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Tales of Belkin

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  4,155 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Ivan Petrovich Belkin left behind a great number of manuscripts.... Most of them, as Ivan Petrovich told me, were true stories heard from various people.

First published anonymously in 1830, Alexander Pushkin’s Tales of Belkin contains his first prose works. It is comprised of an introductory note and five linked stories, ostensibly collected by the scholar Ivan Belkin. The sto
Paperback, 112 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Melville House (first published October 1831)
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I've said that the other Pushkin book was the last one of 2015 but then I found this one. December has just started... Can't wait. Should I just add it in silence and pretend it was there the whole time? No, no guilt. It's not like I made a promise or anything. And it is by the same author.
Ah, let's just read and act like nothing happened.
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection is a set of stories within a story. The preface by "the editors" incorporates a letter from a friend of the eponymous Belkin, describing the dead writer's character, history and interests. The stories are themselves said to be tales once told to Belkin by various and sundry figures.

The first story, "The Shot," describes a duel between Sylvio and Count ***. The narrator, one of a regiment of hussars, meets Sylvio, who lodges in the same town in which the regiment bivou
Yes, strictly speaking the title of this book is generally Tales of Belkin in English, but uniquely and unnecessarily, in this 1947 translation it hass been rendered as "Bielkin" instead.

These stories are all short, of slight appearance and witty. We, the readers, get to be deliberately misled and fooled about with as well as generally pushed to change our understanding as Pushkin twists out these tales for us.

I read these stories first long ago and far away as a student, bold
The Shot - a duel is derailed when one participant notices the indifference his opponent has towards his inevitable demise (2 stars)

The Snowstorm - an aristocratic young woman falls in love with a young officer, but her parents disapprove of the relationship so they decide to elope, marry quickly, and then beg forgiveness (2 stars)

The Undertaker - an undertaker returns home after a party offended after someone jokingly offers a toast to the health of Prokhorov's customers; he decides to hold his house-wa/>The/>The
Aug 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
An inherent Yankee repugnance of self-promotion made me hold off on posting a review of this, for a little while at least, but last night I watched a native and very well-read Russian read four pages of the copy I gave him. My breath was bated and my heart literally in my throat as I waited for the inevitable grimace that I remember seeing on the faces of parents at my piano recitals, which were followed, when caught, by the immediate cover-up or worse, attempt to convince me that yes, everythin ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
The first "story" is called From the Publisher which begins Having taken it upon ourselves to publish the Tales of I.P. Belkin, which we offer now to the public, we wanted to append an admittedly brief biographical sketch of the late author ... and follows with a completely fictitious biographical sketch. I did see this on the preview at Amazon, but I did not really expect the other stories to be almost equally amusing.

These are stories published more than 180 years ago, before TV and movies - before even
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The other day, after my work, I picked up this volume of Pushkin and as always (for the seventh time, I think) read it from cover to cover, unable to tear myself away, as if I were reading it for the first time. More than that, it was as if it dispelled all my doubts. Never have I admired Pushkin so much, nor anyone else for that matter. The Shot, Egyptian Nights, The Captain’s Daughter!!!"
- Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy used three exclamation marks, so I can too. This book!!!

For me, classi
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Meta-literature", "parody and pastiche", "genre-bending", "narrative experiment"... sounds like a brainstorming session for a class about postmodernist literature - except that these are all terms which could fit Pushkin's "The Tales of Belkin". Written in the autumn of 1830, this is a collection of short tales supposedly collected by the recently-deceased Belkin, whose sketchy biography is provided in an introductory letter by an anonymous friend of the late author. The stories parody various ...more
Years ago, I read Alexander Pushkin's The Queen of Spades and found myself not liking it very much. When I heard how Tales of Belkin influenced Dostoyevsky according to Joseph Frank's biography of the latter, I decided to give it a try. It has been so many years since my first exposure to Pushkin, and I have changed so much in the meantime, that I expected the result this time would be different. It was. The five tales of Belkin were brief, to the point, and composed with a lightness that I found delightful. Curiously, th ...more
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recent read, just to pass the time
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*Read for class.

One of my favorites from Pushkin. I love every story and I've reread some of them multiple times now. And I'm sure will reread them many more.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Witty, tragic, and highly immersive. The Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin is a collection of five short stories showcasing Pushkin’s talent at crafting a remarkably visual tale.
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I hardly ever write reviews, but I am going to make an exception with this one in an attempt to explain myself why I did not like this tales at all.

During the last year I have read a lot about Russian culture. This weird fascination for Russia have been blooming up deep inside me and I have read almost everything Russian that has come to me. I have fallen in love with Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Gogol, etc. I have been delighted with every single one of their books.

And here com
Sep 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Josh kept telling me how weird this novella is, and, now I've read it, I think I understand.

The "From the Publisher" note at the beginning seems to me the most intriguing part of the whole book, putting, as it does, the rest of the tales into their proper context: this is supposed to be a novella and not a collection of short stories. So we can take that note as a frame, and the stories as discrete stories, or we can take the (more interesting) stance that it is no frame at all, and
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian, short-story
The "Tales of Belkin" collects several genres, each appearing in each of the plots.

