Monday, December 5, 2011

Great Russian Short Stories, edited by Paul Negri

Remember Dover Publications?  They run anywhere from $1.50 to $4.00 for a paperback, and I remember depending on them in high school for English assignments.  So, while a Penguin or Norton edition looks more elegant, there's nothing like a collection of cheap reads to keep in the car or to collect old classics.

So this title was one I purchased online at Powell's, just to get to know a few of the more obscure Russian authors.  This was surprisingly delightful!

It features Dostoevsky's "White Nights", "The District Doctor" by Ivan Turgenev, "Lady with Lap Dog" by Anton Chekhov (my favorite), and the timeless "How Much Land Does a Man Need" by Tolstoy.  These are short enough to complete one in a sitting comfortably--I've kept my copy in the car when I wait on someone and when I'm not in the mood to deal with my Kindle (which sadly is way too often!).  Gogol's "The Overcoat" is in it as well, and while the stories seem rather simple and harmless, they are actually amazing at analyzing human nature and all the nuances of greed, shame, and embarrassment. 

A cheap read, great background for Russian literature, and a great start for year two of the Eastern European Reading Challenge.

Disclosure:  I bought this.

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