This image is the cover for the book Bet


A classic collection of tales by the acclaimed Russian playwright and author universally recognized as a master of the modern short story.

In “The Bet,” partygoers strike up a debate regarding the humanity of capital punishment versus life imprisonment, which causes a two-million-ruble wager to be struck between a lawyer and a banker. The lawyer, arguing in favor of life imprisonment, agrees to spend fifteen years in total isolation in a guest room on the banker’s property. Granted only basic necessities, he staves off loneliness and depression by reading, studying, playing piano, and drinking wine. Meanwhile, the banker experiences the follies of fortune, leading him to a desperate and dastardly decision . . .

Other stories in this volume include “A Tedious Story,” “The Fit,” “Misfortune,” “After the Theatre,” “That Wretched Boy,” “Enemies,” “A Trifling Occurrence,” “A Gentleman Friend,” “Overwhelming Sensations,” “Expensive Lessons,” “A Living Calendar,” and “Old Age.”

Anton Chekhov

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904) was a Russian doctor, playwright, and author. His best known works include the plays The Seagull (1896), Uncle Vanya (1900), and The Cherry Orchard (1904), and the short stories “The Lady with the Dog,” “Peasants,” and “The Darling.” One of the most influential and widely anthologized writers in Russian history, Chekhov spent most of his career as a practicing physician and devoted much of his energy to treating the poor, free of charge. He died of tuberculosis in 1904.

Open Road Media