Anton Chekhov begins his classic 1889 tale "The Bet" with the recollection of an argument that took place 15 years earlier at a party of the self-ordained intelligentsia. The argument - so familiar to our own time - was about the moral legitimacy of capital punishment. While most of the party agreed that capital punishment was inhumane, a middle-aged banker held that it was far more humane than life imprisonment. When a young lawyer disagreed, the bet was on: If the lawyer will spend 15 years in solitary confinement, the banker will give him a large sum of money. Fifteen years on, who will win? As performed by the popular Walter Zimmerman, “The Bet” is a hilarious look at principle, moral value, and the tyranny of caprice.
© and (P)1979 Jimcin Recordings
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Although this is not a great story, this is solidly good Chekhov with solidly good narration. Chekhov is my favorite short story writer, yet this in not one of my favorite stories; nevertheless it is clearly worth the twenty minutes and one dollar.
One of my favorite short stories by Anton Chekhov. Strong didactic theme and moral that has much to teach us, even today. It addresses the theme of capital punishment and begs the question, "Which is worse?" and makes us ask ourselves what price we would pay for freedom. Ironic final ending that will "imprison" the reader, long after the final page is turned.
-Deborah Killion, writer
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