Russian literature exudes an atmosphere of mysticism, which is said to be a natural result of the simplicity of her people. Often, instead of being "about" anything, Russian stories sometimes seem to be the "thing" in itself. Be this as it may, it is an undeniable fact that with hardly any portent of future greatness to come, Russian literature suddenly sprang fully developed into existence in the 19th century. One after another, from Pushkin to Chekhov, some of the greatest writers who have ever lived emerged from the steppes, forests, and cities of Mother Russia.
Selections in Volume I:
In "The Shot", by Alexander Pushkin, a duel is postponed so that it may be continued at a more propitious time.
"The Overcoat", by Nikolai Gogol, is the hilarious tale of a lowly bureaucrat who suddenly finds himself in need of a new overcoat.
"The Tryst", by Ivan Turgenev, is a gorgeous, masterfully written first person narrative of a hunter who overhears two young people: one who loves and one who does not.
In "The Wedding", by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, when a man is invited to a children's ball, he witnesses an amazing incident. Five years later, a posh wedding clarifies everything.
In "A Prisoner in the Caucasus", by Leo Tolstoy, Tartar rebels take a Russian officer prisoner in order to collect a ransom. But the officer's one thought throughout his cruel ordeal is to escape.
In "An Upheaval", by Anton Chekhov, a young governess accused of theft learns the identity of the real culprit.
Good Stories, Good Reading
This is a good introduction to Russian literature. I found it well written, and very well presented. A good buy -- especially for the price!
Beautifully read short stories!
This is an excellent audiobook with a good choice of Russian literature. The narrator is wonderful.
Wonderful...I was sorry to get to the end
Like other reviewers said, if only there were more like this one. I was at first hesitant to purchase an audiobook but I was glad I did with this one. It's something I'd want to listen to again. An audiobook's quality hinges so much on the narrator - his/her voice, intonation, how much they've practiced with the text. This is one of the best readings I've ever heard, right up there with Neville Jason's (I think that's right) reading of Proust. Well worth the money. Just wish there were more stories. It says Vol. 1 but as far as I know there's no vol. 2, at least not on Itunes.