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Book Review | The Abyss and other stories by Leonid Andreyev and Hugh Aplin

We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts about The Abyss and other stories.

This collection of short stories, published by Alma Classics, is written by Leonid Andreyev and translated by Hugh Aplin.

The Abyss and other stories Leonid Andreyev (Author), Hugh Aplin (Translator)

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: Alma Classics (6 July 2018)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1847497233

ISBN-13: 978-1847497239

As the young Zinaida and her sweetheart, the student Nemovetsky, stroll through the idyllic Russian countryside, their memories, dreams and thoughts about life and the future mingle in the evening breeze. But when night falls, they hasten to retrace their steps back to town through a small wood, where they are accosted by three threatening drunkards, who knock Nemovetsky unconscious and start to chase the girl through the underwood. When the young student comes round, he is confronted with the horror of what has just happened.

Haunting, disquieting, shocking, ‘The Abyss’ one of the most powerful short stories ever written is accompanied in this volume by fifteen other stories by Andreyev, including ‘Silence’, ‘The Thief’ and ‘Lazarus’, some of them never translated before into English.

Together, they provide a clear account of the lasting legacy of Russia’s foremost man of letters of the early twentieth century.

Book Review

The Abyss and Other Stories written by Leonid Andreyev published in Russia between 1898- 1914. This collection of stories has recently been translated into English.

These short stories are full of dark, sinister messages of rape, death and destruction. Cleverly written and argued to be the beginning of expressionism in Russian Literature. Andreyev held a particular interest in psychology and psychiatry and this can be seen in these compelling stories.

I preferred Lazarus and Silence as I found them both captivating, haunting and shocking.

In Lazarus, Andreyev has portrayed the return from death in a sinister and profound way. This dark tale shows the painful return of Lazarus as a changed man.

In Silence, a man is haunted by the death of his daughter. I depicted that the way we use our words to voice our opinions holds devastating repercussions.

I struggled with some of the stories but feel that this collection should be read overtime with plenty of time for reflection.  I already feel the need of revisiting some of these stories as believe I would gain more insights into these fascinating and woeful tales.

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