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".
Distinguished film and stage actor Kenneth Branagh, renowned for his many adaptions of Shakespeare’s works, brings a cinematic flair and an unhinged intensity to Anton Chekhov’s incisive, caustic takedown of Russian bureaucracy, which pits Podtyagin, an internally conflicted train ticket collector with a propensity for the occasional drink, against a disabled and ticket-less passenger unwilling to comply with Podtyagin’s fervent demands.
Branagh’s pitch-perfect, nuanced performance masterfully captures Ptoygin’s mini existential crisis as well as the lacerating irony of Chekhov’s prose in this short but captivating listen.
"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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