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Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Anton Chekhov's Short Stories

Written by: Anton Chekov
Narrated by: Stephen Fry
Length: 1 hr and 47 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Chekhov is probably better known in Britain for his plays than for his prose. For many, however, it is his short stories that mark the high water of his genius. It might at first glance be hard for those not used to his style of narrative to see what the fuss is about - and fuss there is: for most authors and lovers of literature Chekhov is incomparably the greatest short story writer there ever was. These tales appear to be about nothing. Some seem shockingly short and disarmingly inconsequential. They often fail to provide that sting in the tail or punch in the gut that we associate with the kind of popular Roald Dahl, Somerset Maugham story. But if you let character, observation and language do their work in your mind - hope you will agree with me that no writer captured, mood, moral entanglement, familial love and the pains and joys of humanity quite as well and with quite so much painterly detail, sympathy and fellow-feeling as Anton Chekhov." written by Stephen Fry.

©2008 SamFry Limited; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
©2008 SamFry Limited (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good.

Fry is an engaging narrator. The stories speak for themselves. This is me writing to fulfill (and surpass) the fifteen word minimum.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tad Davis
  • 2011-03-15

Good intro to Chekhov

A nice sampling of shorter works by Chekhov. Stephen Fry is a first-rate narrator. He succeeded in doing what he said he wanted to do: stimulated my interest in Chekhov and sparked an effort to read (and listen to) more. Fortunately, to meet that need, there are several other audiobooks of Chekhov stories on Audible (by Kenneth Branagh and Ralph Cosham among others) with surprisingly little overlap: and of course a half-dozen new translations in the trade paperback market. The stories are sometimes light, sometimes dark, always full of selective and evocative detail. They have a certain quality I can't quite articulate: a kind of compassionate satire.

My one complaint, and it's something that's true of many short-story collections from Audible, is that the stories are jammed together: one story ends and the next begins in practically the same breath. Please: especially with stories like these, give us a couple of seconds of dead silence between each story: we need a moment to absorb the impact.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DVR
  • 2011-03-10

Remarkable

With clarity of voice and precision of diction, Stephen Fry brings Anton Chekov's work to life in this 1:48-minute collection. A must own!

This selection includes the following seven stories: An Avenger / A Blunder / Boys / The Huntsman / The Lady With The Dog / Misery / Oysters

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ed
  • 2009-11-11

Mr Fry is just the man to do this.

First, let me commend Stephen Fry. His voice is easy to listen to, clear,
has a pleasant tone, and he pronounces Russian names well. He's a talented
actor and he brings the text alive, speaking the dialogue in the voice of each
character and the narration with a smoothe but not slick authority. He's a delight to listen to.

Secondly, this is a nice selection of Checkhov's work.These stories are funny, moving and true to life. Previously I've only read Cehckhov, hearing it enhances the experience considerably.

Recommended with the highest enthusiasm.

22 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian
  • 2016-02-25

A great listen, despite an editing problem

Where does Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Anton Chekhov's Short Stories rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

From 1 to 10, around a 7

Any additional comments?

There was an issue with the editing. Each time a story ended, there was, literally, no pause of any kind before the next story began. The first syllables of the next story would almost overlap the last syllables of the prior story. This was a little confusing - but otherwise a great listen.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Megasaurus
  • 2013-01-07

Absolutely Brilliant!

Any additional comments?

This is one of the best audiobooks I've ever downloaded here at Audible. I've read the stories before and expected to enjoy this, but I found that I absolutely adored it. Stephen Fry is delightful in everything he puts his hand toward. I've purchased all of "Fry's English Delight" series and his other audio selections available here and this is by far and away the best.

Fry doesn't just read the stories, he absorbs them into his being and then performs them with a perfect understanding of Chekhov's vision. Fry is the ideal choice for this performance because he is always at this best when dealing compassionately with the absurd contradictions of human nature, as was Chekhov.

I will keep this collection in my rainy day box and pull it out for a re-listen anytime I need cheering up. Fabulous collection, I only wish it were longer.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jerry
  • 2017-01-28

Wonderful Selection and Reading; Poor Editing

This would be among my favorite audiobooks if not for this error: at the end of each story, the last word is cut midstream, and the title of the next story inserts itself abruptly, scattering one's perceptions and feelings about the whole previous arc. Chekhov is unparalleled; Fry is empathetic and expressive; all that is lacking is a short pause at the end of each story, for the reader to finish the thought begun by Chekhov's last lines.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • bookmaker
  • 2016-04-24

If only there were 1 or 2 seconds of silence

This would have been AMAZING if only the producer had put 1 or 2 seconds between each story. Now they are so scrunched together that the last word of one and the title of the next are hard to understand. No time to cogitate on what happened.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mailin
  • 2011-08-05

Sweet voice for each sweet story.

Stephen Fry did a magnificent job. I couldn't get enough. Listened to it during five different running workouts and I could see myself listening to it again and again. He brought the feeling to each short story that I think Chekhov would've intended....

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean
  • 2012-12-14

Gems

Exceptional. I wish I could find more audio versions of Chekhov's stories. Stephen's delivery is spot on.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt Ranlett
  • 2017-02-28

Checkov really is the master of short stories

I'm a fan of short stories, but a lazy fan. when I find them dropped in my lap I gobble them up but I don't tend to seek them out, laziness. when I come across a good set, like this one or the short story collection from Ted Chiang, I fall in love with the intimate format all over again.
This collection cements Checkov as the master of the short story. In 5 minutes you come to know the soil of the characters, usually just one or two people in ordinary moments. In these characters you come to find parts of yourself or your friends and family. I can't recommend Checkov enough.
Stephen Fry's narration makes these stories warm and approachable. Checkov is the sort of literature people read in college, but with a familiar voice in your ear you won't be afraid of the journey. Snap this up.

3 people found this helpful