Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Essential Tales of Chekhov by Anton…

The Essential Tales of Chekhov (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, Richard Ford (Editor), Constance Garnett (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
226451,336 (4.49)7
Title:The Essential Tales of Chekhov
Authors:Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
Other authors:Richard Ford (Editor), Constance Garnett (Translator)
Info:Granta Books (1999), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Essential Tales of Chekhov by Anton Chekhov (1999)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 7 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
Not as good as they say, yet quite good. I was left wanting to read much more Chekhov. ( )
  valzi | Sep 7, 2016 |
Anton Chekhov was born January 17, 1860 in Taganrog, Ukraine. Chekhov studied medicine, and he began writing sketches for newspapers to pay his tuition. This profession brought him into contact with peasants, the nobility, and his peers. These experiences informed all his work. In 1892, he gave up medicine and devoted himself full time to writing. In 1901, Chekhov married Olga Knipper, who had performed in his plays. Unfortunately for Olga, Chekhov died on July 15, 1904, the day his masterpiece for the theater, The Cherry Orchard, opened. He is buried in Moscow.

He brought theater into the 20th century by focusing on the declining fortunes of the bourgeoisie, with the revolution of 1917 just around the corner. His plays remain popular, and theater-goers can frequently find one of his plays performed from Broadway and London’s West End, to the tiniest community theater.

But many writers and readers also consider Chekhov one of the great masters of the short story. He wrote hundreds in his life time – some of them in under an hour. My set of the complete stories runs to over 1300 pages. The crowning jewel of this set is “The Lady with the Dog” written in 1897. He set the story in Yalta, where he was recovering from an illness. I have read this story countless times, and it never fails to move me.

Chekhov wrote, “Dmitri Gurov, who had been a fortnight at Yalta, […] had begun to take an interest in new arrivals. Sitting in Verney’s pavilion, he saw, walking on the sea-front, a fair-haired young lady of medium height, wearing a beret; a white Pomeranian dog was running behind her.” // And afterwards he met her in the public gardens and in the square several times a day. […] no one knew who she was, and everyone called her simply “the lady with the dog.” (323).

Unfortunately, Gurov and Anna, both have spouses and difficult relationships with them. Gurov “did not like to be at home.” He considered women, “the lower race,” despite the fact “he could not get on for two days together without [them].” (323) Anna has serious misgivings about the relationship, but they begin an affair. “In another month, he fancied, the image of Anna would be shrouded in a mist in his memory.” (330) Sadly, this did not occur. Chekhov writes, “Anna [...] did not visit him in his dreams, but followed him about everywhere like a shadow and haunted him. When he shut his eyes he saw her as though she were living before him, and she seemed to him lovelier, younger, more tender than she was; […] In the evenings she peeped out at him from the bookcase, from the fireplace, from the corner – he heard her breathing, the caressing rustle of her dress. In the street he watched the women, looking for someone like her.” (331)

This romantic and touching story of two people who meet and discover they are soul mates never grows old for me. Try Chekhov – virtually every anthology contains the splendid story, “The Lady with the Dog.” 5 stars

--Jim, 12/29/13 ( )
1 vote rmckeown | Dec 29, 2013 |
Chekhov is great at getting at the background minutia of living and relating to others. He is very perceptive both of the essential sadness and suffering that are inherent in life, and the small-but-numerous ineffable and elusive joys that redeem it. An almost inhuman and strange chimerical combination of empathy and detachment pervades these stories. ( )
  jddunn | Nov 8, 2010 |
This collection is suprisingly good and I like the order and you can go through it like that. And weep. Chekhov is good for an afternoon weeping. It's so disarming. That words can get so close to the sadness, without explaining anything, without even nodding in your direction. What a storyteller. Man, I don't say it often but whoa. Whoa. ( )
1 vote dawnpen | Nov 1, 2005 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anton Chekhovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ford, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ford, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Ilya Sergeitch Peplov and his wife Kleopatra Petrovna were standing at the door, listening greedily.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060956569, Paperback)

Anton Chekhov is best known as a playwright, the author of such classics as Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, and Three Sisters, but he was also an accomplished short-story writer. The Essential Tales of Chekhov does not pretend to be a comprehensive collection of all his fiction, but it does lay claim to be the best. Reading these stories, one immediately notices how modern they feel. As Richard Ford writes in his introduction, "His meticulous anatomies of complicated human impulse and response, his view of what's funny and poignant, his clear-eyed observance of life as lived--all somehow matches our experience." Chekhov is a master of the telling detail, the acute psychological insight. In "After the Theatre" he captures perfectly the morbid, romantic imagination of a 16-year-old girl: "To be unloved and unhappy--how interesting that was." In "An Anonymous Story" he quickly limns the sum of one of his characters in a single image: "He was a man with the manners of a lizard. He did not walk, but, as it were, crept along with tiny steps, squirming and sniggering, and when he laughed he showed his teeth." We will see much more of this character, but we've already learned everything essential about him.

No two Chekhov stories are alike, but they do share some common traits: though often somber, they are seldom despairing and even his most serious work is leavened by his trademark wit. Only 20 of the more than 220 tales that he wrote are included in this collection, but they provide an excellent introduction to those who have not yet had the pleasure of reading him. And for those who know and love Chekhov, The Essential Tales of Chekhov is a loving reminder of why. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:24 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An anthology by a 19th century Russian master, comprising twenty tales. They range from The Lady with the Dog, an illicit love affair between two married people, to A Blunder, in which parents eavesdrop as a suitor proposes to their daughter.

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
11 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (4.49)
3 4
4 8
4.5 3
5 19

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,411,077 books! | Top bar: Always visible