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The Queen of Spades and Other Stories

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  7,297 ratings  ·  158 reviews
This volume contains new translations of four of Pushkin's best works of fiction. The Queen of Spades has long been acknowledged as one of the world's greatest short stories, in which Pushkin explores the nature of obsession. The Tales of Belkin are witty parodies of sentimentalism, while Peter the Great's Blackamoor is an early experiment with recreating the past. The ...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 336 pages
Published August 19th 1999 by Oxford University Press (first published 1834)
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Hosna Yes and No :). It's a collection of a few stories. The Queen of spade is a short story, which uses card/gambling as a plot. It's a great story. Highly…moreYes and No :). It's a collection of a few stories. The Queen of spade is a short story, which uses card/gambling as a plot. It's a great story. Highly recommend. (less)

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  7,297 ratings  ·  158 reviews


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Fionnuala
In the final story of this collection, there's an episode in which a male character makes good use of the last shot in a round of ammunition.
In the same tale, a female character makes very good use of the only ammunition she possesses: her ability to recount a story.
Yes, the Captain's daughter, of the story of the same name, succeeds in telling her version of the 1775 Pugachev rebellion to the empress regent, Catherine the Great, with such powerful effect that she succeeds in clearing the name
...more
Gabrielle
This little book was the perfect sampler of Pushkin’s work for a novice like me: I got a taste of his short stories, his poetry and his plays, and all that was portable enough to fit in my coat pocket! I greatly enjoyed the elegant prose, the mordant and tragic little tales, but I feel like I am a poor judge of poetry; it’s also possible that my undercaffeinated morning commute is just not the right setting for trying to absorb it. I also have to wonder how much is lost in translation, and not ...more
brinson leigh
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Timeless and accessible writing. I thoroughly appreciated Pushkin`s stories infused with seeds of historical trivia and perspective. I also enjoyed his use of humor and irony to mock comedic, sentimental, or ironic writing. As was I impressed with his successful addresses to the audience... in fact, he pulls off many things I`m traditionally not a fan of ... kudos! An aside, the translation is brilliant... it`s hard to seperate authors really, but amazing word choices and phrasing. ...more
Irene
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this collection of 6 short stories by the “father of Russian literature”.
Tracey the Bookworm
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
1.Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin.
Funny and interesting stories. 4 stars.
2. The Queen of Spades.
A short story with a twist at the end. The secret of a winning 3 card game and a man who wants to know it at all costs.
I would rate this 3.5 stars.
3. The Captain's Daughter.
I thought this story started a little slow but then it really picked up. By far the best of the stories and a definite 5 star.
4. Peter the Great's Blackamoor.
Pushkin wanted to write an historical novel along the lines of
...more
Ioana Hodor
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pushkin never ceases to amaze me with all the twists written in this short prose. There is a reason why Russian writers are one of the most profound type out there and this is exactly how Pushkin captures the Russian spirit: problematic, tormented by ethical questions, with a very-well defined personality. Would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to dig in a very different perspective on Russian characters.
Samantha
Dec 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Alexandr Pushkin is a wonderful storyteller. He is insightful and witty...in my opinion Russia's greatest poet (followed closely by Anna Akhmatova).
If you're looking for other stories from Russian authors I would also recommend Gogol, Bulgokov, and the lesser appreciated Turgenev (I loved Fathers and Sons). I mean really you just can't go wrong.
Antonomasia
[3.5] Pushkin from Pushkin Press. (This is at once amusing symmetry, and a little too on-the-nose. First time I've read him. This collection is mostly poetry.) Translation by Anthony Briggs, whose War & Peace I'd have read if it were available as an ebook two years ago; glad to read more of his at last.

