The Kiss and the Duel and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I finally see why Anton Chekhov is so revered among the classics.
None of the stories are particularly outrageous or breathtaking in the normal sense of the word, but the writing and the evocations, while being sharp and explosive in implications and color, turn all the characters into living, breathing people.
I have rarely read such stories that are so effortless to imagine in my mind's eye, and I'm a fair hand at mental movie reels. :)
I was right there with the fumble in the closet. I was there when the friend explained why his buddy was so distraught as to insist on the duel. But these are simply the stories that made the title of this collection. What really drives home the joy is how it all ties together in true world-building. Yeah, yeah, my real love is in SF and F, so sue me. I LIKE it when the whole sense of a setting is so VIBRANT and I can tell who these people ARE in their culture, their quirks, and their obsessions.
Damn... it's like I'm back in school. :)
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