Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Great Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky” as Want to Read:
Great Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Great Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  1,393 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The short works of Dostoevsky exist in the very large shadow of his astonishing longer novels, but they too are among literature's most revered works. The Gambler chronicles Dostoevsky's own addiction, which he eventually overcame. Many have argued that Notes from the Underground contains several keys to understanding the themes of the longer novels, such as Crime and Puni ...more
Paperback, 768 pages
Published July 6th 2004 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published January 1st 1968)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Great Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Great Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,393 ratings  ·  39 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Notes from the Underground: Not an easy read, but certainly a worthwhile one. Dostoevsky certainly had a way with psychological insights, digging deep into the psyche. You will see parts of yourself (esp the self you struggled with as an adolescent) in this 'underground', even if you'd rather not. 4 stars
(March 13, 2009) [Note: Due to a group read, I read this one out of chronological order.]

The Double: While in the beginning it seems to be funny and farcical, it quickly turns confusing and sad.
Jul 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Loved each and every one of these stories...particularly, "The Gambler", "Notes from Underground" (although I prefer the Michael Katz translation), "A Disgraceful Affair", "A Gentle Creature", and "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man". Volumes could be written about each. I'm sure many have already. I'll just cite a quote to display the piercing quality of Dostoevsky's philosophical exploration:

"Why, we don't even know where this 'real life' lives nowadays, what it really is, and what it's called. Lea
Lauren G
Dec 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, classics
this is the best short story compilation of dostoyevsky's work i've ever found. it features stories i've never seen published in other editions, including one of his little known masterpieces: 'the dream of a ridiculous man.' the latter story could indeed forever change how you view humanity, or affirm it, and possibly change our life.

stories include:

the double
white nights
a disgraceful affair
notes from the underground
the gambler
the eternal husband
a gentle creature
the dream of a ridiculous man
C.E. Rowland
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Not all of Dostoevsky's short works are created equal. A Gentle Creature earns five stars. Notes from the Underground garners only one.
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I dream of ridiculous men
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: babushkas
Recommended to Andy by: Katarina Slombovina and the other Victoria's Secret Angels
Shelves: kool-imports
Not a big fan of the FyDo (a better nickname than K-Stew or ScarJo, ADMIT IT) scene. FyDo writes very bitter romance stories like “A Gentle Creature” or “The Eternal Husband”. In these stories the fat, old, hairy, smelly pawnbroker marries the tragic teenage Russian scrub girl to release her from the sadistic bondage of her cruel aunt and uncle. Of course the teenage girl, lets call her Irina Slombovina, doesn’t love the decrepit old scrivener, lets call him Issur Davidovitch, after he tries and ...more
Kevin Hinman
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fyodor Dostoyevsky does a rare thing here with these masterful stories, and that is to make the reader both despise and understand the unreliable, spiteful, manipulative protagonists of his world. The Underground Man dishes out everything he's been given, tenfold, to an undeserving prostitute, and still, the reader feels empathy for him. The narrator of A Gentle Creature is a controlling misogynist, but he is also a beautifully constructed, three-dimensional human being. Great Short Works is a w ...more
Dec 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Who wouldn't you recommend this to?
Shelves: literary
You got it, Phil: here's my first review. Next comes my goodreads picture. I've re-opened the book to read the last couple stories.

If you loved the one Dostoevsky novel you read in high school and never dove into another, then this collection might be a great way to back into his work. There's no excuse to miss out on Dostoevsky's unique and well-crafted worlds; get them in your life and share with your friends. These are the old-school translators, for those aware of the new efforts by Richard
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Double: A very readable, smooth flowing story of madness in a government official. Many surprises along the way. The introduction says this is an early work that is not on a par with his later works, but I think it worth reading.

Of the stories I read (and I enjoyed them all), I was most taken by The Eternal Husband. The two main characters are an amoral single man who had an affair with a now deceased married woman, that resulted in a little girl, and the cuckolded widower who sought him out
Comments in <20 words: Intrigued. Absolutely intrigued. Author surprisingly grew on me despite my general dislike of dense 19th-century writing style.

