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Tracy Rowan

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  • Anna Karenina

  • By: Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by: Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Length: 35 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,990
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,716
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,695

Leo Tolstoy's classic story of doomed love is one of the most admired novels in world literature. Generations of readers have been enthralled by his magnificent heroine, the unhappily married Anna Karenina, and her tragic affair with dashing Count Vronsky.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not to be rushed but to be savored

  • By J. Stirling on 08-02-16

Remarkable book, great performance

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-14-18

 It's taken me a bit of time to process what I thought and felt about this book. First, it was a surprise to me that I'd never read it. I knew the story, or the basics of it, and have done for years, mostly from familiarity with the various film versions. And perhaps that was part of the problem I had as I listened to this audiobook, so beautifully narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

I thought I knew the story. I thought I understood that Anna and Vronsky were star-crossed, that Karenin was a horrible man, and everyone else was peripheral. But Hollywood tends to strip stories to the bare bone, and often to cater to the lowest common denominator, making a complex novel into a tragic romance. It isn't, at least not to my way of thinking. It's awfully sad, but there's nothing about it that seems surprising now that I have read the whole thing. In fact, my most frequent response to the narrative was "My god these people need medication!"

Anna is a painfully neurotic woman who spends much of her time longing for death. She gets what she says she wants --  to leave her husband and live with her lover -- and then can't allow herself to enjoy it. She makes her life and Vronsky's miserable, and in one final, savage grand gesture, she ensures that he will never be happy again.

I can't say that I felt sorry for him; for me Vronsky is not a noble or sympathetic character. His treatment of Kitty made me dislike him immediately, and I found him shallow, vain, and fairly obtuse throughout the book. I would say, though, that on a superficial level, Anna and Vronsky deserved each other. 

Levin's story is a good counterpoint to Anna's. They're all nerve endings, never able to rest. But Levin is lucky, perhaps because he finds a wife who can help him find contentment and security, or perhaps just because Levin is male. Yes, I'm going to go there. I'm going to poke the novel with my feminist stick because I think it's important to see Anna's neuroses in the light of the society in which she had to live.

She was brave enough to make a choice to disengage herself from a loveless marriage, and to live with a lover and their child, a man who professes love for her, but never seems to be able to assure her of that love. (In fairness, the longer Anna spends being ostracized, the harder it becomes to reassure her of anything.) Vronsky is a childish figure, a man who said early on in the book that he intended never to marry even as he is courting a young woman who has every right to assume his interest in her is about marriage. Apart from being closer to Anna's age, and more physically attractive than her husband, Vronsky really isn't a step up from Karenin. 

Anna could only go so far, only push the boundaries of society to the limits of her own tolerance for being cut out of that society. She relied on an unreliable man to carry her through emotionally. She simply didn't know how to be her own woman, and no one was willing or able to help her, at least in part because she doesn't trust their affection. That, more than anything, is Anna's tragedy.  After Anna's death, it's telling that there is virtually no mention of her in the next chapters, until we get to Vronsky. It's as if everyone is relieved she's gone. 

While there is always gossip that swirls around the male characters, they don't suffer for their shortcomings. Anna's brother, Stiva, essentially deserts his family to the care of his sister-in-law and her husband, and is considered a grand fellow by all his cronies. Levin's attempts to be a man of the people, to work shoulder-to-shoulder with his tenants is viewed as an eccentricity that he does eventually grow out of once he finds a way to be who he must be in order to thrive and support two families. People may say snide things about Karenin's wife, but he's never cut out of society the way she is.

And Vronsky? Hard to say what's going on there, but I suspect it's not nearly as deep as we'd like to believe.  Vronsky excites universal sympathy. Poor man, he's lost so much. We see him going off to war, but my guess is that he will survive, return to Russia, marry and settle down to raise a family, and go into politics. His fling with Anna will become history, a story of how he sowed his oats, but became an upstanding member of society. Anna's real tragedy is that she will be erased for having made the effort to have an authentic life.

