Dead Souls

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Overview

Since its publication in 1842, Dead Souls has been celebrated as a supremely realistic portrait of provincial Russian life and as a splendidly exaggerated tale; as a paean to the Russian spirit and as a remorseless satire of imperial Russian venality, vulgarity, and pomp. As Gogol's wily antihero, Chichikov, combs the back country wheeling and dealing for "dead souls" - deceased serfs who still represent money to anyone sharp enough to trade in them - we are introduced to a Dickensian cast of peasants, ...
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Dead Souls (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

Since its publication in 1842, Dead Souls has been celebrated as a supremely realistic portrait of provincial Russian life and as a splendidly exaggerated tale; as a paean to the Russian spirit and as a remorseless satire of imperial Russian venality, vulgarity, and pomp. As Gogol's wily antihero, Chichikov, combs the back country wheeling and dealing for "dead souls" - deceased serfs who still represent money to anyone sharp enough to trade in them - we are introduced to a Dickensian cast of peasants, landowners, and conniving petty officials, few of whom can resist the seductive illogic of Chichikov's proposition. This lively, idiomatic English version by the award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky makes accessible the full extent of the novel's lyricism, sulphurous humor, and delight in human oddity and error.

From the award-winning translators of The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment comes a magnificent new translation of Gogol's final masterpiece. For the first time, Chichikov, Gogol's trafficker in "souls" (peasants who can be bought, sold, and mortgaged by landowers) is brought to life in an English edition that captures the writer's virtually comic and lyrical style.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Admired not only for its enduring comic portraits but also for its sense of moral purpose." ---Meriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789626342848
  • Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2002
  • Format: CD
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852), a Russian novelist, humorist, and dramatist, is the author of the novels Dead Souls and Taras Bul'ba, the play The Inspector-General, and the short stories "Diary of a Madman," "The Nose," and "The Overcoat."

Arthur Morey has recorded over two hundred audiobooks in history, fiction, science, business, and religion, earning a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards and two Audie Award nominations. His plays and songs have been produced in New York, Chicago, and Milan, where he has also performed.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 16, 2009

    You have to really like Russian literature. This was not a pleasure read for me. Felt like a college assignment. What was shocking during Gogol's time is commonplace today.

    This was a book club selection and only one person, out of 5, finished the book. To be fair, I only made it half way through. Although supposedly a newer, more engaging translation, I had a copy translated by Larissa Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear, it still read like dry Russian literature. The characters are all caricatures and blatantly so (note that this is the point of the book). The excessive detail is interesting if you are studying the period, but otherwise tedious.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Classic, but..

    This is a great classic novel, but there are sizeable gaps in the plot, due to the authors burning of sections of the story. So you sort of feel left out of the loop and wish there was more. Gogol has a good style and his hero is an enjoyable ruffian.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2009

    A Wonderfully Written Novel and Social Critique

    Nikolai Gogol's "Dead Souls" is a unique, often humurous, often macabre novel. As a whole, it is unusually not uniform, beginning as an amusing, simple tale, growing into a brilliant critique of Gogol's generation and, really, every generation afterwards, and climaxing as the author elegantly bemoans his country's state and teaches valuable lessons through his characters' dialogue. The original manuscript of "Dead Souls" is missing many considerable sections of Part II, but this does not diminish the story. Although I'm sure that the missing writings were masterfully done and it is unfortunate that they're lost, "Dead Souls" loses none of its poignance or merit because of them. I absolutely recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2003

    Humorous and Interesting

    The book gave me an insight into 19th century Russian life and how serfs were treated by the nobility. The author also points out personality characteristics which are present in most people even now. I just wish that more info was given about the citizens of the town of N later in the novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2001

    Great book, but no ending

    A little more than halfway through this book, there's a line so funny, I gaurantee you'll laugh aloud when you come across it. I'm also sure you'll enjoy the entire book. You might think it's a serious book by reading the title 'Dead Souls,' but really it's not--it's funny. It's not all laughs though either. Near the end Gogol does get serious, and I wanted so much to hear him through, but his book is cut short! The most important part is taken away! But despite not having an ending, I still feel 'Dead Souls' is great and more than worth your while.

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