"The Shot" - a revisited duel 3/5
"The Blizzard" - about a doomed elopement and a mistaken identity 4/5
"The Undertaker" - a drunkard coffin builder's terrifying experiences 3/5
"The Stationmaster" - a seduction and abduction of a girl and its impact on her father/the stationmaster. The best in this collection! 5/5
"The Squire's Daughter" - an impersonation 2 or 3/5

Read this for "The Stationm
Ubaid Talpur
Pushkin ' stories are always attractive
Anna Yakusheva
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Your #1 choice for a Russian winter holiday's reading.
Sidik Fofana
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
SIX WORD REVIEW: Would make great episode of Wishbone.
These are amazing! I love all of them!
Lara Panfilov
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this collection of short stories by Pushkin. They were fun to read, exciting and each touched my soul in a different and exhilarating kind of way. I also liked the fact that these stories were supposedly stories who were (by various sources) all told to Ivan Belkin and the book starts by an giving an introduction of the by now ceased Belkin’s character and personality. Without giving too much away, I will summarize what is the essence of these stories for me, personally. The fir ...more
Oya Akdogan
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have read "Belkin's Stories & a history of Goryukhino village" translated by Roger Clarke and published by Alma Classics. Unfortunately, this edition is not available on Goodreads. This being said, here is my review of this classic.

Pushin is often referred to as the father of modern Russian literature. Unlike the gravity and humorlessness in the former title attributed to him, Pushkin was a very funny lad! He was light-hearted, good-spirited and perpetually.... in love! Thus, his writing
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-owned
Pushkin’s first work of fiction is a wonderfully bizarre collection of tales that reminds me both of the short fiction of Kleist ( The Marquise of O— and Other Stories ) and the stories from The Twilight Zone. These are not “weird tales” per se, but they linger with a haunting, almost hypnotic, residual after-image in the brain. The frame narrative is that these stories were written by an odd, reclusive, recently-deceased man named Belkin, and that Pushkin is acting as “editor.” It’s not really a unique fram( ...more
M.R. Dowsing
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories have an interesting framing device and are very entertaining if a bit insubstantial. Some of the endings seem rather corny today, but apparently Pushkin was parodying well-known writers of the time, which may explain this.

Also included is 'A History of Goryukhino Village', a great piece of comic writing which made me laugh out loud several times, but remains sadly unfinished.

The translation reads very well throughout and the notes at the back are interesting and informative, so t
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After reading Pushkin’s “Queen of Spades” and Eugene Onegin. I jumped at the chance to read more of him, and these stories did not disappoint. I like Pushkin’s poetry, but I think I prefer his prose. Five great stories, definitely check out this short, but great read.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The joys of Russian novellas ... one gets a tasty preview of an author, and can maybe weed out the ones not worth spending the time on. some of the epics are intimidatingly long, so it is worthwhile to see if the authors style is worth reading. Pushkin is worth reading.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Short, clever little fables, that feel like they should be accompanied by a scone (or perhaps a soothing bowl of borscht).
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought these tales were incredibly insightful and offered such an interesting perspective of Russian society during the early 19th century. I am a huge fan of Alexander Pushkin's work.

Born in 1799, he is considered to be the "Father" of modern Russian literature and is hugely celebrated in Russia up to this day. His great-grandfather was originally from Africa, was taken to the Ottoman courts in Turkey and later became a member of nobility in Peter the Tsar's court in Russia. Pushkin was ver
David Poltorak
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Like the rest of Pushkin's writing, fun, engaging, and reliant on coincidental occurrence to make the story interesting. Again, however, it seems to lack a certain depth and meaning. His style of writing is very free and conversational yet somewhat witty and humorous at times.
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
While Pushkin is at his finest when writing poetry, he excels at the short story as well, as proven in The Tales of Belkin . These vignettes give a peek into Russian life at the time through Pushkin's tongue-in-cheek writing. More than Pushkin's witty, lyrical and charming style, perhaps what I love most about Pushkin is the rapport he creates with the reader, often maneuvering to distance himself from the frankly dry standards for writing at the time and going into cahoots with the reader. He ...more
Julie Tyuk
Pushin is often referred to as the father of modern Russian literature. Though the title implies gravity and humorlessness, Pushkin was a very funny writer. He was light-hearted and good-spirited Thus, his writing, both poetry and prose almost always interwoven with satire, parody and allusions. And this book is a great example in that regard. The five tales of Belkin were brief, to the point, and composed with a lightness that I found delightful. Curiously, the story I liked best was the only ...more
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Norwegian: Aleksander Pusjkin

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin was a Russian Romantic author who is considered to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature Pushkin pioneered the use of vernacular speech in his poems and plays, creating a style of storytelling—mixing drama, romance, and satire—associated with Russian literature ever since and greatly infl
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