Once I got past my impatience with all the fallout from the social mores, I recognized again how brilliant Tolstoy is at painting his characters, how much of their interior lives he lays bare for us. His understanding of human nature is extraordinary. I'm so glad I finally managed to read Anna Karenina. It was gorgeous and sad, and thought-provoking, a remarkable portrait of life in tsarist Russia, and the social changes that were roiling under the surface of everyday life. Please don't sell this book short because you know the movies, it's so much more.

  • The Odyssey

  • The Fitzgerald Translation
  • By: Homer, Robert Fitzgerald - translator
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 718
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 663
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 663

Robert Fitzgerald's translation of The Odyssey has been the standard translation for more than three generations of students and poets. Macmillan Audio is delighted to publish the first ever audio edition of this classic work, the greatest of all epic poems. Fitzgerald's supple verse is ideally suited for audio, recounting the story of Odysseus' long journey back to his wife and home after the Trojan War. Homer's tale of love, adventure, food and drink, sensual pleasure, and mortal danger reaches the English-language listener in all its glory.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "A god moved him--who knows?"

  • By Jefferson on 07-25-18

Masterful translation, wonderful narration

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-23-18

Though I've read The Odyssey several times, it never really clicked with me until I listened to this recording, which I loved so much I'm determined to get the companion recording of The Iliad with my next Audible credit. It isn't just that I do find it easier to follow difficult texts in audio format. Nor was it wholly Dan Stevens' narration, which is superb. But Robert Fitzgerald's translation is masterful, making the text accessible while retaining the soul of it, the deep meanings.

I'm not going to recap the story, y'all know it. Though this time through it felt different to me, both familiar and quite new, so it never lagged in spite of its familiarity. Odysseus is possibly the most interesting personality in all of Homer, a trickster figure who always has an angle. In this translation he's both a man of his time with all the behaviors that we might find questionable now, and someone who transcends time and place. We feel for him, for his anguish at being kept from his home and family. He's both hero/king and regular guy.

If you haven't read The Odyssey and want to, or have tried and found it rough weather, do try the Fitzgerald translation. It does make a difference, as does hearing the poetry spoken by someone who understands the text. 

  • The Bloody Chamber

  • By: Angela Carter
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage, Emilia Fox
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 540
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 499
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 498

A collection of short stories, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories was first published in 1979 and awarded the Cheltenham Festival Literary Prize. This Audible exclusive adaptation is narrated by legendary actors, Richard Armitage and Emilia Fox, who take on different chapters of the audiobook. Among these are 'The Bloody Chamber', 'The Courtship of Mr Lyon', 'The Tiger's Bride', 'Puss in Boots', 'The Erl-King', 'The Snow Child', 'The Lady of the House of Love', 'The Werewolf' and 'Wolf-Alice'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fairy tales by Angela Carter

  • By Elizabeth P. Fowler on 03-20-18

Dark and Dangerous

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-23-18

Angela Carter's work is all over the map for me.  Sometimes she disappoints, sometimes she wows me. Sometimes she makes me  think hard about my own work, which is a valuable thing. She is consistently interesting, though, for the lush texture and tone of her work, sensual, often sexual, she doesn't shy away from the dark and dangerous.

This volume contains retellings of popular fairytales, sometimes more than one. Beauty and the Beast gets two separate treatments. The first, The Courtship of Mr. Lyon, is more an update than a reimagining, and it's lovely, but nothing special. But The Tiger's Bride is ravishing, glorious, sharp in tooth and claw, and desire. Red Riding Hood is also tackled more than once, and the most famous of these, The Company of Wolves, was the basis for a film of the same name. I found the tale beautifully written, but a bit disjointed, as if it was a series of musings on the wildness of passion. Perhaps if I'd never seen the film, I'd have been more impressed.

Oddly, the biggest disappointment, for me, was the title story, The Bloody Chamber, a retelling of the Bluebeard story.  I found myself thinking, "That's it?" On the other hand, Puss-in-Boots is an absolute delight, a light-hearted tale told by the cat valet of an amorous lieutenant.

Armitage and Fox do a wonderful job of the narration, making the stories even more vivid and appealing. I was fortunate enough to get the audiobook as Audible's deal of the day, but it's worth the credit, in my opinion.

