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Ward No. 6 and Other Stories, 1892-1895 (Penguin Classics) Paperback – August 27, 2002

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) was a Russian physician and writer of short stories and plays, including the masterpieces 'Uncle Vanya', 'The Seagull', and 'The Cherry Orchard'.

Ronald Wilks has translated many Russian works including, for Penguin, those of Gorky, Sologub, Tolstoy, Pushkin, and Chekhov.

J. Douglas Clayton is Professor of Russian at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of 'Pierrot in Petrograd' about the Commedia dell'arte and the Russian tradition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (August 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592642020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140447866
  • ASIN: 0140447865
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Tim S. on March 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
What criteria is there for five stars? Is it writing that holds you captive after only a few paragraphs? A few sentences? Is it wanting to know who is this writer? How can he write so wonderfully? These short stories are a time machine to a by-gone, horse-drawn era when riding on a train was a big deal. People moved slower but were no less thoughtful.

Ward 6, a story about a hospital and its patients--think One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest--it's a tragic tale that might have been more fact than fiction.

Gooseberries--a man whose eccentric dream was a homestead with gooseberries in the garden.

The Kiss--a soldier is haunted by a woman's anonymous kiss. He wants to find her so badly. This story really grabbed me because it's a metaphor for all our lost loves that we wish we had a second chance at. That's my take on it.

The Lady With The Dog--a romantic tale with lots of passion. This one will get your heart beating.

Whatever story you read you should find the writing exceptional. The detail, the mood, the scene. It raises the bar, without intending to, for what great writing should be.
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By Cosmoetica on September 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'd long heard that Russian writer Anton Chekhov had written short stories, but like most people it was on the strength of his plays, those intense little mood pieces, that I knew him best. Granted, I thought the plays uniformly strong, and considered him of a stature near that of a Tennessee Williams or George Bernard Shaw. So revered for decades, was Chekhov, for his dramatic works, that he even had an apothegm called Chekhov's Gun named after him. It stated that if in the First Act that there is a gun presented, by Third Act it must be shot, lest its import as symbolism, and effect as a dramatic tool be nil and unjustifiable. Yet, as I've gotten more into reading short stories I discovered that far more people admired his short stories than his plays, or, at least, to a greater degree. Having now read a full collection of twenty-three of his tales, in a Barnes & Noble Classics Edition titled Ward No. 6 And Other Stories, translated by Constance Garnett, I have to say I'm inclined to agree with those who declaim him a superior short fictionist to dramatist. What I do not agree with, though, are those critics who would place him in a direct line from the French Guy de Maupassant, and a confrere of the American O. Henry. The reason is that even in the earliest tales- and they span a range from 1885's The Cook's Wedding to 1902's The Bishop- Chekhov's tales are imbued with an intellectual probing wholly absent from Maupassant or O. Henry. He goes off into soliloquies, rivaling and surpassing the best of Shakespeare, that are far deeper than anything the plot-driven Frenchman or American achieved. Whereas their tales are one dimensional and dependent upon twists at the end, Chekhov's tales are almost devoid of `boom' endings.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
With great skill Chekhov describes grotesque and pathetic characters, and uses them to formulate subtle yet powerful satires of the less noble aspects of human nature such as egocentrism and sophistry. Good translation with a decent (but short and therefore superficial) introduction.
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The real challenge with any anthology of Anton Chekhov's short stories is, what do you leave out? Chekhov lived only 44 years yet his literary output was extraordinary. This volume includes many of Chekhov's great stories including "The Student", the fabulous "Black Monk" and the probing title piece "Ward No. 6" where his own medical expertise is brought to bear on the story. It is a great introduction to the work of Chekhov and is certainly a beginning, not an end. Hopefully, it will inspire the reader to read more and get the full value of this vital artist.
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