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Cherry Orchard [Hardcover]

Anton Chekhov
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1998 1870259750 978-1870259750 New edition
Madame Ranevskaya returns to her decaying estate in pre-Revolutionary Russia after an exile in Paris. The estate and its beloved cherry orchard are threatened by Ranevskaya's financial problems, and no one seems able to do anything about it.

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Review

"The Cherry Orchard is a serious and moving play, but it's also a very funny one, something Mike Poulton's new version brings out strongly." The Stage "Mike Poulton's new translation gives the dialogue a contemporary edge." Alfred Hickling, The Guardian" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Tom Murphy's plays include On The Outside, A Whistle in the Dark, Famine, The Morning After Optimism, The Sanctuary Lamp The Blue Macushla, Conversations on a Homecoming, Bailegangaire, Too Late for Logic, The Wake. His Awards include The Irish Academy of Letters Award, the Irish Times/ESB Lifetime Award, the Irish Times/ESB Theatre Award. He was born in Tuam Co. Galway. He lives in Dublin. ?The most distinctive, the most restless, the most obsessive imagination at work in the Irish theatre today.'--Brian Friel Anton Chekhov first turned to writing as a medical student as Moscow University, from which he graduated in 1884. Among his early works were short monologues, The Evils of Tobacco, one-act farces, The Bear, The Proposal, The Wedding, and the extremely long Platonov material. His first completed full-length play was Ivanov (1887) followed by The Wood Demon (1889), Three Sisters (1901) and The Cherry Orchard (1904).
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Anton Chekhov's play "The Cherry Orchard" has been published as part of the Dover Thrift Edition series (that's the version I read before writing this review). No translator is credited for this edition. According to the note at the start of the book, the play was initially presented by the Moscow Art Theatre in 1904.
The play takes place on the estate of Madame Ranevsky, the matriarch of an aristocratic Russian family that has fallen on financial hard times. She faces the possible loss of her family's magnificent cherry orchard.
The play is populated with interesting characters: Lopakhin, a wealthy neighbor whose father was the serf of Madame Ranevsky's father; Firs, an aged servant who longs for the "old days"; Trophimof, a student with lofty ideas; and more. There is a great deal of conflict among the characters.
"The Cherry Orchard" is about people dealing with very personal conflicts and crises while larger socioeconomic changes are going on around them. The orchard of the title is a memorable image that is well handled by Chekhov. The play contains some really effective dialogue, such as old Firs' reflection on the apparently lost art of making dried cherries. This is definitely one classic play that remains compelling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better on stage than the page. Nov. 16 2001
Format:Paperback
Too often, 'The Cherry Orchard' moves dangerously close to that dread thing, the Shavian 'comedy' of ideas. full of facile symbolism, a schematic narrative arc and obvious allegorical characterisation, the play seems to groan under the weight of characters pontificating on grave matters such as social and historical change, the 'idea' of Russia and the rhetoric of freedom and progress.
What saves 'Orchard' is the merciful fact that it was written by Chekhov and not Shaw. Whatever his overall conception of the play's weighty themes - the decline of the aristocracy; the new economic power of former serfs etc. - Chekhov is simply incapable of writing mere mouthpieces, and every character, no matter how monstrous, limited, avaricious, delusive or paralysed (in action or mind), is suffused with the kind of life (flawed, egocentric, perhaps, but human) for which he had a unique, sympathetic, though always honestly satirical eye. it is a tough task to make an audience empathise with a group of silly former slave-owners, but death, loss, change, poverty, personal failure and disappointment are things we have all felt, and we would probably be lying if we couldn't find something of ourselves in most of the characters (I, worryingly, found myself most drawn to the snobbish, immature, enndearingly gauche Gaev).
There are too many emotionally loaded, privileged and enigmatic moments for characters to be simply straw targets, and the play is shot through with poignant autobiographical resonances (it was Chekhov's last, written when he was terminally ill).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless May 6 2002
Format:Paperback