  • Emma

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Jane Austen, Anna Lea - adaptation
  • Narrated by: Emma Thompson, Joanne Froggatt, Isabella Inchbald, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,027
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,106

This Audible Original production is narrated by Emma Thompson (Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA winner, Love Actually, Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility), with a full supporting cast including Joanne Froggatt, Morgana Robinson, Aisling Loftus, Joseph Millson, Alexa Davies and rising star Isabella Inchbald as our eponymous heroine.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More of a Radio Drama than an audiobook

  • By Cyberlucy on 09-11-18

Delightful dramatization from Audible Originals

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-16-18

Years ago, a dear friend told me how much he adored Emma Woodhouse. She was one of his favorite characters in literature, and so I was predisposed to adore her too. 

I did not.

Alas, the problem is that Emma's meddling can be hurtful.  She is right on the thin edge of being one of the mean girls, solipsistic to the point that she is certain she knows better than anyone else about matters of love and marriage, and scornful of people who don't have wit, talent, and/or beauty. She's not a bad person, but she certainly isn't a nice one in spite of how often people tell her that she is. I suppose the lesson here is that if people say something to you often enough you'll believe it.

I don't dislike Emma, I simply found her annoying and emotionally unformed, the daughter of an equally solipsistic father. The best possible thing that could happen to her is to be tutored by Mr. Knightly in how to behave to people who have nothing to offer you. To be fair there's a good deal of bad behavior in this book, so I expect Emma's self-involved machinations shouldn't be a surprise. This is a society of people who are so conscious of class and wealth and status that they are often blind to the most basic emotional needs of others.

And yet, the book itself is a delight in part because Austen gives us Emma, warts and all, with her good intentions, and her silliness, and does make us care for her. She rather deftly skewers social pretensions without ever preaching, and has a knack for making things right in the end.

This particular version of Emma is an Audible Original. Audible is making its own audio programs, and offering two free ones per month to members, which I think is a lovely idea. I don't know that they're all going to be as worth listening to as this dramatization, narrated by Emma Thompson, and voiced by a very good cast. But if they're even half as good, it makes my Audible membership that much better.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Atlas of a Lost World

  • By: Craig Childs
  • Narrated by: Craig Childs
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 397
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 361
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 362

From the author of Apocalyptic Planet, an unsparing, vivid, revelatory travelogue through prehistory that traces the arrival of the First People in North America 20,000 years ago and the artifacts that enable us to imagine their lives and fates. This book upends our notions of where these people came from and who they were.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lyrical musings on a lost world

  • By Tracy Rowan on 09-13-18

Lyrical musings on a lost world

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-13-18

This is not a scientific text. Not even close. What this is, is a lyrical travelogue through ice age sites in America. Childs doesn't show us The Story of prehistoric man on this continent, but rather A Story, filled with possibilities, even probabilities, based on evidence of tool-making, camp sites, kill sites, and his own vivid imaginings of what his experiences in these places might have been like ten or fifteen thousand years ago.

Moving back and forth from his own travels to his recreation of ice age life in the same spots, Childs captures a deep sense of what early man must have endured to be here, and what he must have found to keep him here. Childs tracks the megafauna like mammoths and mastodons, the evolution of knapped stone tools, migration patterns. He thinks deeply about the meaning behind what he finds, and creates what feels like a dialogue with the earth, and the spirits of those who who first walked here.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the discussion of first humans. The dates for the first human habitation of the Americas keep getting moved back in time as research -- often vigorously denied and equally vigorously defended -- unearths earlier and earlier human made objects. While Childs seems to believe the evidence for far earlier habitation, he is careful to present different points of view.  He even mentions the "Solutrean hypothesis" which posits that the earliest human migration to the Americas came from Europe about 21,000 years ago, not Asia. He's quick to point out that the hypothesis is most popular with white nationalists who choose to believe that the origins of the Americas were European not Asia. He is also is quick to point out that even if it was true, something genetic research has cast serious doubt on, Solutrean man would have been very far from modern Europeans and much more like Cheddar Man. 

