A Night in the Cemetery: And Other Stories of Crime and Suspense by Anton Chekhov, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
A Night in the Cemetery: And Other Stories of Crime and Suspense

A Night in the Cemetery: And Other Stories of Crime and Suspense

by Anton Chekhov
     
 

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Anton Chekhov’s only collection of crime and mystery stories.
Considered one of the greatest dramatists of all time, Anton Chekhov began his literary career as a crime and mystery writer. Scattered throughout periodicals and literary journals from 1880-1890, these early psychological suspense stories provide a fresh look into Chekhov’s literary

Overview

Anton Chekhov’s only collection of crime and mystery stories.
Considered one of the greatest dramatists of all time, Anton Chekhov began his literary career as a crime and mystery writer. Scattered throughout periodicals and literary journals from 1880-1890, these early psychological suspense stories provide a fresh look into Chekhov’s literary heritage and his formative years as a writer.
In stories like "A Night in the Cemetery," "Night of Horror," and "Murder," not only will Chekhov’s dark humor and twisted crimes satisfy even the most hardboiled of mystery fans, readers will again appreciate the penetrating, absurdist insight into the human condition that only Chekhov can bring. Whether it is the death of a young amateur playwright at the hands of an editor who hates bad writing, or a drunken civil servant who ends up trapped in a graveyard, these stories overflow with the unforgettable characters and unique sensibility that continue to make Chekhov one of the most fascinating figures in literature.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Best known today as a playwright, Chekhov (1860-1904) was also a prolific and accomplished writer of short fiction, as shown by this collection of 42 stories, most of which have previously been unavailable in English translation. As Sekirin notes in the preface, these stories appeared in a variety of periodicals "and until now have managed to escape the notice of contemporary editors and translators." Though billed as featuring crime and suspense, the volume has a broad range, including morality tales and stories of both dark and puckish humor. In the amusingly macabre "A Night of Horror," a man finds a coffin in his apartment. "Task," about a college student and bad checks, has a thoroughly modern ring. "A Crime: A Double Murder Case" is classic noir. Not all the selections shine, but enough do that the collection should appeal to more than just Chekhov fanatics. (Aug.)

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Kirkus Reviews
Forty-two stories, many new to English-language readers, that reveal not only the range of the Russian master (1860-1904) but what crime stories were like before they became their own genre. As the brilliant sketch "What You Usually Find in Novels" points out, the 19th-century novel was encrusted with cliches. Not so the crime story, whose rules had yet to be set in stone. So Chekhov is free to explore the frontiers among persons, events and tones not yet established as generic types. The comically, often disastrously unprepossessing heroes of these tales can awaken from a night at the cemetery or a night of horror to realize how vacuous were the bogeymen that frightened them; virtuous souls can take unspeakable actions without quite noticing what they're up to, and end up dragging even more innocent passersby to their doom; compulsive confessors can bare their darkest secrets without realizing how anticlimactic they are; and the author can repeatedly lay the groundwork for dramatic courtroom scenes and then cut away from them, thumbing his nose at any assumptions about suspense. Chekhov's lifelong habit of throwing away scenes he's portentously built up to is nowhere more obvious than in the three longest stories here. "The Swedish Match" and "The Drama at the Hunt," for example, begin like well-behaved whodunits before tailing off mischievously into regions the writers' manuals warn you away from. And in the third, "Thieves," an ordinary man who falls among seducers and robbers shows in the end that he's even more ordinary than he knows. The translation, by turns stately (the patronymics remain intact) and colloquial, takes some getting used to, but it certainly frees the author fromany Victorian overlay. A splendidly lightweight collection whose satiric touch is so deft that it seems to be sending up a genre yet unborn. Agent: Carolyn French/Fifi Oscard Agency

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781605980591
Publisher:
Pegasus
Publication date:
09/29/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,113,280
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Anton Chekhov was born on January 29, 1860 in Taganrog, Russia. He graduated from the University of Moscow in 1884. Chekhov died of tuberculosis in Germany on July 14, 1904, shortly after his marriage to actress Olga Knipper, and was buried in Moscow.

Peter Sekirin was born in Russia and holds a Ph.D. in Russian Literature from the University of Toronto. He has been working at the Center for Russian Studies at the University of Toronto since 1999. His works include The Dostoevsky Archive, a biography of Fyodor Dostoevsky; the English-language translations of Tolstory's The Calendar of Wisdom; and On the Sea and Other Stories: Early Short Stories of Anton Chekhov. He works as a research associate at the University of Toronto and lives in North York, Ontario.

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