Chekhov Shorts: A Joke

Title: A Joke
Date Read: 16th February 2010
Word Count: 1637
Briefly: Poor old Nadenka is trying to come to terms with her aversion towards cascading down a steep, icy hill on a sledge. She’s coaxed into it however, and after going down a first time she is keen to repeat the ordeal again. Not because she enjoyed it the first time around, but rather because she thought that she heard her sledging companion – the story’s narrator – whispering something to her on the way down.
Afterthoughts: This is a short and sharp story from Chekhov but it’s no less entertaining. In fact it actually turns out to be rather a charming tale.
Notable Quote: The sledge flew like a bullet. The air cleft by our flight beat in our faces, roared, whistled in our ears, tore at us, nipped us cruelly in its anger, tried to tear our heads off our shoulders. We had hardly strength to breathe from the pressure of the wind. It seemed as though the devil himself had caught us in his claws and was dragging us with a roar to hell. Surrounding objects melted into one long furiously racing streak . . . another moment and it seemed we should perish.

Rating: ★★★½☆

*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).