The Shooting Party by

On an April day of the year 1880 the doorkeeper Andrey came into my private room and told me in a mysterious whisper that a gentleman had come to the editorial office and demanded insistently to see the editor

The shooting party - Anton Chekhov

Trans: A.E. Chamot

It has take me quite a while to finish this short novel, still I would recommend it highly. Chekhov is famous for his plays, his Cherry Orchards and Russian sisters, not to mention Uncle Vanya’s trousers[1] but he also wrote a large number of novels and short stories.

The Shooting Party is a novel within a novel. The prelude and postscript are written by an editor, about the work contained between. This story, The Shooting Party, is the work of a retired magistrate, who is telling the true story of a case that he was involved in some years before. This case revolves around a “girl in red”; who enchants more than one of the local men.

Both stories are told in the first person narration, although by different narrators. Every now and then the editor will insert a little note on the text, pointing out what he feel the reader should be paying attention to by his use of footnotes.

Despite being an incredibly unlikeable character, somehow, even knowing everything that he is responsible, I still ended up liking him. Maybe because of his cynical comments and mindset. Maybe because of the odd touch of humour amid the drama.

A fatal love story, and a romance, this book partly inspired Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Akroyd. I borrowed my copy from the library, it is so old I can’t find the isbn, but I may buy a copy of my own.

Linknotes:

  1. Terry Pratchett… anyone?

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