I was given this collection of Anton Chekhov stories last Christmas and I read the first half in the New Year but then took a break to read other things. However I have recently picked up the book again and have really enjoyed reading the remaining stories of this great collection.

Anton Chekhov Stories

In many ways a lot of the stories seem fairly sparse, inconclusive and incidental, but therein lies the genius.  In his stories Chekhov paints pictures of typical Russian life: the rambling thoughts of an old professor, a meeting between a huntsman and his estranged wife, the daily work of a doctor, the life of a young lady engaged to be married – each described in some detail, yet without explicit authorial comment. We read of an affair, but are not given an opinion of it. In this respect, I found that the power of many of the stories only struck me some time after I had finished reading them. As we are not instructed in how we should react to the scenarios we have to grapple with them ourselves.

Of the thirty individual stories in this collection, my favourites were A Boring Story, Ward No. 6, The Black Monk and The Lady With the Little Dog. However, I think that the whole collection is well worth reading and I imagine that I will likely dip into it again over the years.

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