Anton Chekhov - The Duel and other stories

Another Penguin collection of Chekhov stories, this one ranging from novella-length (the title story is some 120 pages long) to normal length (the last one is 11 pages). The stories typically feature protagonists trapped in a set of circumstances they desperately wish to escape, and always fail to.
Chekhov has the rare ability to be distant and compassionate at the same time, and in this collection, he excels in that respect. For example, "The Black Monk" describes hallucinatory episode in a clinical, matter-of-fact way, "Murder" is not an exciting thriller, but a hauntingly normal story about one cousin killing another.

Posted by cronopio at 10:23 PM, April 01, 2004