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Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  386 ratings  ·  41 reviews
From the reign of the Tsars in the early 19th century to the collapse of the Soviet Union and beyond, the short story has long occupied a central place in Russian culture. Included are pieces from many of the acknowledged masters of Russian literature - including Pushkin, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Solzhenitsyn - alongside tales by long-suppressed figures such as ...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 396 pages
Published May 26th 2005 by Penguin Books Ltd
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4.31  · 
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 ·  386 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Rick Slane
From Kharms' "The Old Woman"-Out on the street, boys are shouting, making a horrible din. I lie there and think up ways of putting them to death. The one I like the best would be to infect them with tetanus so they would suddenly stop moving. Then their parents drag them back home. They lie in their little beds and can't even eat, because their mouths won't open. They're fed artificially. After a week the tetanus wears off, but the children are so weak they have to lie another whole month in bed ...more
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It is likely, if you're reading this review or browsing this , that you like Russian literature, short stories or possible both. In which case, in brief, you should definitely read this book.

Now the slightly longer review: Russian literature is highly respected, it's biggest names critically acclaimed and rightly placed upon literature's highest pedastals, and one would be perfectly justified in saying that it is the long form prose novel that Russia and it's authors are most famous for; rather
Ian Russell
For the stories alone I would give this four stars but it deserves the extra star for the inclusion of excellent, informative background material; the readable introduction; the short biography preceding each author’s work; the appendix notes; and even some interesting explanation of Russian names.

Russian literature, the introduction explains, is comparatively young and the published dates run from the earliest, 1834 to the latest in 1998. Two things struck me about the early ones, though I don’
Feb 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was always going to enjoy this book. I have loved Russian literature from an early age, and this short story collection is a Hall of Fame of Russian literature. With a few exceptions, which the editor Robert Chandler highlights in his introduction, the big names are all here. The main omissions are Gorky, Grossman, Pasternak and Sholokhov, because their best work is in other forms like novels or poetry, and Nabokov, because agreement couldn’t be reached with his publishers. But there’s still P ...more
1. Pushkin - The Queen of Spades ****
2. Lermontov - The Fatalist ***
3. Gogol - The Greatcoat *****
4. Turgenev - The Knocking
5. Dostoyevsky - Bobok
6. Tolstoy - God sees the Truth, but waits
7. Leskov - The Steel Flea
8. Chekhov - In the Cart
9. Zinovyeva-Annibal - The Monster
10. Bunin - The Gentleman from San Francisco
11. Bunin - In Paris
12. Teffi - Love
13. Teffi - A Family Journey
14. Zamyatin - The Lion
15. Krzhizhanovsky - Quadraturin
16. Inber - Lalla's Interests
17. Bulgakov - The Embroidered Towel
Erma Odrach
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent collection of short stories from a country where short stories have forever flourished. From Tolstoy to Chekhov to newer authors such as Kharms and Dovlatov, some for me were re-reads and some were read for the first time.

And then there's my favorite satirist of all time, Mikhail Zoshckenko, who writes about life in Russia in the 1920's. He says of living conditions in Moscow, "In twenty years' time, maybe even less, every citizen ... will have a whole room to himself. But in the mean
William Dearth
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: russian
I have read a fair amount of Russian short stories. This collection is excellent. It features the standard masters of Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Pushkin (The Queen of Spades), Lermontov (The Fatalist) Gogol and Bunin but there is much more. Two of the gems of the collection are Nikolay Leskov's "The Steel Flea" and Yuri Buida'a "Sinbad the Sailor".

There is not an overabundance of Russian female prose writers present in 19th century and early 20th century literature. This collection
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is nothing to rival the breadth and the depth of the Russian soul captured by one of the greatest of Russian writers. You feel swept away and carried into the depths of every story, only to come up for air at the end of it and be instantly pulled in again by the next one.
There are several master strokes to each story one can only hope to emulate.
Firstly, each story has something to say, something to contemplate, something to register at the back of the reader’s mind. It is usually a deep
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, even Leskov - I found myself unable to read anymore. There's one story in there by Bulgakov that I'm willing to give my attention to before I shut the book forever. The stories I read were absolutely brilliant, the best I've ever read, and I'm so happy they were combined in the same binding. I'm now verging on another Russian adventure; Deal Souls, Fathers and Sons, maybe, maybe War and Peace even if Tolstoy refers to his older wor ...more
Jason Furman
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent collection of Russian short stories from essentially the beginning (Pushkin) not quite up to the present (Buida). Robert Chandler has an excellent introduction and each writer begins with a short bio/criticism focused on their stories and their role in Russian literature. The selections are generally the canonical stories ("Queen of Spades" for Pushkin, "The Overcoat" for Gogol, etc.). Every nineteenth century story was excellent, I did not care for the exiles who seemed dated (incl ...more
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good collection of Russian short stories for someone, like myself, who is a bit of a beginner as far as Russian literature is concerned. This anthology makes you feel like searching more stories by the authors and provides you with biographies of each of them, so it is also a brief history of Russian literature,
Linda El
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I could describe how Gogol's short story The overcoat drove me nuts, but I won't. Just that I had to pause, leave the bookmark in the middle of the story and move on to the next story. After a week I got back to the overcoat and I recommend it. All the stories are fantastically imaginative and can be read over and over and over...
Margie Tagaban
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pushkin's Queen of Hearts was one of the best short stories in this collection I would highly recommend reading it.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
At last, I finished it.
Yes it took too long to finish, as always, because of this being 'classic' writing.

