10 best short stories by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Chekhov is truly a master of short stories. Main feature most of them – bright accents on everyday life and subtleties mutual relations of ordinary Russian inhabitants. Thanks incredible the sharpness of the syllable, precisely and vividly selected words and verbal turns the writer managed to convey the subtle inner experiences of the main heroes and immerse in the right atmosphere. For all his creative Chekhov wrote many stories, most of them humorous, but filled with sad scraps panoramas of life in then-Russia. Your attention a selection of the most short and unusual ones.

Genius of capacious and short stories: top 10 smallest stories of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

Nomination a place Composition rating
Review of Chekhov’s smallest stories 1 75000 5.0
2 Ram and young lady 4.9
3 Iniquity 4.8
4 Marriage of convenience 4.7
5 Grisha 4.7
6 Thick and thin 4.6
7 Official death 4.5
8 Oversalt 4.5
9 Holy simplicity 4.5
10 Nerves 4.4


Rating: 5.0


Old as a world story of betrayal and infidelity. But Chekhov managed to dress her in such a brightly tragic wrap that after of reading acutely felt the pain of those who became involuntarily a victim the main character’s behavior. Two buddies return home, and talk about how one of them lost the money given by his wife for paying for her little sister’s studies.

The main character – Vasily Ivanovich – self-confident handsome, mot and the adulterer does not regret his act at all and only cares about that his missus would be “preaching all night” when he will return home. Arriving home, he learns that his wife won in a lottery of 75,000 rubles for a ticket given by a former lover (Vasily’s comrade): she is glad that now her husband will cease to be so erratic, a rebel, because, in her opinion, only poverty pushed him to it.

But Vasily does not hear her, he has his own thoughts in his head. Headlong he runs to his former mistress, who rejected him because of his lack of money, and gives her a ticket as an old gift, which turned out to be valuable. Meanwhile, another sits and looks at an empty casket from under the ticket tearful, almost distraught eyes and understands who stole the money.

Ram and young lady

Rating: 4.9

A ram and a young lady

What can a full life full of “deadly boredom? “To the fact that the one who leads it will easily ruin life to another. “Gracious sovereign,” awakened from an afternoon nap and not knowing what to do with himself, takes a young lady from a lower estate, which is dressed simply, “… even very simple.” And from curiosity agrees to listen to her.

The modest girl confusedly and awkwardly explains that she came with a request to give her a ticket “for free travel to her homeland.” Young lady says that she is not rich, and she urgently needs to go to far Kursk, where her parents live, because she has not been at home for a long time and received a letter stating that her mother was ill.

Gracious sovereign, looking at a pretty girl, tactlessly interested in her personal life, family. Girl embarrassed by such I have to answer questions, hoping to get what I want. Barin gives her tea, talks until the evening, and then sends go home, saying that he should go to the theater. To the girl’s question about whether she dares to hope for a free ticket, tells her that she messed up the porch, and “some kind of railwayman” lives next to him. Having finally got to his destination, the young lady learns that half an hour back he went to the capital. The author clearly shows the problem “little man” and his dependence on people “strong” who can destroy other people’s lives simply out of boredom.


Rating: 4.8


The story of how one bad act can lead to real mental storm and, at the same time, become an incredible cause funny story. Her main culprit is college assessor Miguev, cheated on his wife with a maid. Once, making the evening a walk near his summer house, he recalled the unpleasant moment of the week ago, when the reason for his “minute hobby” threatened him by telling everything to his wife and child of their common toss.

And Miguev discovers a knot with a baby on his porch. Feeling horror for their position, the opinions of others and their own spouse, he grabs the child and decides to throw to another porch – Merchant Melkin. While he goes to the neighbor’s house, he is overcome by a whole a storm of thoughts that suddenly grow from base to noble: assessor worries about how his son will grow and who he will turn.