Childs asks a great many questions, and presents a great many possible answers, but what he gives us is a highly personal view of ice age life, filtered through his 21st century life and experience. He hasn't written a scientific treatise, he's written a love letter to a time and place long gone, but deeply important, and very much to be cherished as what makes the Americas what they are today.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • When Einstein Walked with Gödel

  • Excursions to the Edge of Thought
  • By: Jim Holt
  • Narrated by: David Stifel
  • Length: 15 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200

Does time exist? What is infinity? Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down? In this scintillating collection, Holt explores the human mind, the cosmos, and the thinkers who’ve tried to encompass the latter with the former. With his trademark clarity and humor, Holt probes the mysteries of quantum mechanics, the quest for the foundations of mathematics, and the nature of logic and truth. Along the way, he offers intimate biographical sketches of celebrated and neglected thinkers, from the physicist Emmy Noether to the computing pioneer Alan Turing and the discoverer of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good overview of scientific theory

  • By Tracy Rowan on 09-11-18

A good overview of scientific theory

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-11-18


I read a lot of audiobooks about science. I don't always understand everything I hear, but the format does make that easier for me. Holt's collection of essays on science and (to a lesser degree) philosophy range from the easily comprehensible to the sort of things that would make my eyes glaze over if I was reading hard copy, but for the most part he does a great job of making a lot of complex scientific ideas much clearer and more accessible.

His discussions of physics and mathematics, which make up the bulk of the book, made a good deal of sense to me as I listened. Not that I could reproduce the formulae or equations involved. But Holt manages to give a layperson the ability to grasp some difficult concepts with the clarity of his prose.

And then there's the philosophy part which sometimes utterly eludes me because so much of it is counter-intuitive.  Still, it's almost as interesting to hear about the battles over who took credit for what, even if I don't begin to understand the What part, as it is to get the lowdown on Einstein's problems with "spooky action at a distance" which name could have been applied to gravity before science became aware of how forces work, or Gödel's paranoia that people were trying to poison him, leading him to effectively starve himself to death. Certainly some of the most interesting parts were Holt's discussion of the life and work of Alan Turing, who these days seems to be more famous as a gay martyr than as a brilliant mathematician who, in breaking the Enigma code, helped win WWII.

It's one of those books that veers from the chatty and informative to the murkily complex. Some of it is a joy to read, some went the proverbial route of in one ear and out the other. Still, I feel as if I got a great deal of both pleasure and information out of it, and I think that's all I can reasonably expect.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Good Good Pig

  • The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood
  • By: Sy Montgomery
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 5 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86

A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourishing meals by his stronger siblings. Yet Sy had no inkling that this piglet, later named Christopher Hogwood, would not only survive but flourish.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunningly great reading of great writing

  • By Randy L on 11-26-16

I love this book, love Montgomery's writing

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-24-18

The Good Good Pig is an even more personal book that deals with the life of Christopher Hogwood, who began life as the runtiest runt of several litters of piglets, and ended up living 14 years, reaching at least 750 lbs, and becoming world famous. Montgomery and her husband Howard Mansfield (who has written a story about Christopher) adopted him and raised him almost like a member of the family. 

 Christopher helped Montgomery through the death of her father and many other difficult times simply by being Christopher, a warm, non-judgemental presence who always had a shoulder to be cried on. Through Christopher, who loved to wander the town in New Hampshire where they lived, Montgomery and Marshall came to know their neighbors, made new and fast friends, and learned the happiness of a pig's love.

As with the previous book, Montgomery writes so beautifully, not just of Chris, but of her life, her friends, her farm, her travels, that I felt swept up in her world and the love she has for all of nature. It touched me deeply, and I finished the book in tears, murmuring "good, good pig; good, good pig," not just of sorrow at the end of Christopher's life, but because of the joy of it, the happiness he gave and still gives through Montgomery's work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Soul of An Octopus

  • A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness
  • By: Sy Montgomery
  • Narrated by: Sy Montgomery
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,499
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,379
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,380

Sy Montgomery's popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, "Deep Intellect", about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Eight legs and so much more!

  • By Kirstin on 07-02-15

Wonderful book!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-24-18

Soul of an Octopus recounts the time Montgomery spent at New England aquarium, getting to know and work with their octopuses, Athena, Kali, Octavia, and Karma, four very distinct personalities whose intelligence and affectionate natures endeared them to everyone who came into contact with them.

