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Here are twelve short stories by Anton Chekhov, one of the finest masters of what is acknowledged to be 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.