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Dead Souls : A Poem by Nikolai Vasilievich…
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Dead Souls : A Poem (original 1842; edition 2004)

by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

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5,99677696 (3.96)1 / 253
Member:fe_lix_
Title:Dead Souls : A Poem
Authors:Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
Info:London : Penguin Books, 2004.
Collections:Ebook, Your library
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Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (1842)

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English (64)  Dutch (4)  French (3)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Dead Souls Gogol
★★★ .5

Dead Souls is an unfinished novel considered one of the works that gave birth to the "Russian Novel" Gogol wrote and burned the second section at least twice and attempted to destroy it before committing suicide by starvation what survived has been translated into the book I read, there should have been a part 3 but this was never written and the story ends abruptly.

Dead Souls has been compared to Don Quixote and works by Dickens and while I agree with the Dickens comparison I found this nothing like Don Quixote it was not repetitive and it did actually manage to make me smile at points.

The main character in Dead Souls is Chichikov a man bought up to be a miser and to desire wealth and influence with his work for the government he conceives a plan to make himself into a rich land owner, he will travel around Russia buying up "dead souls" from land owners under the pretence of saving them from paying taxes on those souls. Once he has enough souls he intends to mortgage them and buy himself land and real live souls (serfs)

Through Chichikovs travels around Russia we are introduced to the various type of land owners, serfs and indeed the Russian landscape, Gogol gives us an insight into feudal Russia in much the same way that Dickens shows us Dickensian England.

I enjoyed the story but with the missing parts it is hard to have a consistent understanding and the abrupt end left me disappointed I wanted to know could Chichikov be redeemed.

This book deserves its place on the list for capturing a time and place and for its contribution to the development of the Russian Novel.

( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
This is absolutely brilliant humor. Gogol is better imo than even Cervantes. I have read all of Gogol's short stories and this surpass them all. Absolute hilarity at every turn and almost everyone gets made fun of. This is absolutely on my read again list. I read the Guerney translation. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. ( )
  vanjr | Dec 24, 2015 |
I’ve read several novels by Russian authors, including Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Grossman, so I am familiar with the genre and have even been comfortable with the style and culture of the 19th century writers.

While I was moderately entertained by parts of this work, I found it somewhat slower and more difficult to engage than some of the others I’ve read. Most disturbing, however, is the fact that in several places, large chunks of the original manuscript have been lost. To be reading along and suddenly come to a gap with the statement, “several pages of the original manuscript were lost”. This, along with an ending that was very much unresolved left me very unsatisfied.

The story follows the adventures of a ne’er-do-well wanderer, Chichikov, who embarks on the project of acquiring title to deceased serfs for the purpose of pulling off his latest fraud. There are several interesting and comedic interactions between Chichikov and various estate owners. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the cons outweigh the pros in,this instance and I cannot recommend it. If you are looking for a 19th century Russian novel, read Crime and Punishment instead. ( )
  santhony | Feb 8, 2015 |
The copy I read was from Project Guttenberg and ended in mid sentence. Even without the sudden ending it should be noted that the story was anticlimactic. Most of the book is spent gathering dead souls only to have the act become pointless in the end. If other copies have a more satisfying, i.e. complete, ending I could possibly recommend this book. ( )
  labrick | Aug 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (134 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gogol, Nikolaiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gogol, Nikolaimain authorall editionsconfirmed
Eliasberg, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Güell, Josep MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kalima, JaloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacAndrew, Andrew R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magarshack, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maguire, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noordzij, GerritCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Connor, FrankForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Praag, S. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prina, SerenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prins, AaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rayfield, DonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rayfield, DonaldIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salden, HelmutTypographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skott, StaffanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmer, Charles B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wal, Theo J. van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A small, rather smart, well-sprung four-wheeled carriage with a folding top drove through the gates of an inn of the provincial town of N.; it was the sort of carriage bachelors usually drive in: retired lieutenant-colonels, majors, and landowners with about a hundred serfs - in short, all those who are described as gentlemen of the 'middling' station of life.
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This title is in public domain in the USA and the e-book is available free online.  

GUTENBERG.org is the origin for most of the human and well-edited FREE kindle editions online in various languages. Scam sites will ask for money for the hard work and titles which Gutenberg volunteers provide free. ARCHIVE.org provides a huge selection of FREE e-pub & PDF public domain titles in various languages also. (easily readable with the Free CALIBRE-ebook.com app]. Project Gutenberg is a great organization. They will never ask you for money before allowing you to download their books (though voluntary donations are welcome).   

Only SCAM SITES & CON ARTISTS will ask for money for the hard work and e-book titles which the Gutenberg volunteers provide free. Their latest bs? "You're paying for the ability to wi-fi your download." Really? So these con artists who steal Gutenberg's hard work then re-post what should be FREE e-books for sale .... rationalize it because they provide wi-fi downloads? Now that is a load of nonsense. Do you think these scammers are donating all the money back to the non-profit Gutenberg? I don't think so. Please don't patronize e-thieves or con artists. And don't let them gull you. How hard is it to plug your e-reader into your computer and do a manual download? Pretty damn easy. If you don't know how to do this, ask one of your grandkids to show you how.   

There are lots of free pre-1923 public domain kindle books on Amazon.com. [Type in 'free' and 'public domain' in the search bar.] Some current authors make their copyrighted e-books available free on Amazon and other sites also. [I would assume as a form of advertising and/or as a loss leader for a book series. Make sure to review their books as a thank you.]   

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Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679776443, Paperback)

A socially adept newcomer fluidly inserts himself into an unnamed Russian town, conquering first the drinkers, then the dignitaries. All find him amiable, estimable, agreeable. But what exactly is Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov up to?--something that will soon throw the town "into utter perplexity."

After more than a week of entertainment and "passing the time, as they say, very pleasantly," he gets down to business--heading off to call on some landowners. More pleasantries ensue before Chichikov reveals his bizarre plan. He'd like to buy the souls of peasants who have died since the last census. The first landowner looks carefully to see if he's mad, but spots no outward signs. In fact, the scheme is innovative but by no means bonkers. Even though Chichikov will be taxed on the supposed serfs, he will be able to count them as his property and gain the reputation of a gentleman owner. His first victim is happy to give up his souls for free--less tax burden for him. The second, however, knows Chichikov must be up to something, and the third has his servants rough him up. Nonetheless, he prospers.

Dead Souls is a feverish anatomy of Russian society (the book was first published in 1842) and human wiles. Its author tosses off thousands of sublime epigrams--including, "However stupid a fool's words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man," and is equally adept at yearning satire: "Where is he," Gogol interrupts the action, "who, in the native tongue of our Russian soul, could speak to us this all-powerful word: forward? who, knowing all the forces and qualities, and all the depths of our nature, could, by one magic gesture, point the Russian man towards a lofty life?" Flannery O'Connor, another writer of dark genius, declared Gogol "necessary along with the light." Though he was hardly the first to envision property as theft, his blend of comic, fantastic moralism is sui generis.--Kerry Fried

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:33 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In this comic classic of Russian literature, Chichikov, an amusing and often confused schemer, buys deceased serfs' names from landlords' poll tax lists hoping to mortgage them for profit.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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5 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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2 editions of this book were published by NYRB Classics.

Editions: 1590173678, 1590173767

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