©2008 SamFry Limited (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
Anton Chekhov's short stories are more numerous than his plays but harder to appreciate: as plays they are economical with means - no fireworks of plot here - but the absence of actors means there is little emotion to balance the close minute observations of the world. Here, Stephen Fry offers magnificient show, that almost elevates the stories to the emotional level of playacting on stage, though he seems never to go over the top; it is a cearfully studied and controlled performance with a feel of great spontanity at the same time.
Chekhov is said to be one of the World's most admired playwrights/authors among thespians. Part of the reason for this is that few have read him & he sounds bewilderingly hard to get into (similar to the reputation of James Joyce or Dostoyevsky).
The fact is that he isn't really that daunting and his short stories are accessible & often fun. Couple this with having the Master of Eloquent Simplification reading it (and a good translater in Constance Garnet) and you will find that this download makes an excellent introduction to Chekhov.
In all there are 7 stories of about 5-15 minutes each (Story 5, though, is 40 minutes):
1. An Avenger
2. A Blunder
4. The Huntsman
5. The Lady and the Dog
One thing I would say is that it did take me two full listens to really get into the stories, so this is not for those who want easy, light reading.
However, when compared to Dickens, it is light as a Fairy Cake.
Overall this download is a rewarding experience. I would say though that 7 stories (& 80 minutes of material) is a bit mean on the part of the publishers. There is also the fact that Stephen Fry has recorded better audio downloads (e.g. ? Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories ? & ?Fry and Laurie Read Daudet and Jerome?), which are worth trying before this as they are simpler & more complete.
Still, if you want to gain a foothold in the World of Chekhov, then there are few better places to start than this book. Unless, of course, you happen to be a Russian Bear...
Chekhov and Fry dispense introductions: larger than life writer and fantastic performer. Hearing Chekov's poignant stories with Stephen's unique acting is a treat. But the audio book is very poorly edited: chapters are cut off before really ending and one can barely hear the story's name at the beginning.
Short stories appear to be the perfect vehicle for audible. Here, raconteur par excellence, Stephen Fry does justice to Chekov's stories. His "Oysters!" still ringing in my head. Intriguing, enetertaining and it for people with a short attention spam.
The accents, the jumping in and out of characters, the clear love he has for these stories. It absolutely shines through.
It's a collection o short stories that make you think and certainly have a darker side to them.
The stories are entertaining. Stephen brings the characters and the circustances of the stories alive with his rich range of expression.
This is the first time I've read (or listened to) Anton Chekhov, and some interesting plots and scenes are described that will probably make me look through his work for something more substantial.
The book is expertly read by Stephen Fry. I'm a big fan of his narrative style and so that was always going to be a plus point for me.
I really like this short story series, as it gives you an insight into the styles of these authors.
I like Stephen Fry, but I was not convinced by his reading. But what really annoyed me were the announcements of the stories, very fast and with almost no time to breathe in between two stories- as if they tried to record as many stories as possible in a short period of time.
question does not apply - they are multiple stories - really annoying these generic questionnaires
Ahhhh for goodness' sake...
Now that is just ridiculous
Stop giving us questions to answer,it makes no sense for review!
"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.
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
"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.
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.
"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....
Exceptional. I wish I could find more audio versions of Chekhov's stories. Stephen's delivery is spot on.
"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.
"A great listen, despite an editing problem"
From 1 to 10, around a 7
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.
"It is not the first time I listen to this collection"
Chekhov and Fry is a delicious combination. Fry is magnificent in his performance as always and Chekhov's stories alternate between amusing and sad.
I found it peculiar how the stories in this collection progressed from ridiculous to touching and personally would have preferred the collection to end off with something light.
"great stories well told but tech glitches"
as others have pointed out, very annoying how there is not a single second between stories.
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