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The Cherry Orchard (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – January 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Reprint edition (January 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486266826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486266824
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

An outstanding literary work. Well adapted for modern audiences. -- Bookwatch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian

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Customer Reviews

On the one it is the story of the characters' relationships to each other.
Shalom Freedman
The packaging allowed something to stab through the paper of the book and ruin the bottom of two pages .
READSALOT
The only part I hate about reading plays is keeping who says what straight!
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Yaumo Gaucho on July 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
"How should one live?" is the fundamental question driving most of Chekhov's work, and it is very overtly laid bare in The Cherry Orchard. Should the aristocratic family in decline stick to owning their cherry orchard (representative of the grandiose trappings of Russian aristocracy), or give in to modern commercialization in order to survive? What is the value of tradition, and how many trees should one own? Chekhov will not answer these questions for you, but he poses them in most interesting ways. In addition to wise insights into such fundamental dilemmas, Chekhov also provides a lot of witty banter, and a great slice-of-life view at 19th century Russian high culture. But this is not just a Russian play or a 19th century play; its themes, questions, and prospective answers are relevant for individuals coping with society and history in any place, and at any time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William Krischke VINE VOICE on October 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
As I read this play, my family is in the process of moving a thousand miles away from the farm where I grew up. Though I am so far away from the Russian culture and time of this play, the themes of place, tradition, and inevitable change resonated inside of me, and I am grateful to Chekhov for the way he has handled them.
The Cherry Orchard is a play about change, and the symbolism is pretty easy to recognize. What makes it stand apart, I think, from a thousand other plays on the same theme is its wonderful sense of comedy, of smiling sadness. Chekhov all his life insisted it was a comedy. As the Cherry Orchard slips away from the Ranevskys, they seem to smile at its going. As they are unable to change their habits -- still lending money they don't have, still spending extravagantly -- they quietly laugh at their own foolishness. The change comes, and they leave, heartbroken -- but embracing the change at the same time, only feebling struggling against it. One feels saddest, in the end, for Lopakhin, the new owner of the Cherry Orchard. He seems to believe he has bought happiness and friends, but is quickly discovering the emptiness of money and possessions, as no one wants to borrow from him, and no one seems to pay him much heed at all.
Chekhov paints with a fine brush, and I appreciate that. There is no thunderstorming, no ranting and raving in this work. There is a fine and subtle, sad and comedic portrayal of a family and a place encountering change. It is a heartbreak with a smile.
The translation, though the only one I've read, seems good. It is easy to follow and rich in simple feeling.
if you'd like to discuss this play with me, or recommend something i might enjoy, or just chat, e-mail me at williekrischke@hotmail.com.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Barry D. Smith on May 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Cherry Orchard was me first experience with Chekhov, and I was surprised at the depth in this 49 page play. By no means would I considered myself a "literary expert," but this was very readable and you can pull a lot of the deeper meanings and its context in Russian history by yourself. I was confused at a couple people who write that the simply couldn't understand it and it put them to sleep! It's not THAT tough! If I could understand and appreciate it, almost anyone can!
What I like most about Chekhov is that he doesn't simplify his characters. He's a realist in this sense. Lopahkin and Trophimof each have admirable and detestable characteristics, just like you and I. While it may be set in the tumultuous period prior to the Russian revolution, the ideas and the discussions this play provokes are timeless.
Highly recommended!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
As much as I enjoy Chekhov, I'm not a big fan of THE CHERRY ORCHARD; it never made much sense to me. However, this adaptation by David Mamet makes the play easier to follow and understand. The play itself is often labeled as a tragedy, but really isn't. As Mamet points out in the introduction to this adaptation, the closest form of drama THE CHERRY ORCHARD's structure resembles is the farce. In fact, if all the characters weren't so depressing, the play would be hilarious. Perhaps that is what Chekhov originally intended, that as we would see the outrageous, pitiful existence of the characters in this play we would laugh at their mopping and folly and strive to make our lives more meaningful. This isn't the best work to introduce one to the genius of Chekhov, but it is a classic and if one can get past all the whining (or to use a more pc term "reminiscing") it's worth the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Volkswagen Blues on April 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
People in my line of work (that is, teachers and critics of literature) seem to be paying more attention to "The Sea Gull" these days, but my money is still on "The Cherry Orchard" as favorite Chekhov play. Dover's incomparably priced edition lacks a little in the readability of the translation, but it's still a nice version of a powerful piece of work.
For me, the real strength of "The Cherry Orchard" is its unwillingness to come down propagandistically on one side of any issue. The intellectual and eternal student Trophimof levels a critique against capitalism, but one must bear in mind that it is capitalism that engineers the upward rise of the erstwhile peasant (and now landowner) Lopakhin (and, in the context of this play's being labeled a "comedy," I think Chekhov codes this rise as a conditionally good thing). Trophimof in fact seems to be granted a great deal of authority by the play, as he complains about the lazy intelligentsia and the useless aristocracy, but, sure enough, not wanting to make things too simple or simplistic, Chekhov has Madame Ranevsky put him in his place. If this is a commentary on turn-of-the-century Russian society and politics (and I think we must read it as such), it is a very balanced, multi-perspectival and complex one.
Even the criticism of the play's upper classes--the focus on Gayef's irrational obsession with billiards or Pishtchik's naive assumption that, when he is in the deepest of financial troubles, something will always come along to bail him out--is delicately balanced against the workaholic insensitivity of Lopakhin, who leaves Varya Ranevsky stranded at the play's end and expecting a proposal of marriage from him that is hinted at but never comes.
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