sakhalin island is anton chekhov’s account of his travel and documentation of the siberian prisons. considered an astonishingly brilliant journalist piece, sakhalin island delves into the intricacies of the lives of the inhabitants of the prison and more.
as a diehard fan of russian novels, chekhov’s book here didn’t impress me as much as his plays did. however, the accounts of the lives of all the people and the attention paid to the minute details is what made me read it to the end.
this novel is hardly light reading material. if you are thinking of picking this up, do keep in mind that chekhov’s masterpiece is known to few and thus mostly regarded as a ‘minor masterpiece’ with attention deviating towards other journalistic texts published during the period of the 19th century. if you are, however, interested in seeing chekhov’s prowess past his ‘major masterpiece’ plays, sakhalin island is highly recommended.