The Cherry Orchard was me first experience with Chekhov, and I was surprised at the depth in this 49 page play. By no means would I considered myself a "literary expert," but this was very readable and you can pull a lot of the deeper meanings and its context in Russian history by yourself. I was confused at a couple people who write that the simply couldn't understand it and it put them to sleep! It's not THAT tough! If I could understand and appreciate it, almost anyone can!
What I like most about Chekhov is that he doesn't simplify his characters. He's a realist in this sense. Lopahkin and Trophimof each have admirable and detestable characteristics, just like you and I. While it may be set in the tumultuous period prior to the Russian revolution, the ideas and the discussions this play provokes are timeless.
Highly recommended!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good translation of a powerful play April 7 2001
Format:Paperback
People in my line of work (that is, teachers and critics of literature) seem to be paying more attention to "The Sea Gull" these days, but my money is still on "The Cherry Orchard" as favorite Chekhov play. Dover's incomparably priced edition lacks a little in the readability of the translation, but it's still a nice version of a powerful piece of work.
For me, the real strength of "The Cherry Orchard" is its unwillingness to come down propagandistically on one side of any issue. The intellectual and eternal student Trophimof levels a critique against capitalism, but one must bear in mind that it is capitalism that engineers the upward rise of the erstwhile peasant (and now landowner) Lopakhin (and, in the context of this play's being labeled a "comedy," I think Chekhov codes this rise as a conditionally good thing). Trophimof in fact seems to be granted a great deal of authority by the play, as he complains about the lazy intelligentsia and the useless aristocracy, but, sure enough, not wanting to make things too simple or simplistic, Chekhov has Madame Ranevsky put him in his place. If this is a commentary on turn-of-the-century Russian society and politics (and I think we must read it as such), it is a very balanced, multi-perspectival and complex one.
Even the criticism of the play's upper classes--the focus on Gayef's irrational obsession with billiards or Pishtchik's naive assumption that, when he is in the deepest of financial troubles, something will always come along to bail him out--is delicately balanced against the workaholic insensitivity of Lopakhin, who leaves Varya Ranevsky stranded at the play's end and expecting a proposal of marriage from him that is hinted at but never comes.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars You can never go home again.
As much as I enjoy Chekhov, I'm not a big fan of THE CHERRY ORCHARD; it never made much sense to me. Read more
Published on April 23 2001 by tvtv3
4.0 out of 5 stars Anxious uncertainty makes a fine translation
Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard' is an excellent, layered composition from a notoriously prolific writer. Read more
Published on April 17 2001 by Barry David Gould
4.0 out of 5 stars A heartbreak and a smile
As I read this play, my family is in the process of moving a thousand miles away from the farm where I grew up. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2000 by William Krischke
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic meditation on fundamental questions of life
"How should one live?" is the fundamental question driving most of Chekhov's work, and it is very overtly laid bare in The Cherry Orchard. Read more
Published on July 27 2000 by Yaumo Gaucho
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful symbolism
The cherry orchard is symbolic of the old order in rural Russia, and Chekhov's short play illustrates the social transformation started in the 19th century in a simple and... Read more
Published on July 23 2000 by Knut Oyangen
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
I recently saw a production of this and I was moved to tears. Though this play is too sophisticated for many, I found the characters real/alive/and breathing. Read more
Published on July 20 2000 by David
4.0 out of 5 stars It was great to read, yet too short!
This is the first play I've read by Anton Chekhov and I am very interested in Russian culture, so it was good play to read about the fall of the Russian aristocracy. Read more
Published on June 29 2000 by Stefanie Pawelczyk
4.0 out of 5 stars Anton chekhov's "the cherry orchard" is captivating.
Anton chekhov's "the cherry orchard" is a captivating, but somewhat confusing tale of an aristocratic household that comes face to face with adversity. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars Chekov's Play is like a Half-Eaten Apple...
Although Chekov's play accurately reflects the decline of Aristocratic power in 19th century Russia, it is unfulfilling. Mdm. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 1998
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