“Chekhov Shorts”: Misery

Title: Misery
Date Read: 19 January 2010
Word Count: 2112
Briefly: Out in the snow, on a dark, cold night, sledge driver Iona Potapov is desperate for a fare. It’s not just the money he needs though. Still desperately grieving at the death of his son, Iona needs something to keep his mind occupied, and a sympathetic voice to listen to him.
Afterthoughts: This story plays on the whole concept of personal grief and the need to talk to someone in order to heal. As one may imagine it’s a story with few laughs. But even with such a sorrowful tale, Chekhov still manages to sneak in a comical hunchback :). Overall, an OK tale from Chekhov, but I’ve read better.
Notable Quote: “The twilight of evening. Big flakes of wet snow are whirling lazily about the street lamps, which have just been lighted, and lying in a thin soft layer on roofs, horses’ backs, shoulders, caps. Iona Potapov, the sledge-driver, is all white like a ghost. He sits on the box without stirring, bent as double as the living body can be bent. If a regular snowdrift fell on him it seems as though even then he would not think it necessary to shake it off.”

Rating: ★★★☆☆

*Story read as part of my Checkin’ Off The Chekhov Shorts reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).