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Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
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Dead Souls (original 1842; edition 2011)

by Nikolai Gogol

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5,389None804 (3.96)214
Member:LSTEPH1967
Title:Dead Souls
Authors:Nikolai Gogol
Info:Empire Books (2011), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Unfinished
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Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (1842)

1001 (35) 1001 books (33) 19th century (229) 19th century literature (25) classic (109) classic fiction (17) classics (110) ebook (22) Everyman's Library (17) fiction (686) Gogol (49) humor (35) literature (204) Nikolai Gogol (18) novel (210) own (24) paperback (19) Penguin Classics (20) read (48) Roman (43) Russia (274) Russian (299) Russian fiction (60) Russian literature (417) satire (98) serfs (17) to-read (116) translated (17) translation (59) unread (41)
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English (55)  French (3)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
My reading history divides neatly along a pre-Gogol/post-Gogol line; this was the book that did it for me. ( )
  mattresslessness | Feb 4, 2014 |
נפשות מתות הוא מסוג הספרים שאפשר להבין למה נחשבים ​גדולים אבל בקריאה ההנאה לא תמיד מלאה. מבט פנורמי א​ירוני וחודר לחוליי רוסיה ותאור נפלא של טיפוסים משו​נים ואופיניים אבל העלילה זזה לאט והחזרות מרובות.​ ( )
  amoskovacs | Feb 1, 2014 |
Just like Tolstoy, Gogol seems to revel in torturing the reader with agrarian strategies, but the book is punctuated with so many wicked asides and hilarious vignettes - the drafts cheat was my favourite - that I ploughed ahead and finally managed to finish it. Unlike Gogol. ( )
  alexrichman | Jan 22, 2014 |
I was so much fun! Maybe it was not the best translation, but it still managed to put across the author's style.
I felt like Chichikov was the Russian Sutpen, but more confident and calmed.
Normally stories begin telling the hero's life, but this one ended with it.
Schade dass the author burnt the second part. ( )
  Kirmuriel | Sep 19, 2013 |
I loved this book, especially the end, for some reason. This book creates an inimitable atmosphere. ( )
  RamzArtso | Sep 15, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (144 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gogol, Nikolaiprimary 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, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Praag, S. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rayfield, DonaldIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rayfield, DonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salden, HelmutTypographersecondary 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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:58 -0400)

(see all 6 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)

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