A secret terrorist group infiltrates the household of a government official’s son, with a view to spying on the father and, ultimately, assassinating him. But the young man entrusted with the task – an ailing, world-weary “nobody” – seized with the purposelessness of life and a sense of his own impending death, gradually becomes disillusioned with his mission, and decides to embark on a new path which will lead him to tragedy.
Combining psychological detail with a strong sense of place and time, The Story of a Nobody
bears all the hallmarks of Chekhov’s genius, and perfectly captures the political and social tensions of its day.
'This story is… a wonderful piece of literature. I know this because I have read it several times, and it is only excellent writing that improves with rereading.' Louis de Bernières
'Revived in this sure-footed translation by Hugh Aplin, Chekhov's novella deserves to be much better known.' The Independent
Read an excerpt from The Story of a Nobody
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