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The Queen Of Spades   By: (1799-1837)

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The Queen of Spades, written by Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin, is a classic tale of obsession, greed, and the destructive power of secrets. Set in 19th century Russia, this novella grips the reader from the very first page and keeps them hooked until the shocking conclusion.

The story centers around the protagonist, Hermann, a young officer who becomes obsessed with discovering the secret of a winning card combination in a game of Faro. In pursuit of this knowledge, he becomes entangled with a sinister old countess and her beautiful ward, Lisa. Hermann's obsession consumes him, blinding him to the consequences of his actions and leading him down a dangerous path.

Pushkin masterfully creates an atmosphere of suspense and mystery throughout the novella. The dark, wintery backdrop of St. Petersburg adds to the sense of foreboding, as if the secrets and treachery lie hidden just beneath the surface. The author's elegant prose and vivid descriptions bring the setting to life, immersing the reader in the atmospheric world of 19th century Russia.

The characters in The Queen of Spades are equally captivating. Hermann, driven by his desire to unlock the secret of the winning combination, undergoes a disturbing transformation from a rational and ambitious officer to a desperate, delusional man. His descent into madness is portrayed with chilling realism, making him both fascinating and unsettling.

The supporting characters, such as the enigmatic old countess and the innocent Lisa, add depth and complexity to the narrative. Pushkin skillfully weaves their stories together, illuminating the themes of fate, love, and the destructive nature of ambition.

One of the strengths of this novella is its exploration of human nature. Pushkin delves into the depths of obsession, greed, and the lengths people will go to in order to satisfy their desires. The Queen of Spades serves as a cautionary tale, showing the consequences of unchecked ambition and the danger of gambling with fate.

In conclusion, The Queen of Spades is a gripping and thought-provoking novella that explores themes of obsession, greed, and the destructive power of secrets. Pushkin's skillful storytelling, richly imagined characters, and suspenseful narrative make this a must-read for fans of classic literature.

First Page:


By Alexander Sergeievitch Poushkin

Translated by H. Twitchell

Copyright, 1901, by The Current Literature Publishing Company

AT the house of Naroumov, a cavalry officer, the long winter night had been passed in gambling. At five in the morning breakfast was served to the weary players. The winners ate with relish; the losers, on the contrary, pushed back their plates and sat brooding gloomily. Under the influence of the good wine, however, the conversation then became general.

"Well, Sourine?" said the host inquiringly.

"Oh, I lost as usual. My luck is abominable. No matter how cool I keep, I never win."

"How is it, Herman, that you never touch a card?" remarked one of the men, addressing a young officer of the Engineering Corps. "Here you are with the rest of us at five o'clock in the morning, and you have neither played nor bet all night."

"Play interests me greatly," replied the person addressed, "but I hardly care to sacrifice the necessaries of life for uncertain superfluities."

"Herman is a German, therefore economical; that explains it," said Tomsky. "But the person I can't quite understand is my grandmother, the Countess Anna Fedorovna."

"Why?" inquired a chorus of voices.

"I can't understand why my grandmother never gambles."

"I don't see anything very striking in the fact that a woman of eighty refuses to gamble," objected Naroumov... Continue reading book >>

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