A Short Story Omnibus Edition

I’ve reviewed short stories here and at my old blog for many years now.  Not quite on a weekly basis, not all the time anyway, but pretty close.  These are some of the reviews I ran at Ready When You Are, C.B. in the years 2009 to 2011.  I’m slowly migrating all of my old posts over to this new site.  I just can’t bare … Continue reading A Short Story Omnibus Edition

Dakota Ate this Book: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

I’ve been saving my review of Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky for several weeks; a book like this requires some reflection. It was not what I expected. I have read lots of 19th century fiction, most of it English fiction, so I was expecting Dostoevsky to fall in place neatly alongside Charles Dickens. Dickens wrote about crime and criminals in several novels and was … Continue reading Dakota Ate this Book: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Nose by Nikolai Gogol translated from the Russian by Ian Dreiblatt

It’s highly possible that I’m no longer rational in my love for NIkolai Gogol.  He may not actually be as wonderful as I think he is. So be warned.  I’m a Gogol fanboy. The Nose  is the story of Collegiate Assessor Kovalyov who wakes up one morning to find that his nose is gone.  Aware that he will most likely lose his position in the … Continue reading The Nose by Nikolai Gogol translated from the Russian by Ian Dreiblatt

A Short Story Review Anthology: Hemingway, Williams, Babel, Alexie, Cunningham, Paley, Murakami, Kinsella

The train passed very quickly a long, red stone house with a garden and four thick palm-trees with tables under them in the shade. I wonder how many graduate students have written papers on the use of railroads in the works of Ernest Hemingway. It’s striking how many of his stories are set on trains or in railroad stations. The railway journey as metaphor for … Continue reading A Short Story Review Anthology: Hemingway, Williams, Babel, Alexie, Cunningham, Paley, Murakami, Kinsella

Envy by Yuri Olesha

Can a satirical novel from the early days of the Soviet Union speak to contemporary readers?  Will they even be able to make heads or tails of it?  Russian humor can be, well, different. To be honest, I’m a little uncomfortable reading Russian literature these days.  The stuff I read is old stuff–pre-Soviet and early Soviet era literature and early science fiction genre stuff.  It’s … Continue reading Envy by Yuri Olesha