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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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Customer Reviews

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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3.0 out of 5 stars You can never go home again. April 23 2001
By tvtv3
Format:Paperback
As much as I enjoy Chekhov, I'm not a big fan of THE CHERRY ORCHARD; it never made much sense to me. However, this adaptation by David Mamet makes the play easier to follow and understand. The play itself is often labeled as a tragedy, but really isn't. As Mamet points out in the introduction to this adaptation, the closest form of drama THE CHERRY ORCHARD's structure resembles is the farce. In fact, if all the characters weren't so depressing, the play would be hilarious. Perhaps that is what Chekhov originally intended, that as we would see the outrageous, pitiful existence of the characters in this play we would laugh at their mopping and folly and strive to make our lives more meaningful. This isn't the best work to introduce one to the genius of Chekhov, but it is a classic and if one can get past all the whining (or to use a more pc term "reminiscing") it's worth the read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Anxious uncertainty makes a fine translation April 17 2001
Format:Paperback
Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard' is an excellent, layered composition from a notoriously prolific writer. Although good humoured, an air of depression and resignation stalks every moment, as the characters realise they are anachronisms in a rapidly changing capitlist society. Feeling as though it were written by Shakespeare's Hamlet, compelling darkness is portrayed, such as in Yephidov, who carries a revolver with him in case the fleeting notion of suicide becomes too compelling. The genius of such creations is that you are never sure whether the writer means to evince smiles or grimaces.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good translation of a powerful play
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... Read more
Published on April 7 2001 by Volkswagen Blues
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 24 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 30 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. 6 1998
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