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Review of The Duel and Other Stories Jul 12, 2003
Having read several of chekhov's plays, I decided to read some of his stories. In reading the stories you will see, I think, that it is obvious he was also a playwrite. This is because of Chekhov's amazing ability to compress someone's entire life, all their feelings and emotions into, in some cases, 20 pages. There were 6 stories in all, but I will just review the 3 I like best, though I'm not saying the other stories are bad, just not as good.
The Duel is the main and longest story, but I don't really think it was the best. It is the story about a man in the Caucasus and his troubles with his wife and a biologist which culminates in a duel. All the characters are excellently written, and the story was very well done, but the end leaves much to be desired, and seems like he tried too quickly to wrap up the story. It could have been almost a masterpiece, but the faulty ending really ruined it.
My Wife was a very good story about a man who, after having married a woman who does not love him, struggles with the situation they have put themselves in, living in different parts of the same house and hardly ever speaking. I really liked this one and it reminded me very much of some of his plays.
The Black Monk was my favourite story, it is about a young scholar, idolized by his adopted father and bride to be, who suffers from maglomania, and sees hallucinations. Finally, when he is cured, he is no longer the same person, acting cruel and spiteful towards the people he once loved.It was incredibly done and you really feel for all the characters. I think it best shows off Chekhov's ability as a writer. This book is definitely a good introduction to chekhov's short works and shows you that he was more than a playwrite
a great (short) novel Dec 4, 2001
Those seeking a dramatic duel should go for A Hero of Our Time. This, like the best Russian literature, is about how to live, a drama of outlooks on life and love. The superficial couple at the story's centre are less offensive than most of the "respectable" figures. The zoologist in particular, is truly shocking in his callous view of "inferiors". Only the character of the doctor is absolutely likeable. In its evocation of the stultifying atmosphere of a time and place, this is both lyrical and profound. ...
The Duel, a review Nov 15, 2001
"The Duel" by Anton Chekhov, is a classic exploration of the human mind. One reason I would recommend this book is it's moral. This book is an incredible story told through the eyes and minds of many completely different people all striving for the same thing; to forget the days they lost and make the best of the days they still have. This is a good wake up call to all those who waste time, telling then to appreciate the little things and not waste life on petty squabbles. But most importantly, it's intriguing story. Anton Chekhov pits a general, an adulterous doctor, a zoologist, a deacon, and a mistress against each other in a small town in the Caucasus. He tells the story through their eyes, and the reader find out all of these people, whether they are in love, friends, rivals, or just acquaintances, all just wish for wings to fly away and escape the tediousness of everyday life. All this centers around the hatred between the zoologist and the doctor which eventually explodes into a duel. When faced with possibility, the doctor comes to reason with his faults and his future and in the face of death, he resolves his life and what he must do to make his life right.