Thursday, May 27, 2010

Review of the Day: Short Stories by Anton Chekov

Short Stories by Anton Chekhov, produced and read by Max Bollinger

This audio collection of six lesser known short stories by Anton Chekhov made for an entertain hour, but was an oddball introduction to Chekhov's short stories. The stories were captivating in that they packed a lot of cultural observations, emotions, and human dynamics into short little bits. However, they all seemed to end abruptly, without resolution. I have not read enough of Chekhov to know if these are typical of his short stories.

I enjoyed the production. Listening to the stories told in narrator Max Bollinger's Russian accent brought them to life for me the way a flat, anglicized version would not have. There were a few times his accent was obtrusively thick -- mostly with proper names. But his phrasing was good, especially when dealing with both external and internal dialog. The sound effects were annoying, although fairly easy to ignore.

Mostly, I got a kick out of the whole project. I like the idea that this "Russian-born British actor" decided to find some public domain stories by an old master, produce an entertaining audio version of them, and start selling it on amazon. What a great idea! I hope other entrepreneurial actors follow his example.  

(If you would like your review listed here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it.)

I got this audiobook through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.  I am pleased to be able to scratch it off that list, although Volume II is supposedly on its way and I am looking forward to that.


  1. I have a collection of Chekov's short stories sitting on my bookshelf that I have been meaning to read for a long time. I should probably get to it. Sounds like it will be worth it

  2. Becky -- Listening to these made me want to read more of his short stories. I am not generally a short stories fan, but I feel a compulsion to read the stories of famous dead authors.

  3. I just read some of Chekov's short stories last month. I enjoy them, but do have issues with the nicknames/patronymic/full names that he is always switching back and forth with.

    I wonder if it would be better with audio? I guess that it would depend on the production.


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