anton Chekhov is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers of short stories. He constructs stories where action and drama are implied rather than described openly, and which leave much to the reader's imagination. This collection contains some of the most important of his e...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published 1996 by Wordsworth Classics (first published 1900)
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La Petite Américaine
Jul 04, 2008 La Petite Américaine rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Is Your Brain Bigger than a Bolt? Yes? Read This.
I'm not a literary critic, obviously. My description of books as sucky/trite/trash, etc kind of make me wonder how I ever even majored in English Lit all those years ago. But let me see if I can describe Chekhov in the way I've come to understand him ... and his awesomeness. (heehee)

Chekhov was a doctor before he was a writer, he knew how the human body worked, he knew the human mind, and he knew what external stimulus (the weather, the look in a person's eye, the placement of a strange object)...more
Inderjit Sanghera
Many writers pride themselves on the beauty of their prose style. Flaubert would spend days composing the perfect sentence for Madame Bovary. Nabokov wrote his prose ecstatically, his vocabulary was formidable and formed a core part of his aesthetic values. Proust’s composition was like a flower, the sentences formed a stem upon which the petals of his metaphors were able to grow and develop. Thomas Mann was concerned with weighty philosophical problems, Dostoevskii with psychological ones, Conr...more
There is a vein of dull misery running through much of modern realism. It is not even tragedy, because tragedy requires that the person be suffering as a result of their actions, and that they be emotionally complex enough to understand what is happening to them, and to feel the whole of that pain.

These stories of misery have none of that, they are tales of the ignorant, of the emotionally stunted, who bumble into one stupidity after another, never realizing why or what it means. Is there a cert...more
You know, man, it doesn't matter who translates you. You always sound just like yourself. A casual observer. And yet the casualness reveals so much about us.

I picked up one of your books yesterday, having a hard time concentrating on anything else. The want to read was there, but nothing sounded good. And then I thought, Chekhov! We haven't read Chekhov in a bit. Two sentences into a randomly picked story I knew it was you, and I knew I would not put down the book until it was finished. And as...more
Finally got around to Chekhov's short stories this year. I'd been hearing his name as a must-read for quite some time - he either invented or defined many of the narrative possibilities inherent in the short story.

Based on how others had raved, I sat down preparing to be completely blown away. (Some people just go crazy for Chekhov!) I made a fair-sized dent in the book and it just wasn't happening - sure, the stories were great and intelligently crafted, and "The Lady with the Little Dog" was v...more
The stories in this collection (translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky) were written in the period 1883 to 1903. They appear to be set in the "present" - that is, they are tales of Russia and her people as things were in the last few decades of the 1900s. Chekhov's overall view of life, as revealed in the stories, is that the lot of man and woman is an unhappy one. This is true whether one is a peasant or a well off doctor, bishop, aristocrat, land owner, student ... whatever. The circumstances di...more
Oct 19, 2013 Simon marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I've seen some Chekhov in the theatre, but I have not, I repeat I have not, read this book. But I wanted to review it because the Canadian author David Gilmour, in a recent and notorious interview, says just how cool Chekhov was. I mean, if a famous author like Gilmour can spend precious column inches talking not about Chekhov's literary accomplishments, but about what a great guy he was, I don't see why I can't too!

So, Chekhov was great. He was really nice to his friends. He listened to their p...more
This collection of thirty stories by the Russian dramatist and short story master is a fine career sample, beginning with early sketches and including major stories often anthologized such as “Ward No. 6” and “The Lady with the Little Dog.” His subjects are doctors, peasants, petty officials, ferrymen, monks, nannies, soldiers, patients, artists, society folks. His topics are as broad—fidelity, integrity, meaning, duty, survival, faith, class. There are stories about a medical student and an art...more
Hugo Emanuel
Esta foi a primeira colecção de histórias que li de Chekhov (ou Tchekhov, se preferirem a tradução dada ao nome do autor em português. Usarei nesta “review” a tradução utilizada pela editora que publicou a edição que li). Já tinha lido em algumas antologias que coleccionavam contos de vários autores umas duas ou três das suas histórias, as quais deixaram uma impressão extremamente favorável do autor. Tinha prometido a mim próprio na altura vir a ler muito mais da obra de Chekhov num futuro próxi...more
Sep 26, 2011 Jessica marked it as sampled-a-few  ·  review of another edition
I'm generally good about not being too starstruck by literary reputation, and I feel pretty confident that I can bravely approach the big guns and judge them based on my personal view of their merits. But with Chekhov, for some reason, I find myself cowed. Like, I'm just not really sure what I think of him and I kind of have this stupid feeling like I want someone to tell me. You know, it's CHEKHOV, right? I should have some big RESPONSE. I should love him! Or loathe him! I need to think somethi...more
The story about the sneeze set me to thinking about the aggressive possibilities of sniveling apologies. This minor subaltern type sneezes in a theatre and some spray mists the august shoulders of a minor Grandee. The poor subaltern cannot believe his wildly overbearing apologies are sufficient, he cannot find release. You might say Subaltern becomes a sort of stalker. Things don't end well.