'The Queen of Spades'; 'The Stationmaster':
More than cosy enough in the way perfectly characteristic of C19th classics. (A paper book of these, read after nightfall, beside a fire, teeters on
...more
Paulina
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've lately developed quite an interest in the fabulous Russian literature. And Pushkin, well, he's supposedly one of the most fabulous Russians. I've been quite afraid of him - I somehow had an image of monstrous romantic poetry.
How very wrong I was.
Pushkin combines wonderous Russian fairytales, historical fiction and makes it all so interesting that you're feeling as if you were watching an 18th century soap opera. And Dubrovsky. By Jove what a man.
And did I mention that Alexander is a
...more
Debra B.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Clevery written, I enjoyed the stories in this book. A nice slice of Russan life during the early 1800s.
Pamela
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
In this collection of short fiction, many of the pieces are unfinished fragments. This is so frustrating, as Pushkin writes brilliantly and within a few pages drags the reader into the story. However, they are still worth reading for their vivid descriptions of country estates and pithy observations of Russian society.

My favourite stories were The Negro of Peter the Great - a historical tale based on the story of Pushkin's own Ethiopian great-grandfather, Dubrovsky - the adventures of a
...more
Olivier
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
3,5
Interesting and easy reading short stories
Hosna
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review is not based on these editions or English translations as I didn’t read any of these. However, I am familiar with all the stories, which I have read in two different languages and a few different books (I have consulted at least 4 books, and read the one I thought were more reliable and close to the original). Most of these stories I have read were made possible by the wonderful translation works by Progress Publishers, Moscow. Progress Publishers were one of the three publication ...more
Janet
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russia
These 6 atmospheric short stories by Russia's Shakespeare, Alexander Pushkin, would not be the works I would judge him by--as I would not judge a master chef by his sandwiches--yet they're wonderful sandwiches. Written in the early 19thC, they're full of twists and turns, domineering old ladies and pious young girls and Hussars, and always end startlingly. Charming.

Note: this is the newsprintish Dover edition, which does not contain the Captain's Daughter, Tales of Belkin etc. I would generally
...more
Pete daPixie
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having recently read and enjoyed the 'The Captain's Daughter', I had to explore more of Alexander Pushkin's prose and this book was the only other sample available in my local library. I wish there was more.
The contents of 'The Queen of Spades and other stories' occupy some two hundred and forty pages, of which 'The Captains Daughter' takes the largest portion of over a hundred. The five short essays that are the 'Tales of the late Ivan Petrovich Belkin' namely 'The Shot', 'The Snowstorm', 'The
...more
Danielle
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 30-in-2011
Fantastic stories, although 2 are unfortunately incomplete. Pushkin's writing is so fantastic that I feel like I could actually relate to and immerse myself in 18th century Russia amidst rebels and Robin Hood like figures and land squabbles. The most bizarre thing to me was that there are several references, in various stories to "gingers." I'm naive (and happily so) to things like that, but I totally thought South Park made 'ginger' into a ridiculous taunt to people with beautiful red hair. ...more
Stephen Vizinczey
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I was young, handsome, famous and rich and had a half crazed belief in my good luck, I lost a fortune in Monte Carlo on roulette and so I can see with the authority of an expensive experience that there is no better piece of fiction to cure you of the habit of gambling than The Queen of Spades.

The Queen of Spades is another Pushkin’s masterpieces in which in which a conservative German officer who says that he said he doesn't gamble because he has no means to sacrifice the necessary for the
...more
David
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
A wise friend once mentioned that he hadn't met one of the Russian writers that he hadn't liked. Pushkin is certainly no exception, though his style is interestingly different from the others of the classic Russian canon. It's reminds me of Hemingway, though these particular stories don't seem to reach as high. Though not stories I would die without being able to read, they are still very good.
Ben Lovegrove
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Superb short stories. "The Captain's Daughter" is a gripping narrative. The Tales of Belkin are like a parody of Hoffmann with the premise of being written by someone else. There is a fragment of semi fictional biography of Pushkin's ancestor in the unfinished story, Peter the Great's Blackamoor.
The notes are useful at putting things in historical context and explaining Russian nuances.
Ernie
Dec 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2007
Let's put it this way...Pushkin is one of my new favorite authors! I am embarassed to say that I have never read anything from Pushkin before this, and I'm craving for more...lots more. He is such a phenomenal story teller. As you read, you just become more and more interested in the characters and development. I have lots more to read from this genius. (I only gave it four stars because I was afraid this collection and translation doesn't do Pushkin justice...and I've yet to read more...)
JK
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a man Pushkin was.


