The highly acclaimed actor Kenneth Branagh creates a dreamlike experience with his performance of Russian playwright and author Anton Chekhov’s short work, "A Story Without a Title". A charismatic sinner with a subversive message turns up at an isolated monastery. His message inspires the Father Superior to venture out and save the citizens from their sins. In turn, his report on the charms of the Devil he has witnessed seduces his brethren to see for themselves, leaving him as the monastery’s lone inhabitant in this captivating selection from the In the Ravine and Other Stories collection of stories.
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".
I bought this story only to try out some Chekhov before splurging with a credit on the full volume, In The Ravine and Other Stories, from which this selection is extracted. From what I gather from talking to true Chekhov aficionados, these are not necessarily Chekhov's very best (or even best-known) stories, but In the Ravine is a must-read from this classic author (who was also a doctor who took in any patient who came to him during a cholera epidemic; he was apparently not just an extraordinary writer and thinker but also an extraordinary human being).
The story is wonderful; my husband and I both burst out laughing at the surprising and refreshing conclusion. And NO ONE could possibly do a better job interpreting the nuances of Chekhov's story than Kenneth Branaugh. What an amazing narrator he is...not that this will come as a shock to anyone!
I have now purchased the larger volume of stories, In the Ravine, and cannot wait to begin listening to them!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
It does not get much better than the marvelous Chekhov read by as fine an actor as Branagh. The ending of this Chekhov story is not my favorite, but I think many will appreciate the humor.