Read this story when I was about 15. It is true that I was total spaz (like I'm not now?). I started going...more
(Wordsworth Classics, 1995)

I thought I would enjoy this book more than I actually did. A good amount
of these stories left me cold, baffled, or just not very satisfied.

There were a few I liked, especially "The Night Before Easter."

Novel or not, there's a lot to be learned from Chekhov's simple presentation of complex characters and his descriptive scenes. And some parts were very funny, even if the whole wasn't amazing.

Anton Chekhov's literary work is often labelled as 'pessimistic' and this is not untrue. However, it is not merely pessimistic; in fact, to try and reduce his writing or worldview to any single concept would be folly. Yes, Chekov does like to focus on settings that are wretched and tragic, but he also maintains hope that man's condition might someday be improved and is too sympathetic towards human beings to be considered a mere cynic.

Chekhov isn't just an impressionist either. He definitely exc...more
Cintantya Sotya Ratri
Sastrawan berdarah Rusia dengan nama-nama mereka yang unik dan populer seperti Leo Tolstoy, Vladimir Nabakov, Fyodor M. Dostoyewski, dan lain-lain selalu bikin aku penasaran buat membaca karya-karya mereka. Selain karena aku memang senang banget dengan segala hal yang berbau budaya Rusia, nama-nama mereka memang sangat dihormati di dunia sastra yang membuat karya mereka menjadi bacaan wajib siapa saja dan seakan sudah menjadi milik masyarakat dunia.

Karya-karya Anton Chekov yang sudah diterjemahk...more
Anton Chekhov, a Russian writer active in the 1880 onwards, had a relatively short, but prosperous career. The majority of his work had been written during a course of 3 years (1885-1887), and yet in these few years he amounted to be widely regarded as one of the greatest and most important writers of short fiction.

This volume published by Wordsworth Editions in their “Classics” category, collects on 188 pages 24 selected short stories. Their titles are, in order: Overseasoned, The Night Before...more
Bob Mustin
I’ve had this book of stories for a while, waiting, I suppose, for the time and mood to be right to not only read them but to study them. If you aren’t familiar with Chekhov, he was a ground-breaker in story style, up there with de Maupassant and Hemingway. Tolstoy sang young Chekhov’s praises (Why? Keep reading.) and every writing class in the northern hemisphere makes much of these stories (and deservedly so). The book is voluminous for one who must study, so I’m reading it in halves, so I won...more
Jasreet Badyal
Short blurb: This is a great collection of short stories and the translation is very readable.

I enjoyed reading the short stories, but at some point I started to want to read something that I had a plot strung together rather than these blips. I think it's the perfect read for someone who doesn't have much time, you can quickly read a short story before bed. I wish I had picked it up during the semester. But now that I have a bit more free time, I would prefer to read a lengthier piece.

I'm always pushed back to Chekhov. Whether it's reading Francine Prose's brilliant "Reading LIke a Writer," in which she ultimately throws up her hands with regards to there being any coherent "rules" for good writing that, in fact, Chekhov didn't break, or whether it's George Saunders pointing to Chekhov stories as his starting point for the first story in "The Tenth of December," or Saunders saying that the role of literature isn't to change politics on a macro scale but rather to induce a fra...more
Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog)
I'm reading the short stories of Chekhov at which offers translations (by Constance Garnett) of all 201 stories.

Some personal favourites are The Orator, The Bet, The Lady with a Dog, The Black Monk and The Duel.