Octopuses (not octopi since, as Montgomery points out, you can't put a Latin ending on a Greek word.) are so odd as to appear entirely alien to most of us. They've been wildly misunderstood to be dangerous and vicious, when the truth is that they're smart, inquisitive, playful, frequently gentle, even tender, and often stubborn to the point of mulishness.  Montgomery's account of her years of working with them, of learning to dive and then swimming with them in Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico is a kind of love letter to the species. It's filled with wonder, with humor, and with sadness since an octopus' life span is typically quite short by human standards, and because each of the individuals she discusses are made so real by her narrative, that we feel and understand her joy in them and her sorrow at their loss.

I'd never thought deeply about octopuses before, though I know they were though to be dolphin-level intelligent. But after meeting these remarkable creatures through Montgomery's eyes, I can't help but be more curious about them, about their lives, their thought processes, how they see the world and us. Thank you, Sy Montgomery, for setting me on another learning path!

  • The Chamber Music of Mozart

  • By: Robert Greenberg, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert Greenberg
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 92

Nowhere is Mozart's maturity and mastery more apparent than in the chamber music he wrote during the last 10 years of his life. These 16 lectures take you deep inside the structure of Mozart's chamber masterworks to reveal his hand at work. This is an amazing opportunity to hear, study, and enjoy a selection of immortal musical compositions that Professor Greenberg calls "a blessing of inconceivable richness". You will learn the basic "language" that all 18th-century composers used to write Classical music. You'll also explore the subtleties of Mozart's technique as a composer: his ability to make art "artless".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Underrated table music ?

  • By Jiri Sipek on 11-14-14

Another great course from Robert Greenberg

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-20-18

Most people think of Mozart as primarily a composer of operas, and in fact he did compose some of the best operas ever penned. (*koffMarriageofFigarokoff*) but his output was enormous for a man who lived only 35 years, and included a good deal of chamber music.  To be clear here, chamber music can be defined as instrumental music played by a small ensemble, with one player to a part; think quartets, trios, quintets, and the like.

One group of chamber pieces is known collectively as the Haydn Quartets, a set of six string quartets dedicated to Joseph Haydn, Mozart's dear friend and champion, is discussed at length by Professor Greenberg, who puts them into the context of the era, and the musical milieu of Vienna. He also explains that in spite of the fact that you can almost never say that such-and-such a composer invented such-and-such a form, Mozart did indeed invent the string quintet. Above and beyond the analysis of the actual music, it's information like that which makes Greenberg's lectures so interesting.  He has a comprehensive knowledge of music, true, but his grasp of musical history, and history in general, is awesome.

The course itself is short, sixteen lectures, but with so much information packed into it that it felt like a semester's worth of music theory, history, and more.  It's true that the good Professor can sometimes be a little much, but once I settle into the course I usually forget everything but the course itself.  Over all the courses I've listened to, I've grown used to him, and find his humor endearing, if it does sometimes annoy me.

If you love music, Professor Greenberg is your guy. His explanations are clear and concise, and he has a gift for contextualizing the music he's teaching us, making the pieces, the composer, and the musical era much easier to comprehend, and to enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Anton Chekhov's Short Stories

  • By: Anton Chekov
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 1 hr and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213

"Chekhov is probably better known in Britain for his plays than for his prose. For many, however, it is his short stories that mark the high water of his genius. It might at first glance be hard for those not used to his style of narrative to see what the fuss is about - and fuss there is: for most authors and lovers of literature Chekhov is incomparably the greatest short story writer there ever was."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good intro to Chekhov

  • By Tad Davis on 03-15-11

A delight

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-09-18

Stephen Fry never disappoints. The combination of Fry and Chekhov is a happy one with Fry finding the exact right tone to express Chekhov's sly humor, his irony, and his humane view of life.  Often the stories don't appear to have an ending, they just stop.  Sometimes they don't appear to be about much of anything.  And yet they are tiny gems of observation and analysis.

Some of them made me laugh. Some, like Misery, brought me to tears because I understood what Chekhov was saying about loss and the need to make sense of it.  All of them made me smile, either in appreciation or agreement.  Or both.

This was my first foray into Chekhov's short stories, and I was enchanted by them.  I want more.  I hope some of them will be narrated by Stephen Fry.