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Best Russian Short Stories Paperback – December 30, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Various Press (December 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619491885
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619491885
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Rubin on April 17, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How can you go wrong with this? Some of the great classics from Chekhov, Tolstoy, Turgenev and a few other surprising gems I'd never read before.

To read the Overcoat again, after about 20 years, was a true delight. There's something so real, palpable and compelling about the clerk and how the story unfolds...I can see why it's a great model for the short story form.
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70 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Artis on March 4, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At first all the stories are just depressing. Some memorably so, others humorously so, others still just morosely so. Many are about poverty, vices, the lusts of money, fear of the cold, or loneliness, oppression, and cruelty, but each of them seems to focus very strongly on the crappiness of life. They stay with you, and they keep pulling you along. Best of all, they can be taken in at length- most short stories collections get tiring after three or four stories, here it's possible to read them all in a sitting and enjoy every one of them.
At first you are depressed, being hammered with these themes, but about 60% of the way through these very well written pieces you realize that these Russians understand something our modern Western culture doesn't: people are rotten; and somehow this formerly depressing literature becomes a masterpiece of art. They are painting you a picture of life that you don't want to hear, the truth that when the veneer of life is stripped away people are just no good, even down to the smallest child we are one and alike worthless. Counter-intuitively, it's very refreshing to see the honest truth, and as a consequence you will remember these stories for the rest of your life. These Russian writers, they *get* it, they make it hit home in a way that doesn't happen very often from new books or television or movies.
Alas, by and large the writers are a post Christian bunch, so instead of celebrating their brokenness and the kindness of God they are left with a void, but unlike Camus who decides to fill his philosophy with nonsense words the Russian masters quietly abstain in favor of just showing you life through their eyes. They just stare at the void in humanity.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mei on April 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
At the moment of writing (april 2012) Amazon does not offer this title in Europe, but is is available for free on several websites. So where-ever you are, you'll be able to download this book for free. The printed version has 279 pages, and there are 19 stories in this book. This book contains some of the best stories written in the 19th century.

The contents of this book are:

INTRODUCTION
THE QUEEN OF SPADES _A.S. Pushkin_
THE CLOAK _N.V. Gogol_
THE DISTRICT DOCTOR _I.S. Turgenev_
THE CHRISTMAS TREE AND THE WEDDING _F.M. Dostoyevsky_
GOD SEES THE TRUTH, BUT WAITS _L.N. Tolstoy_
HOW A MUZHIK FED TWO OFFICIALS _M.Y. Saltykov_
THE SHADES, A PHANTASY _V.G. Korolenko_
HE SIGNAL _V.N. Garshin_
THE DARLING _A.P. Chekhov_
THE BET _A.P. Chekhov_
VANKA _A.P. Chekhov_
HIDE AND SEEK _F.K. Sologub_
DETHRONED _I.N. Potapenko_
THE SERVANT _S.T. Semyonov_
ONE AUTUMN NIGHT _M. Gorky_
HER LOVER _M. Gorky_
LAZARUS _L.N. Andreyev_
THE REVOLUTIONIST _M.P. Artzybashev_
THE OUTRAGE _A.I. Kuprin_
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Robinson on June 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a single volume that contains a selection of stories from the most famous of the 19th century Russian writers from Pushkin to Gorky.

I was very impressed with this collection.

Chekov is generally acknowledged as the best writer of such stories, but here in a single book where we have at least one by each major author plus three by Chekhov. The authors include Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and others. There are 17 Russian authors in all.

The book opens with Pushkin's "Queen of Spades" and is followed by Gogol's "The Cloak." I liked all the stories. The one that was especially enjoyable was "How A Muzhik Fed Two Officials" by M.Y. Saltykov. It is the story of two bureaucrats who are marooned on an island. They decide that they can best survive by finding somebody to do the work for them, a Muzhik.

In any case, this is an excellent collection that in one volume gives the reader some insight into the writing styles of many well known Russian authors.

If you want to scan the text before buying, it is available on line at the Australian Gutenberg project. Look under Tolstoy to find the book. The introduction by Thomas Seltzer is an outsanding and concise 6 page overview of 19th century Russian literature. It alone is almost worth the price of the book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Putman on February 1, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is my first time reading any Russian author(s) and I am amazed how much I have been missing by not reading Russian authors. This is filled with great well written short stories, they make you what to go out and buy more from they authors (and I have).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Hyman VINE VOICE on December 30, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First off, the content is quite good. For free, you get a survey of a variety of Russian authors, with quick easy to read short stories. The translations are fine and sensible, and it is an easy to read overview. The Kindle version, however, does suffer from lack of formatting. It would be very nice, for example, if there were a clear indication of story breaks, or maybe some information on the author or stories dates. I might have liked a few off the beaten path authors as well, but for free it is hard to complain.
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