Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov” as Want to Read:
Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  29,171 ratings  ·  634 reviews
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, the highly acclaimed translators of War and Peace, Doctor Zhivago, and Anna Karenina, which was an Oprah Book Club pick and million-copy bestseller, bring their unmatched talents to The Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov, a collection of thirty of Chekhov’s best tales from the major periods of his creative life.
Considered by many t
Paperback, 467 pages
Published October 31st 2000 by Modern Library (first published 1903)
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 Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  29,171 ratings  ·  634 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov
J.G. Keely
May 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished the final story of this collection!
This guy is... Awesome, a master short story writer.
I fell in love with his stories almost every time.
His stories are so simple yet so powerful in the impact that I have decided to write a review for each of his stories separately!

For now, three words for this collection...
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reread some stories. Those touching on bipolar illness, “The Black Monk”—trained as a physician it seems Chekhov was familiar with the disorder—and the Russian Orthodox religion, “Panikhida” and “Easter Night.”

A note from Richard Pevear’s introduction, “His familiarity with church life shows in many of his stories, and his knowledge of the services and prayers was probably more precise than that of any other Russian writer. His work is imbued with a Christian understanding of suffering. The cri
La Petite Américaine Cash App: $Covid2020sucks
Jul 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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)
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
To give serious aid to forty outpatients between morning and dinnertime was physically impossible, which meant, willy-nilly, that it was all a deceit. During the fiscal year twelve thousand outpatients were received, which meant, simply speaking, that twelve thousand people were deceived.
from Ward No. 6

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 pe
Inderjit Sanghera
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I want to write a review and I don't know where to start.This is what Chekhov does to me. Anton Chekhov leaves me stupefied with his brilliance with words and descriptions. He can paint a landscape of an entire Russian circumstance along with their characters with their emotions written bare on their faces concisely and to-the-point like a surgeon.
The first few stories in this book (added date-wise) seemed incomprehensible and frivolous but as I went on the stories seemed to grow on me and the
Oh, I've read lots of Chekhov in my day but usually a story here or there as opposed to coast-to-coast in a collection like this. Pevear and Volokhonsky arrange these chronologically and choose their faves, omitting the long "novella-like" stories.

Hey, Mikey. I liked it! The only story I did not much enjoy was "The Ravine," third from last. The trouble with a collection of stories, then, is that you often look back over the titles and flat-out forget what they were about (unless you were taking
Steven Godin
I doubt there are many better short-story collections out there.

They say he was the best. This book confirms it.

Mar 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Kiran Bhat
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The god of the short story, and for a reason. Only Chekhov reflects on the most minute of things, and makes them seem so important. Only Chekhov can make a flash swig up in a pan, and illuminate all of the fires on the other side of its swirls. Only Chekhov brings characters that are of a similar milieu and part of the world... but not really; they are peasants, they are doctors, they are maids, and they are lords. Only Chekhov can create in just a few sentences an entire world.

If you haven't re
Elie F
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: russian
Chekhov wrote in a period of rapid social change and turmoil: from the serf emancipation of 1860s to the revolution of 1905. Nonetheless, his short stories are tranquil, peaceful, and nuanced. In the dullness of a gentry's countryside estate or a rural factory, life's misery evolve, and unhappy people bear their burden silently: drunkenness, idleness, jealousy, peasants' poverty, gentry's nostalgia and indifference. But still, an ephemeral revelation of life's meaning and eternal salvation might ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Irony befuddles me. I've looked up the definition, puzzled over it and read differing opinions over whether Alanis Morissette's 'Ironic' contains examples of irony, but I still feel in the dark. Maybe that's the real irony.

But that's a whole other essay. I bring this up because I recently dove into the short stories of Anton Chekhov and find myself similarly befuddled by Chekhov's Gun, a literary idea regarding how to set up a story and pay off what you set up. Chekhov mentioned the concept mul
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Selected Stories by Anton Chekov (1860-1904)

These short stories seem to me like a summary of the Russian nineteenth-century literature.

In the most extreme climate of snow and ice, torrential rain and flooding, knee-deep mud and dirt on every road, Russia was not a country for an easy living.

In his concentrated way, using a minimum of words, Chekov expresses all essential characteristics of country life.

Across all these short novels, we will meet, the wealthy and fat landowners and their descen
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"At the door of every contented, happy man somebody should stand with a little hammer, constantly tapping, to remind him that unhappy people exist, that however happy he may be, sooner or later life will show him its claws, some calamity will befall him - illness, poverty, loss - and nobody will hear or see, just as he doesn't hear or see others now. But there is nobody with a little hammer, the happy man lives on, and the petty cares of life stir him only slightly, as wind stirs an aspen - and ...more
Leo Robertson
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
WOW. These are total stories. Chekhov truly is a courageous champion of the unsaid, the stories of the untold lives of ordinary folk, of social justice.