What's most startling about Pushkin and this collection is how modern and relatable the stories are -both in theme and language- ... you wouldn't think in this day and age of silly technology that a guy from 19th century Russia would be so open to connection.
Joachim Viktil
The first half had a great short story, but then the second half had several bits of poems. Some of these didn't appeal to me, but I world recommend the first half.
Abby
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pushkin, what a delight! He’s fun. I feel like he’s more lighthearted than his (now more famous) countrymen.
Christine
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful touching, scary, and at times humorous stories.
l.
Sep 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread all but Peter the Great's Blackamoor

Much more enjoyable than I remember it being. The Captain's Daughter is a masterpiece. The Belkin Tales are fun.
Lynne
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pushkin is amazingly readable, and many of the stories are charming. VERY good read.
John Jenkins
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This is an enjoyable collection of short stories and poems written by the Russian Shakespeare, Alexander Pushkin (1799 – 1837), and translated into English by Anthony Briggs. The short stories seem brilliant, but I wonder if something is lost in the translation of the poetry by steadfastly maintaining the rhyming structures of the poems. The translator is to be commended for finding words that advance the messages of the poems and accurately rhyme, but several lines that must have flowed ...more
Benoît
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
(reviewing my edition: The Queen of Spades and The Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin)
Charming and engaging short stories in which ordinary people of different classes face coincidences or fantastical events leading to their fortune or misfortune. Pushkin pays homage to romance by inventing timid langorous young women and to adventure by inventing daring ambitious men, and letting destiny resolve all conflicts in the spectacularest manner. Very pleasant.

The Queen of Spades revolves around
...more
Candice
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book with very good short stories which really provides you with an understanding of Russian history and culture. Particularly loved Dubrovsky story. Unfortunately Pushkin didn't get around to finishing it so I guess it is left for the reader to come up with the ending for themselves.

Great book! Recommend it!!
Toby
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These 4 stories remain so fresh and enjoyable and were written almost 200 years ago now! Such a tragedy that 2 of them are unfinished as you can see the potential there for two of the greatest novels of all time.
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Sir Walter Scott ...: The Queen of Spades and other stories 9 8 Feb 13, 2018 02:04AM  

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2,156 followers
See also:
Russian: Александр Сергеевич Пушкин
French: Alexandre Pouchkine
Norwegian: Aleksander Pusjkin

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin was a Russian 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
...more
“...oamenii, nefiind niciodată mulțumiți de prezent, și învățând să aibă puține speranțe în viitor, înfrumusețează cu toate florile închipuirii tot ce a trecut și nu se mai întoarce.” 2 likes
“For whom are you preserving your secret? For your grandsons? They are rich enough without it; they do not know the worth of money. Your cards would be of no use to a spendthrift. He who cannot preserve his paternal inheritance, will die in want, even though he had a demon at his service. I am not a man of that sort; I know the value of money. Your three cards will not be thrown away upon me. Come!” ... He paused and tremblingly awaited her reply. The Countess remained silent; Hermann fell upon his knees. “If your heart has ever known the feeling of love,” said he, “if you remember its rapture, if you have ever smiled at the cry of your newborn child, if any human feeling has ever entered into your breast, I entreat you by the feelings of a wife, a lover, a mother, by all that is most sacred in life, not to reject my prayer. Reveal to me your secret. Of what use is it to you? . . . May be it is connected with some terrible sin, with the loss of eternal salvation, with some bargain with the devil.... Reflect,—you are old; you have not long to live—I am ready to take your sins upon my soul. Only reveal to me your secret. Remember that the happiness of a man is in your hands, that not only I, but my children, and grandchildren will bless your memory and reverence you as a saint. . . .” The old Countess answered not a word. Hermann rose to his feet. “You old hag!” he exclaimed, grinding his teeth, “then I will make you answer!” With these words he drew a pistol from his pocket. At” 1 likes
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