Reviews: The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin & The Gentle Spirit: A Fantastic Story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Classics Reading Challenge 2013 is hosted by Thoughts at one in the morning

I decided to put two books in one post, as they are both short-stories.

The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin 


The Queen of Spades (Russian: Pikovaya dama) is an acclaimed short story by Alexander Pushkin about human avariciousness. Pushkin wrote the story in autumn 1833 in Boldino and it was first published in literary magazine Biblioteka dlya chteniya in 1834. It was turned into the opera The Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky.
 The Queen of Spades is a quite dark, though at some points slightly humorous, story. It's said it is about human greed, which is true, but there's more to it. It is about human acts and the desires behind them, and about the way our acts influence others and also our own lives. There is the "what goes around, comes around" thing going on. Everyone gets what they deserve in the end.
I think fans of Edgar Allan Poe would enjoy this story.

Gentle Spirit: A Fantastic Story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky 


In this compelling study of despair, based on a real-life incident, a pawnbroker mourns the loss of his wife, a quiet, gentle young girl. Why has she killed herself? Could he have prevented it? These are the questions the pawnbroker asks himself as he pieces together past events and minor incidents, changes of mood and passing glances, in his search for an answer that will relieve his torment.

The narrator of this story just lost his wife and through remembering their whole (if short) life together he tries to answer the most painful question: why did she commit suicide? At first the story is chaotic as are his thoughts, but everything becomes clearer as the reader reaches the end of the story. The narration, the reasons why she killed herself, and above all the true character of the narrator.
The gradual revealing of the truth might arouse some strong emotions, or at least it did in my case. I was sad and angry, but most of all I was disgusted.
Gentle Spirit is a strong and intense story.

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