The result of mental torment is a firm decision keep the baby to yourself. And Miguev, overcoming fear, returned home, “went to his wife and knelt before her.” By bewitching her unexpected news, the main character runs out of the house, deciding to give her time to “come to life”. Meanwhile, a janitor walks past and reports that the local laundress left the assessor on the porch his baby and he disappeared. Miguev has no choice except to tell his tearful and angry wife that he joked.

Marriage of convenience

Rating: 4.7

Marriage of convenience

The story can be safely called a subtle mockery of the human greed, aggravated by narrow-mindedness of others and harsh realities then the relationship between a man and a woman. In the first part we get to a wedding dinner in the house of the widow Mymrina. Inadvertently talk about electricity started by a telephone operator flows into the theme of dowry and marriage of convenience. Groom looking at the telephone operator’s words hint at his financial interest in marriage, insulted and drives the embarrassed guest away.

The second scene is the next morning. In the alley where the widow lives, some kind of commotion. Fluff flies everywhere, and the eyes of others a strange procession appears: 2 city ones, the groom, followed by the widow Mymrina and the bride, or rather, the wife of Dasha, a janitor and a crowd the kids. It turns out all the buzz due to the fact that “honest person “was calculated and instead of a thousand rubles a dowry was given nine hundred. And the groom, angry, ordered his mother-in-law a feather bed, releasing fluff out the window.

But the bride following him does not cry out of resentment. Her mother is in charge passers-by, that she “Feathers feel sorry! Three pounds!”. Both sides, it turns out to be worth each other. After reading it remains sad and unpleasant sediment from the realization of the filth of human nature. The author was very good at conveying the idea of ​​a “deal with conscience.”


Rating: 4.7


In this small fascinating story, the author was able to skillfully show the psychology of a child through a combination of a childish look at things, people and the world with the opinion of an adult, in whose person favored by the reader. The main issues that Chekhov affects in the story, this is a careful attitude to childhood: relevant as in the 19th century, and today is the topic. To small children often they are treated as unreasonable creatures, they are not seen at all personality.

The author tells about one day in the life of a boy, Grisha, who first went for a walk in the “big” world with his the nanny. The baby is still very small (“born two years and eight months ago “) and is surprised to find out that people don’t run after cats, don’t take oranges from other babysitters, are not afraid of going loudly ranks of soldiers, and at a party cuddle and drink, and terrible muck (what he learns about due to the fact that the nanny gives him a try from his glass).

The reader can make up his own opinion. For example, about that the nanny is indifferent to the child and unfairly fulfills her duties, the father does not take part in the life of his son: “for what there is a papa – unknown. “Mom, however, does not understand behavior and condition of the child after the first day outside the home: when he fever begins from the abundance of impressions and attempts to digest them in to the head during sleep, she gives her son a castor.

Thick and thin

Rating: 4.6

Thick and thin

In a short story, the author was able to perfectly tell “about long things. “It’s an excellent example of a person’s dependence on position and related stereotypic thinking (although personality as such also plays a role). IN the story is about two old childhood friends who met by chance at the station after many years. Through Chekhov’s original verbal touches masterfully conveys the essence what is happening, using metaphors, constant comparisons, etc.

Thin (Porfiry) and Tolstoy (Mikhail) turn out to be representatives of completely different social strata. Porfiry – a college assessor, and Michael rose to the rank of Privy Councilor – the highest public office. Learning about the rank of his old friend, Thin literally changes before our eyes: “cringed, hunched over, narrowed. “Tolstoy still calls on a friend, and he began subservient, which caused Tolstoy’s irritation and sickening sensation.

Chekhov with his inherent subtle humor ridicules unpleasant to him people who creep in high office. Ridiculed in The story of a little official cringing to an old friend then when no one and nothing forces him to do so. Here is acute Shows the world of a “thin” man with slave psychology.

Official death

Rating: 4.5

Death of an official

The story is considered one of the earliest in the writer’s work. Auto RU it is possible (however, as always) to convey the main idea through simple and short history. At the center of this story is a petty official. Worms, who, being at a theatrical performance, by chance sneezes on the head of the general sitting in front. On the basis of what happened embarrassment at a petty official there is an idea that it is necessary be sure to apologize. This he does, leaning forward to to the general.

