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on 29 October 2007
For anyone who doesn't know Chekhov, I recommend you get acquainted with his work immediately. His short stories are superb, and his five plays are masterpieces of theatre. It is such a shame that he died when he was only 44 - like Mozart, you really wonder what on earth he would have produced by the time he was 60.

As always with Chekhov, I am amazed at the fact he is able to create tension and high drama from absolutely nothing - boredom, loss of zest for life, inability to move on, hopeless incompetence, arrogance, etc etc. Characters are absolutely pared down to the minimum necessary to dissect a psychological state, atmosphere, general state of affairs etc., and the language is an exercise in economy - it functions only as a vehicle for creating dramatic effect. If the penguin translation is faithful, then there is little, if any, superfluous imagery, and nothing that digresses from the function of each moment of dramatic intensity.

The tone and themes of each play - as with his short stories - are always ambiguous: bittersweet, tragicomic, sad and joyful, generosity and miserliness, adultery vs sterile faithfulness etc. In this lack of commitment to a stable reality Chekhov was well ahead of his time and it is easy to see how his plays have exerted such an influence on the development of the modern play.
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on 7 March 2016
I'm an undergrad student studying Chekhov's major plays (but mainly looking at The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya) and this book has all of them in it which is so useful. It's a great translation too with plenty of room in the margins to scribble notes! ;) #studentlife
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on 29 July 2015
Very good book of checkov plays, great that it came with no highlighting or notes all over the pages which I was half expecting because it is second hand. It is laid out in a way that is very clear and easy to read, I usually find it very distracting if there are interruptions in the text for analysis or explanations so I am pleased that this is all done in a section before the actual text of the plays begin.
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on 16 February 2011
I'll admit it is taking me a while to read but luckily you can do this over a period of time (not too long). I think it is a book that I will go back to and read again just to see if I can find another way of understanding some opinions of the characters.

Overall I'm glad I've read it and bought it.
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on 27 December 2015
IDEAL
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on 24 March 2016
Good plays. Easy rot read print.
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on 1 September 2011
I'm not entirely sure the translation stands up as well as Stoppard's no nonsense versions which are slightly more contemporary but this Penguin classic has a charm which is fitting with Chekhov's writing and this is great to have as a collection as opposed to buying each play individually.
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on 27 March 2009
I purchased this book, in preparation for drama school and in the end I didn't use it, but for anyone who does or doesn't know Chekov, these are some of his finest plays, my favorite being 'The Seagull'. It has some great biographical information about Chekov himself and the history of Russia at the time when he was writing and some of his lovely personal quotes. I was very inspired while reading this book. I hope you enjoy it and yes, I would highly recommend it, to anyone.
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on 15 March 2016
Good and fast service Good product
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on 29 July 2017
Classics. My brother-in-law loved it for Christmas.
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