Running the gamut from sweet and reverent to twisted and uproarious, and with many of the stories appearing in English for the first time, this is a collection that will satisfy every reader. Dostoevsky brings stories of poverty and tragedy, Tolstoy inspires with his fable-like tales, Chekhov's unmatchable skills are on full display in a story about a female factory owner and the wretched workers, Klavdia Lukashevitch delights with a sweet and surprising tale of a childhood in White Russia, and Mikhail Zoshchenko recounts madcap anecdotes of Christmas trees and Christmas thieves. There is no shortage of vodka or wit on display here, in a collection that proves, with its wonderful variety and remarkable human touch, that Nobody Does Christmas Like the Russians.My Last ChristmasOn this festive day, because of somebody's sin, it is we who must sit here like the wretched of the earth . . ."The passengers looked at the fussy figure of the little old man with displeasure and irritation."Yes," the old man continued, "because of somebody's sins . . . We are used to watching our little children jump in indescribable delight around the Christmas tree . . . Out of human weakness, dear Sirs and Madams, we enjoy gobbling up ham with green peas and sausages one after another, and a slice of goose, and a tipple tipple of the you know what . . .""Tfu!" said the fishmonger, looking at the wee old man with disgust.The passengers slid forward on their chairs . . .