After that, something begins to happen to the main character unimaginable. A sense of anxiety does not leave him, he appears in his head a swarm of thoughts, he is in constant confusion. But after all there is absolutely no reason for this: a representative of high rank absolutely not offended and calmly accepted an apology. But the official does not find rest. He begins to pursue the general, coming to his service. As a result, he infuriates and he screams away Chervyakov, who comes home, lays down on sofa and dies.

In the story, the main subject of ridicule becomes an official whom he exposes as comical and miserable. He is funny because it looks ridiculous in its inappropriate persistence. And, at that same time, miserable because of the constant attempts to humiliate oneself annoying apologies. Even the death of Chekhov makes him a mockery, since he abhors the useless, absurd, voluntary self-abasement.


Rating: 4.5


In a simple, at first glance, the plot can be traced one clear line: land surveyor Smirnov needs to get to the estate and for he hires this at the station where he arrived, the local peasant Klim. The prospect of 30 miles to go in the company begins to get dark “hefty man” who turns into a dark forest, and his the horse is already galloping, gradually terrifying the official. is he begins to tell the charioteer how powerful he is (“I have strength, like a bull “), that he has three pistols, etc. Here it begins The most interesting.

Seeing in front of you an unfamiliar city official who intimidates him with his remarkable strength and weapons, Klim does not find nothing better than throwing both a cart and a horse, rushing into the thicket with shouting: “Sentry! … do not destroy my soul!”. As much as 2 hours to the Peaceful I have to call Klim back. And now, having come to terms with the fact that he will have to spend the night in the cold in the forest in the company of a skinny filly, the official finally gets through the peasant, saying that he was just joking. Then they go quietly and the surveyor does not seem dangerous either road, no fellow traveler.

Holy simplicity

Rating: 4.5

Holy simplicity

Chekhov managed to create a masterfully constructed dialogue of two people who absolutely don’t understand each other’s friend in the person of Alexander’s son – successful capital attorney and father of Savva, rector of the church in small town. The author was able to clearly show that social the abyss that divides the prosperous intelligentsia of Moscow and vegetative, limited provincialism.

An acute moral problem arises here: a son living the diverse interests of the capital, an incredibly successful lawyer – absolutely indifferent to his elderly father. Once arrived in his native province on business, he does not consider it necessary to visit his father, which I have not seen “years 12-15.” Instead, he visits the local a theater in which he buys out all the tickets from boredom, spending a huge 300 rubles: just to make the performance take place for him.

Alexander is from a world completely alien to his father. He stands taller many people, both materially and morally. When father, not believing in son voiced by him, in his opinion, fantastic earnings, asks why the son gets such huge money, gets a surprising answer: “for talent.” Chekhov sought show the reader in this story (without a hint of moralizing) the abnormality of the “excusable” from the point of view of many, absolutely the son’s indifferent attitude to the fate of his father.


Rating: 4.4


Let it be a small one, but, nevertheless, a masterpiece of a Russian writer. Chekhov managed to create a mystical, mysterious and yet incredible comedic plot. Its main character is the architect Vaksin – returns home in the evening after a dinner party, where a spiritualistic session, or rather, there were only talk about spiritualism, buried alive, etc. Vaksin even made an attempt to evoke the spirit his dead uncle.

Impressed by this event, the main character, going to bed, does not can’t calm down: he always sees something in darkness, sounds are heard, etc. Vaksin – self-sufficient, successful, married the man. The whole situation looks all the more comical: his fears look very ridiculous, but so funny that the main character seems charming. There is nothing reprehensible in his behavior and how he tries to come up with a reason to cause governess and not staying alone in the room, looks incredible it’s funny.

As a result, it comes to the point that Vaksin almost breaks into governess and, when she falls asleep, quietly enters the room and lays in a corner on a chest. There rolled him up and discovers in the early morning of his wife, who was leaving for Trinity.

Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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