Comments in <20 words for each story in book (also publication) order:

1. The Double (1846) translated by George Bird - My first of author; not sure if earlier work or mediocre translation, but hooked once used to style.
2. White Nights (1848) translated by David Magarshack - Pah! Anti-romance self got tricked into reading love story. Short
Erik Graff
Feb 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dostoevsky fans
Recommended to Erik by: Janny Marie Willis
Shelves: literature
During the summer of 1974 I endeavored to read everything by Dostoevsky that I could find in order to better understand my girlfriend, a great fan of his. I had the perfect job as a security guard around the corner from Stuart Brent Books on Michigan and Ontario in Chicago. There wasn't much to do but read and write, visiting the bookstore during the lunch break and checking out other, used bookstores during my days off in search of volumes of material yet unread. Naturally, this haphazard appro ...more
Jun 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Definitely worth the price judging by the number of included stories. I always have a sense of uneasiness when I read translations but it can't be helped. I discovered that 'short fiction' is kind of relative with Dostoevsky – the page count is sufficient warning to anyone expecting a quick or simple read. The two final stories in the collection break that trend and remain very interesting, but at least one of them has already been praised enough in other reviews.

'White Nights' is easily the bes
Nov 13, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Gross
Aug 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Double was interesting, but more like Kafka than like what I think of as Dostoyevskian. White Nights was kind of melodramatic. The Eternal Husband and A Gentle Creature were good, solid, Dostoyevski psychological stories. A Ridiculous Man seemed like something Tolstoi would write. Notes from Underground, The Gambler, and A Disgraceful Affair I skipped since I'd read them before (respectively: good but depressing, a featherweight comedy, and a very good story).
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Like all writings by Dostoevsky, I loved these! The book took a long time to get through, but only because I wanted to savor each story. I would have to say that White Nights was probably my favorite story, but I'm looking forward to reading each story again sometime. Thanks, Bob, for loaning me the book and being so patient while I finished it.
Thomas J. Hubschman
Oct 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Odd how certain authors click at one time of life and not another. "The Eternal Husband"! Could have, should have been written today. But of course this is a different world. Pritchett points out that for Dostoevsky psychology *was* the plot and subject, not just motivation or causality for the character's actions, as it is in our post-Freudian world.
Jan 01, 2010 rated it liked it
I didn't feel the desire to finish reading all of his stories. The style felt repetitive. I imagine that at some later point I will read the ones I skipped: The Eternal Husband, A Gentle Creature, and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man.

That being said, my favorite story of his that I read was White Nights. A wonderful character and a beautifully narrated story.
Kevin Smith
Dec 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Many overlook Dostoevsky's great collection of short stories, but they miss out on more musings of one of the greatest literary minds to have lived. All that you love in The Idiot or Crime and Punishment is concentrated and condensed into these stories.
Feb 14, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm a bit disappointed. I love Dostoievski's novels, but this collection of short stories was a drag to get through... I wonder if reading it in English had something to do with it, it really lacked all that Russian atmosphere that I love.
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: russian-lit
Don't be afraid of Russian writers!
Jun 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Only a bad translation of "The Double" flaws this collection.
Chad  Nielson
Apr 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Full of great stories, I did not read them all before I lost the book.
Claire S
Sounds like a great way to begin (again?) with Dostoevsky.
Sep 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, 2008, 2010
Stories from the collection I've read:
The Double
White Nights
A Disgraceful Affair
Notes from the Underground
Leonard Pierce
Sep 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
No exciting new translation or daring new critiques here, just a solid collection of some of the greatest short writing of all time. Affordable and well-chosen.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
GK Stritch
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
"White Nights"

"A Gentle Creature"

"The Dream of a Ridiculous Man"

Doug E.
Jan 22, 2008 rated it liked it
He's really good at short stuff too.
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivy by: John Mohan
from my amazing college Dostoyevsky class
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This collection is brilliant. I especially enjoyed The Gambler, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man & The Eternal Husband.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Great Short Works
  • Dostoevsky: A Writer in His Time
  • Anton Chekhov
  • Valerie Solanas: The Defiant Life of the Woman Who Wrote SCUM (and Shot Andy Warhol)
  • The Portable Henry James
  • The Overcoat and Other Tales of Good and Evil
  • The Ferguson Affair
  • The Portable Nineteenth-Century Russian Reader
  • The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams
  • Tolstoy: A Russian Life
  • Four Plays: Come Back, Little Sheba / Picnic / Bus Stop / The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
  • Nikolai Gogol
  • The Rise of Life on Earth
  • One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner
  • The Shooting Party
  • The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith
  • Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey and His Dream of Mother Africa
  • The Reconstructionist
See similar books…
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 psyche had a profound influence on the 20th century novel.

Dostoyevsky was the second son of a former army doctor. He was educated at home and at a private school. Shortly after the dea