Here is the greatest novella and the most unforgettable stories of a master writer who saw all of life and rejected none of it.
In “The Kiss”, a lonely, love-starved soldier keeps a secret rendezvous for another man and becomes enamored with a woman he is never to see again. “The Duel” describes the collisions between men and women in hopeless relationships, and how two men are driven to settle the score in a clandestine meeting on a bridge, pistols in hand. In all of these stories, Chekhov’s brilliant portrayal of people from all walks of life and how they deal with the moral dilemmas their circumstances press upon them comes to vivid life in the listener’s mind.
Public Domain (P)1999 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“The magic of the man is inescapable.” (Saturday Review)
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With simple words and and simple storylines there is such magnificence and brilliance; there is magic in Chekhov's writing. Where Tolstoy was complex and so serious--Chekhov is lighter and even humorous, pointing out the foibles in our characters, our human tendencies to manipulate morality to fit our desires. Short stories that are easy to get through and so very worth any reader's time.
I have never favored the short story form much in my time. But Checkov is masterful with them and is one author to return to several times. He really strikes a wonderful balance, and knows when to stop. He does not play the story out the way a novel would, following a character until you wish you were dead, if not the character. These mostly end leaving you hanging, and every last line is intimately perfect. Characters develop more in the space of 30 minutes of listening than they do in many large, long books. These stories are like a reduction of broth. What remains in the pot after simmering is very strong. "The Kiss" is famous and deservedly so. "The Duel" tracks a handful of intriguing characters. There really are no weak stories. I wish a volume were available that covered more of Checkov's work, but this was the best collection available when I looked. Narration is a bit wooden and the sound quality is more muffled or fuzzy than many modern productions, but that is actually why I picked it. I go through a lot of audio books at my job and one gets tired of perfect voices enunciating carefully. This is not a reader with a "radio" voice, but he fits most of the stories and does an adequate to excellent job with each of them. Can't really read women parts though. I'll blame the timbre of his voice on that- they just sound like raspy soft men.
I tried to read Anton Chehkov as a teenager,did not like it, did not understand it. I know now that to understand and enjoy Chehkov you need emotional maturity, understanding of the human nature. Chekhov is a master painter of the inner workings of souls. I really enjoyed this listen, and planning to move on to his complete works.
No I do not want to read or listen to anything else by Anton Chekhov. Fred Williams has a boring voice, he sounds like he is reading history texts.
No, it is not a sterling example of anything.
No, it reminds me that great authors also have works that are not necessarily worth reading or translating. These stories are simply too dated and were probably translated with only marginal success.
I was looking forward to enjoying these classic stories, but I should have listened to the sample first. The narrator "tried" at times to give the characters different voices, but not consistently or well. I finally had to stop listening.
This was my first Anton Chekhov
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