A fifth translation of Dostoevsky's fiction by the acclaimed husband-and-wife team, whose revisionist English-language versions restore much of the colloquial vigor and rough humor suppressed or glossed over in earlier translations. Four of the five tales included here date from Dostoevsky's last decade, the 1870s (only the satirical ""A Nasty Anecdote"" is earlier)--the period that Pevear describes in an incisive Preface as a darker and more complex flowering out of Dostoevsky's more ""romantic"" previous fiction. And indeed these stories variously offer interesting late developments of the great Russian writer's distinctive preoccupations with the permutations of traditional morality (""The Meek One"") and with the shadowy borderline between alienation and dementia (""Bobok,"" ""The Dream of a Ridiculous Man""). Best of all is the superb title novella, which unforgettably explores the sadomasochistic relationship between a cuckolded husband and his wife's beleaguered former lover. One of Dostoevsky's strangest and strongest works, it's a rigorous test for Pevear and Volokhonsky, but one that they pass with flying colors.