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Topic: 2011 Author's First Novel

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Subject: 2011 Author's First Novel
Date Posted: 1/27/2011 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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I read The Shooting Party by Anton Chekov. This was the author's only novel. All of his other work is in the form of short stories or plays. The story was ok overall but did not live up to my expectation. This book "found" me so I had to read it. After I first joined PBS I got a copy of And Then Their Were None by Agatha Christie. While reading on the train a fellow passenger inquired if I read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Christie. I said I had not but it was on my list. We then began a wonderful conversation regarding books and during this the passenger told me to read Chekov's The Shooting Party before anything of Christie's. It took me a few years but I finally did.

Chekov wrote this in his mid twenties and does an excellent job for his first work. He uses the story within a story and I found that to be a fun literary device most of the time. The novel is not very long but at times it did drag. I am glad that I read it but I think reading some of his plays is better time spent.  

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I've been tempted to pick up some Chekov. I've read less than a handful of his short stories.  Supposedly he's the the top ten of short story writers. Meh, they were okay. I don't like stories that just leave you thinking: "Is that all there is?" A lot of short stories are like that . They don't end well. 



Last Edited on: 1/27/11 9:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/31/2011 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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I agree. The only short story collection I truly loved was Eleven Kinds of loneliness by Richard Yates.

 

Back to the Shooting Party. Chekov was good but I feel like he is a bit overrated.

Date Posted: 1/31/2011 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,450
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King Snark cannot resist this one:  Tome, dear girl, I suspect that if you stipulate that your classic short stories must also be cozies, you will still be searching for one this time next year.

Date Posted: 2/28/2011 8:21 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,880
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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte:  Have long put off reading this novel until this year because I had seen film versions which cannot compare to the novel itself.   Emily Bronte was such a talent!  Too bad it was her only novel.  The read is every bit as dark as I believed, perhaps even  more so.  I have never found myself hating a book character before I encountered Heathcliff in book form.  One becomes so involved in this read.  I suppose most classics deserve 5 stars but not for me.  This one certainly deserves more.  If you have not read it, do so soon.



Last Edited on: 2/28/11 7:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/1/2011 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Any of you short story readers ever read Canadian author Mavis Gallant's stories?   Such as The Moslem Wife, etc.?    There's also a great anthology of pieces by many Canadian authors,From Ink Lake, that includes short stories in its pages.    With a  big anthology such as The Modern Library's An Anthology of Famous American Stories, the reader can pick and choose among a mind-boggling assortment of writers: ranging from Washington Irving through J.D. Salinger.  ( I thought it a little odd that Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Foretopman, was included as a 'short story'.  I think of it as a kind of novella.)

 And,  I liked the 15 stories that make up James Joyce's Dubliners, even though, for the most part, they were NOT exactly . . . . . .cheerful.

In an old, beat-up book I have, The World's Best, there are eleven short stories included among the "stories, humor, biography, history, essays, and poetry" by 105 authors of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America; England, Scotland, and Ireland; France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Spain, Holland, Greece, Hungary, and Russia; and China and India.

Thinking about the subject of short stories brings to mind Guy de Maupassant, whose book is simply called Short Stories.    But, IMO, they are kinda "dated", plus you only get to see how one single writer handled the form.   A nice book that provides a sample of the most celebrated short stories in the English language is The Golden Argosy, with 40 stories by 37 different writers.

Let us not forget that "oldie but goodie", The Decameron. by Bocaccio  My personal favorite is the poor gentleman who had to butcher his wonderful 'talking' bird so admired by the sickly child of his woman neighbor in order to have something to feed the woman and child when they came to dinner.  Wow, what a social burden the necessity of showing "hospitality", even when one is desperately poor, must have been back in that time and that place!

 



Last Edited on: 3/1/11 12:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/1/2011 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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King Snark cannot resist this one:  Tome, dear girl, I suspect that if you stipulate that your classic short stories must also be cozies, you will still be searching for one this time next year.

 
How'd did I let a month go by without seeing this precious snark snipe? LOL.
 
You are wrong, Sire. I am enjoying Raymond Carver's works at the moment. 
 
Cozies? Yuck to all that cheesiness.no
 
Date Posted: 3/12/2011 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,880
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Last Edited on: 3/12/11 10:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 1