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on 13 November 2017
Irina, Masha and Olga left the capital some eleven years before the action of the play to live in a Russian backwater that gets Irina, especially, pining for a Muscovite marriage. Dream on, lady, it's not going to happen. 30-minute flings with the council chairman Protopopov in the troika (lucky Natasha), Masha's night out with Vershinin (she's married to Kulygin, the schoolmaster) or Irina's own loveless acceptance of the Baron Tuzenbach's offer of marriage (he gets killed in a duel) are as far as relationships go here. Written in 1900, the play is full of a sense of wasted lives and barren (pardon the pun) affairs set against a backdrop of aristocratic slovenliness and social decay. Whatever the sophistication and brilliance offered by Moscow in the past, the play imprisons itself in a moribund present where mysterious fires rage in the town and an expensive clock gets smashed, adding to the sense of chaos and existential crisis besetting this dreary and restless pre-revolutionary world.
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on 12 September 2017
Very pleased This is a response to theatre London daughter dragged us screaming to see in a congested tier which turned out wonderful and so I bought Chekhov which from school I always felt to be tedious but once opened up it is relevant and fun
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on 20 December 2015
Having viewed the Young Chekov series at Chichester Theatre Festival, I embarked on my "Chekov by total immersion" phase, and this book is an excellent way to catch up on several of his other better known plays. Often productions can look dated and slightly boring, so I believe that reading the plays can really help to give a fuller understanding of his marvellous writing and technique.
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on 30 January 2016
Print error! I bought this for my daughter who is studying the book at school. Unfortunately page 30 is missing and there are two page 32's ?!? Not ideal!!!
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on 22 October 2014
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on 17 March 2016
a good copy, thank you
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on 9 December 2013
I bought this as it's part of the reading list for a playwriting course that I'm currently undertaking.

All I can say is that it's better than horlicks. Those with any worries will find this work a blessing as reading it will instill an instant sleep-like calm. Certainly those facing an uncertain future who find themselves suffering sleepless nights, will find an immediate peace just reading the synopsis with the main heavier works being saved for when you really can't sleep and the bailiffs are knocking on your door.

Indeed, I'm sure even the most ardent and committed insomniac could benefit from delving into the pages. However, a word of warning, please don't read this work prior to driving a motor vehicle or operating any hazardous machinery as it's certain to cause instant drowsiness.

I can't wait until the publishers bring this out in liquid form.
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on 12 March 2014
This was the translation I wanted (there are lots). I already knew the play well. It was deliverd on time and in good condition.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 May 2017
It’s in the media, mainstream and otherwise: Russia. More than a hint that they might have lost the war (Cold) but won the battle (the latest), and picked the President of the United States. Hum. My recent reading has had a noticeable Russian bent, but I’d like to think my interest in that grand country, and its writers, has deeper roots that the current topical interest. I’ve been reading about the relatively current travels of two Frenchmen (Tesson and Gras) in Russia, a novella of Tolstoy, and much of Anton Chekhov. I was deeply impressed with his Sakhalin Island (Alma Classics). I’ve also read all his other major plays, The Cherry Orchard: A Play,Uncle Vanya: Scenes from Country Life in Four Acts, and The Seagull. “Three Sisters” now completes my reading of his major dramatic works.

Chekhov would die of tuberculosis in 1904, at the age of 44. “Three Sisters” was his final major work, first being performed in Moscow, three years before his death, in 1901. Chekhov was a physician, trained to carefully observe the human body. Another physician-writer that I admire, Abraham Verghese, states that he has difficulty turning off that observation-training in social settings. Chekhov seems to have been the same way. He often places a doctor in his plays; in this one it is Chebutykin, age almost 60, a standard country doctor for the era.

As the title indicates, the core characters in the play are three sisters, Olga, 28, Masha, 23 (she was married at 18 to the school teacher, Kulygin) and Irina, 20. They all live in the house of their brother, Prozorov, who is a bit of a wastrel, and will marry Natasha. The setting is an estate in the Russian countryside. An artillery unit is stationed nearby. During peacetime, as this is, the military really does not have much to do, save for the all-too-often busywork of “training,” and much more pleasantly, courting the young women in the environs. Tuzenbakh is a Baron, and a lieutenant, and is attracted to the youngest, Irina. Meanwhile, Vershinin, 42, a colonel who knew Prozorov’s father, senses the dissatisfaction Masha has with her husband, who was once “learned” when she was 18, but at 23, he is merely pedantic. And makes his move.

Chekhov observes the prospects and aspirations of these three women, faithfully depicting the life of many European women of the late 19th century. His work called to mind Ibsen’s A Doll's House) as well as his fellow Russian, Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata (Penguin Great Loves). One of their chief aspirations is to leave the boredom of rural life, and its very limited society, and relocate to the glitz and glitter of Moscow. Each must make that frank evaluation of their “prospects” in a society where one’s relationship with a man largely determines one’s fate in life.

It is a good representative mix of characters, and Chekhov handles the material well. Chekhov predicted that his plays would be relevant for seven years. More than a century later they are still worthwhile, though not exceptional. Overall, for this play, as well as two of his others, 4-stars.
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on 20 May 2015
Excellent. For my daughter's course work
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