A book which not only is pedagogically superb, but one who also gives a rare opportunity to get an understanding for the culture behind the language. Stories like the ones in this book are of key importance to understand a number of cultural codes embedded in the everyday language of the native speakers. The dual-language aspect makes it the perfect book for anyone not widely experienced in reading Russian texts. Highly recommendable.
This dual-language book features 12 short stories by the greatest Russian prose writers of the period 1830-1930 (Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov and others). The original Russian text is on one page with the faithful, literal translation on the facing page.
Apart from the outstandingly accurate translations, Struve provides the reader with a short introduction to the development of the short story in Russia, separate introductions to each author and text, and a full dictionary of unknown Russian words for the reader (with stress marks to help with pronunciation, which are also in the Russian texts throughout the book). In addition, the texts chosen are a great mix of literary registers and genres (the stark realism in Pushkin's 'The Stationmaster,' the absurd of Gogol's 'The Nose,' the grotesque in Dostoevsky's 'Bobok').
For Russian learners who want to improve all aspects of their reading and understanding of the language with, at the same time, gaining a glimpse into the immensely rich Russian literary landscape there is simply no better book.
This is a fantastic book for anybody who has any interest in Russian, at any level; I currently attend Russian night classes at college and find the book extremely interesting and a great read and I can see this book becoming more and more useful and enlightening when I go on to study Beginners' Russian at university. The layout is brilliantly thought out, with a great selection of classic Russian tales, the wonderful addition of concise biographies for each author and the only improvement would be to print it in hardback, in which case it would be sure to be a best seller!
Ive been studying russian for 5 years and this is the best book ive ever learnt from to date. On the left hand page you have the russian and on the right you have the english translation which is perfectly lined up with the russian which allows unknown words and forms to be easily and quickly known, meaning there is no longer any refering to a time consuming and frustrating dictionary. The translations are good and the stories are taken from Russia's most famous writers (Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Leskov, Chekhov, Sologub, Bunin, Zamyatin, Babel and Zoshchenko) and because of this taking the time to read the russian is worthwhile and rewarding as you feel you are reading something of value. The Russian is hard in places and varies depending on the author. It is probably best for university level students who have a good basic understanding of russian (intermediate) through to highly proficient/fluent speakers. The book enables you to understand how the language is constructed and stress marks have been added (essential if you want to pronounce the words correctly, otherwise russians will find it hard to understand you) to the russian text, and it is this that makes the book so usefull and productive as I find russian is rarely written with word stress marks. This book will broaden your vacabulary, improve your understanding of grammar and noticably improve and quicken your reading skills. It also contains info about each author and has vocab list at the end of the book. I paid 13 pounds for this to help me maintain my russian over the summer break from university and feel that it has far surpased this task and has indeed become a source of inspiratin and improvement. Highly recomended to all those of you that want to get to grip with this mammoth of a language.
If you are sort of good at Russian but feel you have a long way to go, this is a painless way to study. The stories are interesting, and the immediate translations are great. Russian is a tough language! This book lets you read Russian as people speak it, which is better than drill and practice exercizes. I wish I still had my copy, but I left it in Moscow for my translator. It is also good for learning English if you are a native Russian speaker.
Very good book. It tells you the story in Russian, with the English counter-part on the other page, so you can compare what you're reading. Very useful, and has very good stories in it. It also tells you a little about the authors, which is also useful. There isn't much else to say. It is a very good book, and I would definately recommend it, and any other dual language book of this make, to everyone.
Dual language books are good for language learners, period. And this one even comes with a mini dictionary at the back for less common words found in the book, as well as exercise questions on each story. Not to mention stress marks on words.
The 12 stories in this collection are all by well-known names in 19th or early 20th century Russian literature. They make interesting if downbeat reading. The parallel text is really useful because it means you don't keep having to fiddle around with dictionaries. The stories are of varying degrees of difficulty. (I nearly gave up on the Dostoyevsky.) I would say they are pitched at first year degree level students at least. I have the Kindle edition which means it had quite a lot of typos particularly in the Russian text. In particular on many occasions "o" was rendered as "b" and occasionally vice versa. It took me a while to pick up on this and realise that certain words were really quite familiar ordinary words and not bizarre combinations of consonants or archaic spellings. One further word of warning - this is not an uplifting read. Many of the stories ranged from depressing to downright gruesome (particularly the Dostoyevsky and Babel stories) so if you are ultra-sensitive you may want to take the stories one at a time.