This is a story from the In the Ravine and Other Stories collection.
Anton Chekhov, one of the finest masters of what is acknowledged as a difficult genre. There is the richly comic "Oh! The Public" about a hassled ticket inspector, a wry look at morals and manners in "The Chorus Girl", and the melancholic tale of a cab driver in "Misery".
Perhaps the finest of all is the novella "In The Ravine", a minutely observed look at life in a village through the eyes of one family. All the characters come to life with their foibles, their strengths, and their hopes. Kenneth Branagh uses his natural talent for characterisation to bring this village to life.
The other short stories in this collection are: "The Trousseau", "A Story Without a Title", "Children", "Fat and Thin", "The Beggar", "Hush!", "The Orator", and "An Actor's End".
Anton Chekhov's tragic story charts the rise and fall of Grigori Tsybukin, a grocer in a grim ravine town. Grigori earns himself a fine living when he starts selling homemade vodka, and the prosperous business allows the reputation of Tsybukin family to grow in stature. But while Grigori turns his back on his peasant neighbors, his wife engages with them through charitable endeavors, foreshadowing a long struggle between familial bonds, avarice, and town drama that will ruin Grigori. A pervasive melancholy runs through "In the Ravine", which Kenneth Branaugh beautifully portrays in a somber performance that, quietly but forcefully, aches.
"If you want an outstanding reading, in which the narrator's voice brilliantly conveys the speaker's class and the intricate relationships between characters during conversations, you can do no better than to listen to Kenneth Branagh. This great actor mesmerizes as he gasps, chuckles, stutters, and declaims. A must listen." (AudioFile)
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