Dostoevsky Short Stories

This page collects some Fyodor Dostoevsky short stories. While best known for his novels, Dostoevsky seems to have also written 17 short stories, although some of them are on the longer side.

Dostoevsky Short Stories

“An Honest Thief”

The narrator takes a lodger in his small living space, Astafy. One night, there’s an incident. A stranger enters his home, grabs his coat and flees. Astafy pursues the thief without success. He’s very upset by this, and dwells on it for some time. It leads Astafy to relate the story of a thief he once knew who was honest, in a way. The man was Yemelyan, a heavy drinker.

Read “An Honest Thief”

“A Novel in Nine Letters”

Pyotr writes to his friend Ivan. He has urgent business to discuss and has been looking for him for two days. Acquaintances have suggested where he might be, but Pyotr can never find Ivan. Pyotr also wants to discuss a new acquaintance, Yevgeny, recommended by Ivan, who has proven troublesome in an unstated way. Pyotr’s young son hasn’t been feeling well the past week, and his wife is depressed. Ivan answers that he’s also been looking for Pyotr without success, and he can’t imagine what the issue with Yevgeny could be. Their correspondence continues as they try to work things out.

Read “A Novel in Nine Letters”

“The Heavenly Christmas Tree”

A novelist makes up a story that he believes must have happened somewhere on a cold Christmas Eve. A young boy wakes up in a cold, damp cellar feeling hungry. He touches his mother’s face but she doesn’t move and feels as cold as the wall. He goes out into the street where people are going about their business. He desperately wants something to eat.

Read “The Heavenly Christmas Tree”

Dostoevsky Short Stories, Cont’d

“The Crocodile”

Ivan goes with his wife and friend, Semyon, to an exhibition to see a crocodile. It swallows Ivan, but he remains alive inside it. There is a discussion about getting him out, but monetary concerns take priority.

Read “The Crocodile”

“The Peasant Marey”

The narrator, a noble, remembers an incident from his childhood. While walking in the woods, he heard someone shouting a warning about a wolf. He ran off in a panic, until he reached a peasant man, Marey.

Read “The Peasant Marey”

“The Christmas Tree and the Wedding”

At a New Year’s children’s ball, a guest tries to get into the good graces of the family of a young girl who is said to have a large dowry. He fawns over her and tries to oust her young lower-class playmate.

Read “The Christmas Tree and the Wedding”

I’ll keep adding Dostoevsky short stories as I read more.