Five Great Short Stories, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780486264639



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

I had read a couple of Chekhov's plays and couldn't see what all the fuss was about, but decided to give this volume of short stories a try. I was quite impressed by The Peasants, a well-observed tale about family relationships which made me want to learn more about the emancipation of the serfs in Tsarist Russia. The other four stories, alas, were long on philosophy and navel-gazing and short on plot and character study; even the much-lauded Lady With the Dog left me unmoved and The Black Monk seemed just plain silly. Still can't see what all the fuss is about.

Review by

This collection of short stories describes the issues that were hidden from the world outside of Soviet Russia. In his work Peasants, Chekhov illistrates the poverty that those who used to be surfs had to endure after the death of King Alexander II. After his assassination, those who were newly freed surfs were placed in worse conditions now that they were free, rather than under a lord's control. This short story also describes the importance of knowledge in that Sasha (the protagonist's 10 year old daughter) was the only one in the protagonist's family that was able to read.

Review by

I have heard for years that Chekhov is one of the great short story writers, and yet I hadn't read any of his work. I picked up this slender volume for a mere 25-cents at a book sale. It includes "The Black Monk," "The House with the Mezzanine," "The Peasants," "Gooseberries," and "The Lady with the Toy Dog."The thing that struck me the right away is how the pace of short stories has changed dramatically in the past century. Chekhov's pace is slow and steady, building his characters through deliberate action and philosophical conversation. However, this pace does bring in a different sort of psychological introspection than modern day stories, and the themes still ring true today. We may not have the peasants of late 19th century Russia, but we still have a lower class trenched in alcohol and abuse that struggles to move upward in society. Several works, such as "The House with the Mezzanine," touched on the social constraints of society how easily love is lost.These short stories were not my usual reading material, but I have a feeling that Chekhov's slow pace will cause them to linger and develop in my mind for some time.

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