Talented actor Kenneth Branagh, most known for his film and television roles in various Shakespeare works, tears into these classic stories with relish. Weaving a tapestry of character voices, Branagh uses accents, pacing, enunciation, and seemingly boundless energy to bring these great Russian works to life. Listeners will find themselves chuckling at times and tearing up at others as Branagh dramatizes Chekhov's deceptively simple plots and characters. The prodigious Branagh is well matched to these literary explorations by the master of the short story.
Here are 11 short stories and one novella by 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".
©2002 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.; (P)2002 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.
"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)
My god, I knew Chekhov was a fantastic playwright (I particularly love The Cherry Orchard). But I hadn't read his short stories. The reader, Branagh, is just perfect -- the perfect voice for these stories. They are delightful, very interesting and enjoyable tales. You can just listen to one after another, or take them one little story at a time. Any way you do it, you're going to have an exceedingly enjoyable listening experience.
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