The Wife, and other stories
Антон Павлович Чехов
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This set of nine stories look at the troubles of Russian life under the czars with clinical clarity and apply razor-sharp satire to the follies of those who presume to have master cures. Self-righteous reformers, tightwad fathers and greedy sons, ambitious poor people flattering the vain and ignorant rich, there are few truly evil people in Chekhov's Russia, and that's part of the problem, because folly and greed are harder to admit to, let alone cure, than calculated malice. The doctor of human nature is in, and the results are seldom pretty, but often hilarious.