What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

UNSOLVED: One specific book > Russian(?),short story, man and woman meets on train

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message 1: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments I heard this story on radio. I believe it was written by well known Russian author.

Written in first POV.(?) Man meets woman in the train and falls in love with her. He describes how beautiful and special she is. Sympathy is mutual.

He stays at her flat and after they had sex (non-graphic) he thinks of her as annoying, plain and wants sooner to get out from her.

She asks him for some favour? Not sure what maybe money, cigarette or just to go to shop across the street. Or just talks about her life or some domestic stuff.

At the end he is on the street and thinks how he would have been better off if he would have continued his journey without stopping to have time with this woman.

I'm getting mad trying to remember who is author of this!

Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) Do you have a guess when this might have been written, or at least when you heard it? When might it have taken place?

message 3: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments I don't remember when I heard it :(

I don't think it was written in the recent years...I'm sure it was set during Soviet times or even before that maybe before WW2.

message 4: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39296 comments Mod
Keep bumping every couple months or so...one of my goals is to read more Russian and Soviet fiction, so maybe I will come across this.

message 5: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments bump

message 6: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments bump

message 7: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments bump

message 8: by Michele (new)

Michele | 2425 comments Anna wrote: "I don't remember when I heard it..."

Sounds like Gogol. Could you at least guess if it was in the last five years, ten years, fifteen years that you heard it? Do you remember roughly how old you were, that might help pin it down.

Did you hear it on the radio in the U.S., England, Russia, somewhere in Europe?

message 9: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments No, nothing like Gogol. He wouldn't write about a casual hook up.

It was ~10 years ago when I heard this story and in Russian.

message 10: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (last edited Mar 29, 2014 05:36PM) (new)

Lobstergirl | 39296 comments Mod
I've found something similar to what you describe, but different in some details. In this story they don't meet on the train, but they have sex at her house or apartment and then he leaves and takes the train home. The sex is non-graphic. The story is called "The Last Few Kilometres" and is by Leonid Tsypkin. It's in the collection The Bridge Over the Neroch: And Other Works. The story was written in 1972. It opens:

He had just finished lovemaking, rather indifferently, and now he was returning home on the train. Outside the window, in the murky film of the fading autumn day, Moscow's former suburbs swam past....

The story is very short. The woman is not described as beautiful, although she has dressed up and put on makeup and done her hair for him, as if they are going on a fancy date. She is clearly much more into him than he's into her. She feeds him chicken and rice and blini before they have sex. He just wants to have sex, have a smoke, and get out of there, but he doesn't want to offend her. His description of the time spent with her alternates with his description of the views passing by in the train car, or what he's thinking in the train car, or the other passengers on the train. It's in third person and we don't learn either of their names. The story refers to her as his "mistress."

message 11: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments I just read The Last Few Kilometres (thanx, google) and no it's not the one.

message 12: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments bump4

message 13: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments bump5

message 14: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39296 comments Mod
Well this is not "Adventure on a Train" by Robert Walser, in his collection A Schoolboy's Diary and Other Stories. The male narrator and a woman do get intimate on a train in that one, but they never get off the train and everything is concluded in 1.5 pages.

message 15: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39296 comments Mod
If you are misremembering some details, it could be the short story "The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt" by Mary McCarthy which is also a chapter in her novel "The Company She Keeps." It's told in the third person from the POV of a newly divorced woman who is about to get remarried and traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast to tell her aunt. On the train she meets an older man who seems interesting to her. He invites her to his sleeper car where they talk for hours and drink whisky, but he keeps the door open and doesn't try to make a pass at her. However, she gets very drunk and the next morning wakes up naked next to him, also naked, and is horrified. But after thinking about it she decides maybe it isn't so bad, and they have listless morning sex. He's totally in love with her and wants her to leave her fiance and is willing to leave his wife for her. She goes back and forth between feeling disgusted with him, and with herself for sleeping with him, and yet entranced. Finally she tells him that she loves him but because she does, she is leaving the train. When she gets back to New York he gives her gifts and still wants to get married but she is still feeling the push-pull of repulsion and attraction for him and ends it.

Looks like it was made into a movie:


message 16: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments It's not the one that I'm looking for.

But thank you for trying to help me, I really appreciate it. <3

message 17: by Anna (last edited Dec 30, 2015 01:42PM) (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments bump

message 18: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (last edited Dec 30, 2015 05:32PM) (new)

Lobstergirl | 39296 comments Mod
"Well known Russian author" - meaning globally well known? Or well-known mostly in Russia? Or Europe?

Is it possible this author has not been translated into English?

message 19: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments Popular enough for his work to be read on the radio. But if popular enough for his work to be translated in English, I don't know.

message 20: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39296 comments Mod
Anna, are you still looking for this or did you find it?

message 21: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments still looking :(

message 22: by Rachel (last edited Jan 07, 2019 07:30PM) (new)

Rachel | 9 comments Dostoyevsky? This sounds like the style of Notes from Underground but not the same plot.

message 23: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa (annamatsuyama) | 406 comments Not Dostoyevsky. I'm 99% sure that the story was set in 20th century

message 24: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 19041 comments Still looking, Anna?

message 25: by S.U. (new)

S.U. Ramesh | 30 comments Anton Chekov, maybe?

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