Fifty-Two Stories should be subtitled fifty-two absolute delights from a master of literature. Many of these stories were written under deadline pressure in order to earn money to keep his family afloat financially, however, they each show the great capability that Chekhov demonstrated in his plays: scene-setting, character delineation, and an deep understanding of the human condition. In the story “Grief,” Chekhov makes us hate the main character, so much so that when he receives his just desserts, we are plunged into sympathy for him, which is a total surprise. “Exclamation Point” is an homage to grammar police everywhere and aptly demonstrates Chekhov’s ability to find humor even through the distress of his characters. And his characters: Corporal Whompov, Monsieur Shampooing, and a host of other character names with allusions to characters in Russian literature. This book is a feast for anyone who delights in great stories or those of us who can’t get enough Chekhov. Fifty-two stories seem like a drop in the bucket for those dying of thirst for great literature. The book also has wonderful endnotes with great explanations of Russian words and phrases. The credentialed translators have done a wonderful job as have the publishers in rendering a beautiful and collectible volume.
|Author||Anton Chekhov, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky|
|Page Count||510 pages|
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