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Tales of Chekhov (13 Volume Set) Paperback – October 24, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in Taganrog, Ukraine in 1860. First published in the eighteen-eighties, he was a celebrated figure in Russia by the time of his death in 1904, but he remained relatively unknown internationally until the years after World War I, when his works were translated into English. His essays, plays, poetry, and short fiction have been translated into countless languages and he is remembered today as a master of the modern short story.

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Ecco; Box edition (October 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061153869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061153860
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 7.8 x 5.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,247,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Any attempt at telling stories otherwise, will only make for drab and lifeless reading.
A reader
These 13 volumes represent "the most comprehensive collection of Chekhov stories in what is still the best complete translation available in English."
Kay's Husband
Since there have been comments here about the paper quality and the printing, I'd like to chime in.
Lost In a Book

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 124 people found the following review helpful By zhiyi on December 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Noet that the translator is Constance Garnett (translated around 1920 or earlier). All the stories in this collection can be found in public domain.

Pros:

1. contains 201 stories and short novels. The most comprehensive collections so far.

2. beautiful book cover

Cons:

1. very poor paper quality, similar to newspaper

2. very poor printing. The edition is obvioulsy very old, and its font and printing are ugly.

If you do not really want such a complete collection, I suggest you to consider two modern library hardcover books:

1. Early Short Stories, 1883-1888. ISBN 0679603174.

2. Later Short Stories, 1888-1903. ISBN 0679603166.

The two books contain 112 stories and the third book from modern library "Longer Stories from the Last Decade" (ISBN 0679606637) contains 11 short novels. The translator of the three books are the same, Constance Garnett.

If you do not want to collect the books, but only want to read Chekhov's stories, I recommend the following two books by award-winning translators Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky (translated in 199x and 200x):

Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov, Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky

ISBN-10: 0553381008

The Complete Short Novels (Everyman's Library) (Hardcover)

by Anton Chekhov, Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator), Richard Pevear (Translator)

ISBN-10: 1400040493.

Hope it helps.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By James Hulbert on December 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
X. Zhang makes valuable points, but let me file what may be a minority report. Granted, the paper on which this edition is printed appears to be disappointingly pulpy--we'll have to see how it ages. But its 1920s typeface and layout are very generous and easy on these ageing eyes of mine. It's unfortunate that the publisher has not yet made any pages from the books available through Amazon's 'search inside this book' feature.... Readers considering the Modern Library volumes, which I used to own and which can now be hard to find, should keep in mind that that edition is a reduced selection, whereas the Ecco set includes all of the stories translated by Garnett; an advantage of the ML edition, though, is that it's generally organised chronologically (following the order in which Chekhov composed the stories), whereas the Ecco reproduces the organisation of Garnett's original volumes of translation. For me, all things considered, the Ecco edition is probably the one purchase in 2006 that's given me the most pleasure. But it may not be right choice for others....
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kay's Husband on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started reading the Russian writers--Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Pushkin, Turgenev, Gogol, and Chekhov--in the mid-1960s with Anton Chekhov becoming my favorite of all. Anyone developing an appreciation of Chekhov's writings will be overjoyed with this astounding boxed set of 13 books.

I've read all the reviews here and have to disagree with any that do not find praise and pleasure in these 13 volumes being back in print again. Even the colorful, striking painting by Vasily Ivanovich Surikov covering the 13 spines of the books is an added attraction setting off this boxed set, visually announcing to readers that this is a unique set of books.

The first volume of Constance Black Garnett's volumes of Chekhov's writings was printed in 1916. By then she had already released translations of Turgenev's writings in 13 volumes, and 7 volumes of Dostoyevsky's plus translations of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and War and Peace. Almost anyone reading the works of Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, or Chekhov in the early years of the 20th century read them via her quality translations.

By 1984, Echo Press began to re-publish all 201 of Garnett's translations. These 13 volumes represent "the most comprehensive collection of Chekhov stories in what is still the best complete translation available in English." (The Atlantic Monthly). At the price of $150 dollars, even without Amazon's generous discount, this boxed set is one of the best bargains I've seen in the near 50 years reading and collecting books.

It is evident whoever put this set back into existence not only has a love of literature, but has great appreciation of Anton Chekhov's writings. Though I took several comparative literature courses in college, cannot recall Chekhov being included.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Roman on June 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read almost all of Chekhov's stories in translation--and have always wanted to own this collection, although the material is all available online. I'm very happy with my purchase, and here's why:

1. The volumes are almost exact replicas of first editions released from 1916-1922: While some may consider this a drawback, with the old-style type and print, I think it's a plus--thick, generous, very readable. Chekhov is one of those writers who is meant to be read slowly; the pages here are not crammed with small, light print, and seem to encourage one to savor the writing.

These are the editions through which many great American writers, from Hemingway to Eudora Welty discovered Chekhov.

2. The covers are handsomely designed, and on the back, each volume has a blurb from a prominent writer--such stalwarts as Nadine Gordimer and Cynthia Ozick write about what Chekhov means to them. These notes, plus Richard Ford's wonderful intro, "Why We Like Chekhov," feel like must-reads.

If you like Alice Munro and Antonya Nelson (as I do), I'm finding that Chekhov, in spirit and essence, almost anticipates those two contemporary masters. But unfortunately, anthologies repeatedly seem to go for only a few Chekhov stories. Scores of lesser-known ones are left out--which is why the complete collection is invaluable to me. I'd read a Munro story, which might remind me of a Chekhov piece (not that Munro is derivative at all, just that in spirit there's a resemblance), and I'd look through the complete list, and find something written in the 1890s that informs and illuminates my understanding and experience of Munro today.

There are certain writers whose work, I believe, one must have physically on the shelf--Shakespeare and Chekhov among them.
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