The Story of a Nobody

By Anton Chekhov

Translated by Hugh Aplin

ISBN: 9781847498618

101 pages

RRP: £4.79

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.

Part of 101-Page Classics series of Great Rediscovered Classics


  • Revived in this sure-footed translation by Hugh Aplin, Chekhov’s novella deserves to be much better known.

    The Independent

  • 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 Bernieres

Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov (1860–1904) 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.