Review of The Lady with the Dog and other stories
Overview from www.goodreads.com: During the last ten years of his life, Anton Chekhov penned his great plays, spent time treating the sick, and wrote a small number of stories that are considered his masterpieces. The eleven stories collected here-“The Lady with the Little Dog,” “The House with the Mezzanine,” “My Life,” “Peasants,” “A Visit to Friends,” “Ionych,” “About Love,” “In the Ravine,” “The Bishop,” “The Bride,” and “Disturbing the Balance”-hail from this fertile period. They reveal a writer who, in response to the techniques of Symbolism and Impressionism, moved beyond nineteenth-century realism to become an innovator of the modern short story, influencing such key twentieth-century literary figures as Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner.
This week I am doing something a bit different. I am review a book that is made up of a collection of short stories. It has been a while since I’ve read any short stories or anything by this particular author so I thought I’d try it.
The first story in the book is “The Lady with the Dog” but there are nine stories in the book. I think the last one; “An Anonymous Story” was my favorite though it was the longest one. It started with the story of a man who took a job as a porter for a certain rich man in hopes that he would find a way to get revenge on his father for something that he had done to him. (I already forgot what it was.)
However as the story progresses he finds himself instead taking more of an interest in the man’s mistress who shows up one day to announce that she has left her husband to move in with him. This was not to the man’s liking but he apparently didn’t have the guts to say so. He goes on living with her but is constantly making up false excuses to leave.
After realizing that he cannot carry out his plan to take revenge on the father, he leaves and convinces the man’s mistress to go with him. I won’t give away the whole plot but I found it interesting how relatable this character was for me.
The other stories were also quite good as well as interesting. Every once in a while I think it is nice to read something short but poignant. I like the fact that I won’t need to invest a lot of time in one character or another. Also, if I don’t like one story, I don’t have to worry because I will soon be able to move on to the next one. I have always felt that Chekhov is a master at this type of story-telling and this collection did nothing to change my mind. I recommend it highly.
P.S. My review is from an older version of this book that was scanned by Google so it may not be exactly the same as the one pictured here. I couldn’t find a cover for the one I read.