Being born in the times when India and USSR friendship was on its prime, Russian literature has always intrigued me. And that way, this is a treat for me. Each chapter giving detailed information about the writers, is something really interesting. And the collection, ah, so diverse and well chosen.

Think I will read another one in the series too. But maybe later?
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful anthology of Russian stories from the Romantic period to the years after glasnost. Though many of these stories have been collected before--The Queen of Spades, the Greatcoat, etc.--it contains some real forgotten gems, at least in English, in powerful translations that capture the flavor of Russian culture. Particularly favorites are Bulgakov's "The Embroidered Towel," about a med school graduate who has to attempt his first amputation in the provinces, hoping the entire time the pa ...more
bill greene
Feb 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
an excellent anthology. a little of everything, from Pushkin's 'Queen of Spades' (one of the best short stories ever written) & Gogol's 'Greatcoat' ('Overcoat' in other translations) to overlooked soviet-era gems like the marvelous 'Quadraturin' by Krzhizhanovsky & 'Old Woman' by the incomparable Daniil Kharms. a terrific overview of short stories by a culture that is frequently pigeon-holed as being all about 800-page novels. and, yes, tolstoy & doestoevsky are here, too.
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An excellent anthology! A collection of writers covering the last hundred and fifty years or so of Russian literature, this is a must have for anyone wanting to discover the world of Russian short stories.
I found myself reading one story after the other, I devoured this book and have since tracked down other works by some of the authors that contribute to it.
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Excellent selection from the Golden Age to the late Soviet period, and a good mix of tones - humorous, poignant, ironic, tragic - but authentically Russian all the way through. Also has excellent informative biographies of the authors.
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A well-chosen collection that covers the gamut of Russian short fiction. The translations are excellent, and the introductions provide key insights into the writers and their times. Highly recommended.
Aug 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: russian
I've actually read most of these stories in other books, but this collection has authors that are difficult to find in English. Such as: Zinovyeva-Annibal, Teffi, Krzhizhanovsky, Dobychin, Shukshin, Eppel, and Buida.
Lilian Nattel
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent collection from early 19th century to late 20th with interesting and thoughtful intros. I liked it so much I want to make notes on some of the writers. Zoshchenko was hilarious, Platonov moving, Shalomov on the Gulag, no adjective will serve.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stories rich with prosaic beauty, social commentary, political observations and emotional depth, as with so much Russian literature. The very best of the best. The Third Son is perhaps my utter favourite in this collection and a story that lingers with me still.
Cristina Guarino
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I took a class on Russian short stories after falling in love with Nabokov, and was pleasantly surprised at just how much I continued to love Russian literature. This was the main text and although I'm not positive we read every story within it, I loved what I did read.
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Reading this reawakened my love for Russian literature.
Igor Labzin
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent way to become familiar with the most famous and talented Russian authors from the early 19th century to the 1980s.
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great selection of Russian writers and stories although this is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
Russian literature is rather depressing.....
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I've had to place stickers over her chest, but what a great book. I work at a high school. The last short story is shattering.
Stella Laura Teclaw
Oct 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Dostoyevsky's 'Bobok' is yet another masterpiece by this Russian genius! An interesting way to look at what happens to us after we pass away...very interesting...
Apr 09, 2009 rated it liked it
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Robert Chandler (b. 1953) is a British poet and translator. He is the editor of Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida (Penguin) and the author of Alexander Pushkin (Hesperus).

His translations include numerous works by Andrei Platonov, Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate, and Pushkin's The Captain's Daughter. Chandler's co-translation of Platonov's Soul was chosen in 2004 as “best translation of
“The cramped harsh world he portrays is a paradoxically eloquent assertion of the importance of what is so strikingly absent from it: small acts of kindness.” 1 likes
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