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The Duel and other stories [Tales of Tchehov vol. II]

by Anton Chekhov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1853108,473 (4.27)5
Six selections from the famed Russian showcase his natural aptitude for detail, dialogue, humor, and compassion. Includes "The Darling," a poignant piece supporting the claim that life has no meaning without love; as well as "The Kiss," "Anna on the Neck," "The Man in a Case," "The Malefactor," and the title story.… (more)

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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
Strong Characters, Narration Doesn't Hold Up

Let me start by saying that I feel sorry for giving this collection of stories a negative review. I enjoy Chekhov's plays tremendously and recognize that most people in the literary world consider him a giant, rightfully so.

Chekhov is famous for creating strong, upper-class figures who never deviate from their motivations. This book is replete with such characters, both men and women, but no children. Their lives in the lower aristocracy revolve around summer homes, unrequited loves, and an inability to communicate with one another. Unfortunately, I find that the reality is farther from this fiction. Most people are not as static as Chekhov believes.

Several of the stories include lines that are like this: "and so the years passed and so-and-so grew older." Today this kind of style would be frowned upon and critics would say that Chekhov "tells" rather than "shows."

In addition, I find these stories to lack the cultural information I was looking for. With the exception of "The Darling," the stories could have been placed in any other time or setting.

There is still a charm in these stories and they are certainly relevant simply because of their popularity.

As I wrote, I feel bad giving Chekhov a negative review. It somehow doesn't seem right! ( )
  mvblair | Aug 8, 2020 |
The main story, The Duel, is more of a novella and was probably my least favorite story. Since it was called The Duel, I just kept waiting for the duel and didn't really get drawn into the story otherwise. I think I enjoyed The Kiss the most but the other short stories were overall very enjoyable.
  amyem58 | Nov 11, 2017 |
Good writing and story lines. Gets the readers attention quickly and manages to draw them into deep and complex issues. ( )
  charlie68 | Jul 10, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anton Chekhovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is the second of the translations by Constance Garnett; please do not combine it with the Penguin classic with the same title translated by Ronald Wilks.
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Six selections from the famed Russian showcase his natural aptitude for detail, dialogue, humor, and compassion. Includes "The Darling," a poignant piece supporting the claim that life has no meaning without love; as well as "The Kiss," "Anna on the Neck," "The Man in a Case," "The Malefactor," and the title story.

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