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Anton Chekhov is one of the giants of modern literature, exerting a strong influence on many present-day novelists and dramatists. As a playwright, he ranks in popularity second only to Shakespeare in the English-speaking world. As a prose writer, he was one of the first to use the stream-of-consciousness technique, and his anti-heroic realism, full of ambiguity and allusion, provides no easy moral conclusions and results in a new kind of narrative approaching real life in a way no writer had achieved before him.
Sakhalin Island should be compulsory reading for all those who are anywhere and in any way involved with the so-called penal system. -- Heinrich Boell Sakhalin Island shows off the breadth of Chekhov's reading as well as the depth of his fieldwork... This is a much needed new annotated translation. * The Independent * As a work of literature, Sakhalin Island is a masterpiece of restrained, dignified, unsentimental prose... a work of complete seriousness, full of clear, humane, practical suggestions for reform. * The Observer * The best work of journalism written in the 19th century. * The New Yorker * Mr Reeve's work reminds one that Chekhov was as great a master of the documentary genre - and also of the best academic prose - as of drama and narrative fiction... Sakhalin Island will never eclipse The Cherry Orchard. But it is every bit as impressive a masterpiece, and this new version will surely make its merits more widely known. * Times Literary Supplement * Sakhalin Island is the work of a sensible and sympathetic recorder of the facts, and Mr Reeve has done us a favour in his handsome and useful edition. -- Stephen Tumm, Former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons What writers influenced me as a young man? Chekhov! As a dramatist? Chekhov! As a story writer? Chekhov! -- Tennessee Williams