I found this by accident on ebay and was curious enough to pay the 99p. I’m so glad I did. I’ve not read much Russian literature, in fact a Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is about it. These stories were chosen to illustrate the change in mindset from the Tsarist period through the revolution to the Stalinist.

While by different authors (Pushkin, Tolstoy, Chehov, Gorky and others) and apparently different subjects they are all about individuals, families or groups of individuals and how they cope, or don’t cope, with the changing world they find themselves in. They’re stories that could be and are told about anywhere and anyone else in the world but these have a unique charm about them that I think is uniquely Russian. Some have a very definite message, others are just observations but they seem to all have a gentle if deceptive naivety, and a deep affection for the people and their lives. Yet there is a subtle, and not so subtle political context that can’t be ignored or avoided. I really enjoyed them.