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Travis Review:

In today’s story two drunken lawyers come out of the woods in the middle of the night heading for their summer cottages. The first lawyer’s wife doesn’t seem to want to open the door for him, so he heaves himself through an unlocked window only to find the house full of chickens and turkeys. What is interesting is that Chekhov never enters the house, but stays with the second lawyer who is passing in and out of consciousness under the window. We get reports of the chaos inside from the first lawyer as well as a couple of clucking chickens that escape from the open window. When we learn that the lawyers broke into the wrong house, it is not a surprise. What is a surprise is that they are in the wrong village. The story was okay, but not earth shaking.

Rating: 5

Steve Review:

Chekhov is fond of developing characters that make false assumptions (usually under the influence of alcohol) that prove dreadfully inaccurate and which are driven home by the revelation of further misunderstandings that form the punchline of the story.  The beginning could be an opening of a bad joke…two drunken lawyers emerge from the woods.  I too found it particularly interesting that Chekhov never takes us inside the hen house mistaken for a home but leaves us to doze with the other attorney (Laev).  I must admit that I did not predict the hen house but rather assumed an interesting story would play out with Kozyavkin and his wife based on the glowing description he gives of their marriage.  Sadly, we never get to meet Vera or witness for ourselves how she would have responded to her husband bringing a hungry (and thirsty…let’s not forget his thirst) colleague home at 1am.  Now we are left to assume how she will react at his arriving home much later and smelling of a chicken coop.  I have a difficult time believing she will be as welcoming as he portrays.  The better part of this story is what was left to our imagination.

Rating:  4