Who knew that grey language could evoke so many emotions, transcend so many genres, and bite and rage and ironically smirk after so many years?? From horror stories like Sleepy and Ward No. 6 to the terror, humour and tedium of A Boring Story, the apparent celebration of madness in The Black Monk, the revelation of the sea, nay, the universe’s(!)
Roy Lotz
It is a difficult prospect to review a collection of short stories. There isn’t an overarching plot to grab hold of, nor, perhaps, even a consistent theme-group. One is reduced to arranging scatterd bits and pieces of reflections and reactions, which—if all goes well—will add up to some sort of general impression.

My general impression of Chekhov is that he is a great artist; he is a master in every sense of the word.

Writing a good short story is a delicate art. Unlike the writer of a novel, the
Nov 29, 2010 marked it as sampled-a-few
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
S Prakash
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
“Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there.” This famous principle of Chekov on writing and which he had followed in earnest has produced some of the finest, crisp short stories.

His stories are a reflection on the Russian society in the late nineteenth century; moral conflicts of individuals;
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
(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.

It's Chekhov, 'nuff said.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simply amazing !!
Alok Mishra
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shall I call it merely amazing? Shall I call it only wonderful? Not at all! The collection is more than words can say and an intellectual can review! I am sure anyone who loves reading shorter format of fiction will admire Chekhov's style of writing and telling the tales!
Asha Seth
Considered the greatest short story writer, Anton Chekhov changed the genre itself with his spare, impressionistic depictions of Russian life and the human condition. From characteristically brief, evocative early pieces such as “The Huntsman” and the tour de force “A Boring Story,” to his best-known stories such as “The Lady with the Little Dog” and his own personal favorite, “The Student,” Chekhov’s short fiction possesses the transcendent power of art to awe and change the reader. This monume ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you want to start to read Anton Chekhov, these small stories are good choose. Moreover, Anton Chekhov is a very famous with his small story. I believe small story lovers will like it
Rohit Sharma
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As long as my memory goes back in time, we as a family of booklovers have always loved Russian books. I can never forget those days, when our school Principal will declare at the very start of assembly that "we are going to have a Russian Book Fair" organized at the later half of the day. As soon as the assembly will be over, I will barge in her room and give her two options :), Number one, to call my mom from her office phone or Number two, lend me a coin so I can use the pay phone outside to c ...more
Harsha Varma
Chekhov's style is really unique. The stories are natural, most don't have a formal plot, there are no teachings or morals to be drawn. Beginnings and endings are often irrelevant. Most of the stories don't end, just like real life. What strikes you is the incredible brevity with which he strikes, every detail is vital to the story.

Consider, At Christmas time. It's probably 5 pages long. It's about an old couple in a village, who haven't talked to their daughter since she moved to the city afte
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much to learn from the creator, literally, of the modern short story--and its arc.

And so worth it writers and readers to remember this: “‘Who will read me, who will care?’ It does not help the work to be done, that work already completed is surrounded by silence and indifference—if it is published at all. Few books ever have the attention of a review—good or bad. Fewer stay longer than a few weeks on bookstore shelves, if they get there at all. … ‘Works of art’ (or at least books, stories, p
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: Selected Stories by Anton Chekhov 1 21 Apr 16, 2015 08:19PM  
adding page numbers 1 12 Apr 01, 2013 08:37AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Selected Stories by Anton Chekhov (Pevear/Volokhonsky translation) 1 7 Feb 05, 2013 04:43AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sketches from a Hunter's Album
  • The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol
  • Tales of Belkin and Other Prose Writings
  • A Hero of Our Time
  • The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova
  • The Best Short Stories of Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Anna Karenina
  • Eugene Onegin
  • Fathers and Sons
  • Dead Souls
  • The Death of Ivan Ilych
  • Мцыри
  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Overcoat
  • Heart of a Dog
  • Notes from Underground
  • The Overcoat and Other Short Stories
  • The Complete Poetry
See similar books…
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," Chekh

News & Interviews

  Let’s say it now and say it proud: Horror is back.  This summer, as the world was thrown into uncertainty by a pandemic and our...
62 likes · 17 comments
“Only one who loves can remember so well.” 98 likes
“They say philosophers and wise men are indifferent. Wrong. Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death.” 97 likes
More quotes…