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The Return of the Chorb is a short story written by Vladimir Nabokov was read by David Tennant as part of BBC Radio 3's Twenty Minute series. It was broadcast on March 19, 2004 at 8:20 pm.

Synopsis: A municipal German opera house is the backdrop for a sublimely awkward evening, in this atmospheric tale of love and loss.  Aging German couple the Kellers are forced to confront some unexpected news, when their son-in-law Chorb returns.

The Guardian (Manchester) - March 19, 2004 - Phil Daoust

Friday Radio: Pick of the day

"In a lane at the corner of the municipal opera house there was an old three-storeyed hotel of a disreputable type, with rooms that were by the week or by the hour. A pale but jaunty lackey led Chorb down a crooked corridor reeking of dampness and boiled cabbage into a room that Chorb recognised by the picture of a pink baigneuse in a gilt frame over the bed as the very one in which he and his wife had spent their first night together.

Everything amused her then: the fat man in his shirtsleeves who was vomiting right in the passage; and the fact of their having chosen by chance such a beastly hotel; and the presence of a lovely blonde hair in the wash-basin."

Today's Twenty Minutes is a masterpiece of melancholy, Vladimir Nabokov's story The Return of Chorb. Chorb's wife has died during their honeymoon, and now he must break the news to his in-laws.

Don't miss David Tennant's beautifully understated reading.

Also selected as the Radio Choice in The Observer, March 14, 2004. 

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