Needless to say, Anton Chekhov ranks with the true masters of the short story like James Joyce, Lu Hsun and Franz Kafka. These stories can seize you before you quite knew yourself engaged. They are told in such an unaffected, honest and natural way...more
Megan Hewins
I thoroughly enjoyed this Wordsworth Classics compilation of Anton Chekhov's selected stories. What makes this addition such a rewarding read was the care with which these selections have been chosen. As noted in the superb introduction by Joe Andrew, Professor of Russian Literature from Keele University, "All but four of the stories first appeared in the 1880's and many of them are only a few pages long. Consequently, they give the reader not only a particularly keen insight into the early peri...more
I read this book in Latvian; it seems there must be a little different selection of stories in the English version. My book had 15 short stories. Here are my favorite ones:

“A Boring story”
A story of a dying professor’s self analysis. Chekhov doesn’t waist words in any of his stories, but still the characters in this book are so vivid and realistic. In this story the professor spends his days thinking about his famous name, which doesn’t help him any more now that he is slowly dying. The author...more
Of course, as of this writing (May 7th, 2008), I'm still in the middle of reading this, but I have one or two things to say. First, I notice that these stories share a sensibility with Depression-era Hollywood. If what I've just written sounds insane, so be it: Chekhov would have thrived at M-G-M. The first reel of THE WIZARD OF OZ could very easily have been scripted by Chekhov. ("Narrator: The old magician, pitying the urchin, begged her to heed the vision shown him in the crystal ball; her an...more
Dec 07, 2008 Jose rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: contos
Chekhov na busca pelo momento. A trama faz reverência a estes momentos....

Vale a pena ler pelos finais incríveis e pela intuição que a tudo alcança e abarca. Pode-se constatar no conto "Children" sobre - nada, a não ser como voyeurs espionando crianças brincando sós - e o final maravilhoso onde nos revelamos como leitores no texto - e como pais.

Agatha - ? - a trama engenhosa conduzindo a mais um momento onde a própria visualização do conto em nossa memória embeleza o desfecho. Agatha entre dois...more
Chekhov represents a gap in my education, but one that won't be fully remedied anytime soon. I labored over 105 pages in this collection, and while there were a couple of stories ("The Huntsman, Easter Night") I really liked, the rest were a slog through knee-high mud. I picked up a contemporary volume of short stories yesterday after finishing Chekhov's "A Boring Story," (which lived up to its name, and at 50 pages more novella than short story, but who's counting?!) Suddenly, in the contempora...more
Yes, I mostly read this book because Francine Prose told me to in Reading Like a Writer; but also because I had heard from multiple people that Chekhov is the shit and needs to be read by everyone.

Having finished this collection of stories, I can wholeheartedly concur. There's nothing especially earth-shattering or revelatory about these stories - for the most part, each one is about ordinary people living ordinary lives and having ordinary experiences. There's nothing very special going on wit...more
Chekhov is an amazing author. I understand why he is called the godfather of the short story. I can only copare him, and this really dosen't do him justice, to early James Joyce. The feeling that "Dubliners" gave me about the Irish was multiplied by Chekhov's descriptions of the human condition in Russia. I must say "amazing" again.

Not only amazing, but all overt the place. He writes mysteries and comedies and love and tragedy. I liked "Whitebrow", a story told from the point of view of a wolf....more
Teri Zipf
I love Chekov and was looking forward to reading the stories in this new translation. If you don't have the money to buy this new translation, you may enjoy the many Chekov stories and plays you can download for free from Project Gutenberg. Either way you get to read Chekov. There were some beautiful moments in this translation and I wish I felt like taking the time to compare it with Constance Garnett or other translations, but I don't know Russian and can't speak to the accuracy of anyone's ve...more
Anna  Matsuyama
"Хористка" (1886) 5, "Предложение" (1886) 5, "В потемках" (1886) 5, "Чтение" (1884) 5, "Экзамен на чин" (1884) 4, "Ведьма" (1886) 5, "Ванька" (1886) 5, «Хамелеон» (1884)5, «Сапоги» (1885) 4, «Студент» (1894) 3, «Хитреце» (1883) 4, «Безнадежный» (1885) 4, «Актёрская гибель» (1886) 3, «Кухарка женится» 5, «Скрипка Ротшильда» 3, «Хористка» 5, «Дамы» 5, «Толстый и тонкий» 5, «Пари» 3, «Радость» (1883) 5, «Выигрышный билет» ,«От нечего делать», «Необыкновенный», «О, женщины, женщины!», «Необыкновенны...more
Chekhov is a master of a form of "objectivity" that is so imbued with both compassion and fury -- compassion for the underdog, the humble or inarticulate sufferer, and fury at general humanity, so nearsighted, self-centered, and brutal. I've just finished "Ward Six," a brilliant description of one person's descent into the "magic circle" of a mental ward, and all for nothing. Once his behavior has landed him into this circle, there is nothing he can do. An indictment of social structures, filled...more
How to tell an epic in three pages.
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adding page numbers 1 8 Apr 01, 2013 08:37AM  
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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian: Антон Павлович Чехов) 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 r...more
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“Only one who loves can remember so well.” 37 likes
“They say philosophers and wise men are indifferent. Wrong. Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death.” 35 likes
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