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 these delightful short stories:
A Living Chattel
At the Barber’s
An Enigmatic Nature
A Classical Student
The Death of a Government Clerk
A Daughter of Albion
Fat and Thin
A Tragic Actor
The Bird Market
The Swedish Match
Minds in Ferment
In the Graveyard
The Marshal’s Widow
In an Hotel
A Country Cottage
The Head of the Family
A Dead Body
The Cook’s Wedding
In a Strange Land
Oh! The Public!
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“With a collection of dozens of stories featuring a multitude of characters, a narrator might find himself significantly challenged. But Anthony Heald comes through with flying colors. He finds a unique voice for each character—whether drunken man, pious widow, or ignorant peasant. Breathing life into each individual, he captures eccentricity, nervousness, and egotism. His enthusiastic reading gives Chekhov his full due and endows this collection with a strong voice of its own.”
“Anton Chekhov was equally distinguished as short story writer and as dramatist. His influence upon the short story is still ongoing.”
— Harold Bloom
“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.”
— Raymond Carver
“Chekhov is a master at making his characters’ darkest aspects comprehensible and human. He’s never sentimental and he’s not particularly pleasant, but he will always feel modern because of his astonishing juxtapositions and the way his characters’ swift, darting minds vacillate between idealism and boredom, vanity and hope.”
— Atlantic Monthly
The Complete Stories of Anton Chekhov, Vol. 1 Listener Reviews
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About Anton Chekhov
Anton Chekhov (1860–1904), the author of hundreds of short stories and several plays, is regarded by many as both the greatest Russian storyteller and the father of modern drama. He described the Russian life of his time using a deceptively simple technique devoid of obtrusive literary devices, thereby becoming the prominent representative of the late nineteenth-century Russian realist school. His early stream-of-consciousness style strongly influenced the literary world, including writers such as James Joyce.
About Anthony Heald
Anthony Heald, an Audie Award–winning narrator, has earned Tony nominations and an Obie Award for his theater work; appeared in television’s Law & Order, The X-Files, Miami Vice, and Boston Public; and starred as Dr. Frederick Chilton in the 1991 Oscar-winning film The Silence of the Lambs. He has also won numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards for his narrations.