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Publisher's Summary

A Russian author, playwright, and physician, Anton Chekhov is widely considered one of the best short-story writers of all time. Having influenced such writers as Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, and James Joyce, Chekhov’s stories are often noted for their stream-of-consciousness style and their vast number. Raymond Carver once said, “It is not only the immense number of stories he wrote—for few, if any, writers have ever done more—it is the awesome frequency with which he produced masterpieces, stories that shrive us as well as delight and move us, that lay bare our emotions in ways only true art can accomplish.”

In The Complete Stories of Anton Chekhov, Volume 1: 1882–1885, Blackstone has compiled forty-one of Chekhov’s delightful short stories: "A Living Chattel", "Joy", "At the Barber’s", "An Enigmatic Nature", "A Classical Student", "The Death of a Government Clerk", "The Trousseau", "A Daughter of Albion", "An Inquiry", "Fat and Thin", "A Tragic Actor", "The Bird Market", "A Slander", "The Swedish Match", "Choristers", "The Album", "Minds in Ferment", "A Chameleon", "In the Graveyard", "Oysters", "The Marshal’s Widow", "Small Fry", "In an Hotel", "Boots", "Nerves", "A Country Cottage", "Malingerers", "The Fish", "Gone Astray", "The Huntsman", "A Malefactor", "The Head of the Family", "A Dead Body", "The Cook’s Wedding", "In a Strange Land", "Overdoing It", "Old Age", "Sorrow", "Oh! The Public!", "Mari d’Elle", and "The Looking-Glass".

Public Domain (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“It is not only the immense number of stories he wrote…it is the awesome frequency with which he produced masterpieces.” (Raymond Carver)

Featured Article: Essential Russian Authors to Know in Audio


Don’t be daunted by the towering reputations of Russia’s literary giants. Listening is the perfect way to appreciate the masters. Russia is a sprawling country with a rich and complex history, which is reflected in its literature. Whether you’re keen on brushing up on classic Russian literature or you want to find a new author to explore, we’ve rounded up 13 of the best Russian authors, classic and contemporary, whose work you should know.

What listeners say about The Complete Stories of Anton Chekhov, Vol. 1

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Masterworks, brilliantly performed, horribly indexed by Audible

How is Audible rationalized not setting out story titles in the index of chapter numbers? How am I supposed to navigate back to something I want to hear again?

27 people found this helpful

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A Riot

These stories are absolute gems. In each one Chekhov hilariously (and not without compassion) uncovers the absurdity of some common human foible. Anthony Heald delivers a stellar performance. His various character voices, paired with Chekhov's writing, have made me laugh out loud countless times. Thanks to both of these gentlemen for such an enjoyable listen!

18 people found this helpful

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The Great Chekhov

This is an excellent translation of Chekhov's sort stories . I loved to listen them. Chekhov is one of the best short story teller. Some of the stories I read in Russian but with big interest listen to them in English too. The narrater was excellent and was able with his voice to portray the Russian soul. I highly recommend this book to my fellow audible readers.

7 people found this helpful

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Ecellent!

One day I will learn. I always expect the Russian authors to be dry and intellectual. They always surprise me by their warmth and life. These short stories by Chekhov reveal many facets of the human character in dramatic contrast.
I have a warning though. Don't try to listen to them in long sittings. These are like candy and should only be taken a few at a time. There is too much to ponder in each story to pay attention to subsequent ones properly.

24 people found this helpful

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First time reading Anton Chekhov....

This was my first experience with stories by Anton Chekhov and I'm happy to report I was not disappointed. His stories make you think, not in a laborious way but in a way that pulls one side of your mouth up in a sly way. I've already ordered volume 2! The narrator was superb. My favorite story was probably the looking glass.

9 people found this helpful

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A master storyteller

In an effort to master the art of writing short fiction, I've turned to one of the great masters of this medium. Refreshingly, many of these stories are actually quite short, which is often the greater writing challenge.

The content of these stories cover provincial life in pre-revolution Russia. Most are cautionary tales told with economy and sympathy for the characters. The reader is often left to draw her own conclusions.

I can't wait to hear volume 2.

3 people found this helpful

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Well-told stories from a master

Every one of these stories is a gem. Some a real masterpieces. The narrator is superb. He makes each person come alive with different sounding voices.

2 people found this helpful

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Intellectually interesting, but a downer

These stories provide a look into what life was like in a less enlightened time which I find interesting from an intellectual stand point. However, the only humour the only stories is irony and it eventually weighs heavily upon my mood. Every character is filled with extreme, negative emotions and I had to listen to light hearted middle school fantasy afterwards to counter the atmosphere..

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Very entertaining

Would you listen to The Complete Stories of Anton Chekhov, Vol. 1 again? Why?

Yes. Chekhov is among the most praised short story writers.

What did you like best about this story?

Each story is a treasure.

What does Anthony Heald bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I'm impressed with the range of characters that come to life. Excellent performance.

2 people found this helpful

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Chekhov was a master at characterization

First, I must say that I never really was a huge fan of short stories. I always felt as if it was required school reading. Since I got Audible I have listened to a few short story collections and have warmed up to short stories. I broke this into two because it was just so many stories.

There are so many characters in this collection that could be fleshed out into plays and books. They feel as if they have a life beyond the story. They are so typically Russian which I have always enjoyed. This did not disappoint one bit. I loved the narration which felt classic and fitting.

Someday I'll get some more Chekhov, stories or plays. I had never really read his works and may have seen just a movie or two of his plays.

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  • Jeff Cotton
  • 08-16-18

No list of stories

Just calling each track a chapter is useless - they're stories, with seperate titles! Not being able to tell which chapter is which story and even which stories are in the book, is so annoying. And surely not rocket science to remedy. And it's the same on all Audible short story collections, it seems. In this case you can't even tediously search for the book info as there isn't one of this collection.

10 people found this helpful

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  • sin sin minkin
  • 07-26-19

Well read, but unclear regarding titles

Although this is a well read collection of stories, it is almost impossible to tell where one story begins and another ends. Nor can one tell what the title of each story might be.

I am so disappointed I will not listen any further. I'd rather read the stories myself.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Erwin
  • 05-05-19

I had expected more

I thought I would like those short stories, but they didn't enthrall me. They feel more like a setup for a story than a story proper, many of them don't have a proper climax.

1 person found this helpful