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The Overcoat and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – 2 Jan 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; New edition edition (2 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486270572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486270579
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 13.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Depressaholic on 31 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Gogol’s short stories are often, along with Lermontov, quoted as being the genesis of modern Russian writing. Later writers, such as Dostoevsky and Turgenev cited Gogol, and the essay ‘The Overcoat’ in particular, as major influences on their writing.
This collection includes four short stories written between 1835 and 1842. The first (‘Old-Fashioned Farmers’) is a beautiful and touching portrait of an elderly pair of landowners sharing their old age and approaching death. Their understated love and mutual reliance after years of partnership are heartrendingly captured. The second story concerns a quarrel between two firm friends, which is matched in its intensity only by its pettiness. This is a comic story, but is simultaneously a swipe at human nature. The pointlessness and absurdity of the loss of friendship is well conveyed, as is Gogol’s contempt for the dullness of lives blighted by petty thoughts and actions. The third story (‘The Nose’) has, I have to confess, got me completely bewildered. I have read it twice, but still don’t have a clue what it is all about. Suffice to say that the story involve a man’s nose becoming detached, starts attaining social status and attending society functions before being arrested and returned to its rightful owner. The final story (‘The Overcoat’) is widely considered the classic of this collection. It is about a lowly clerk whose purchase of a new overcoat leads to his elevation in life, and the theft of which returns him to his previous status of being ignored and overlooked. It is a funny yet sad attack on the superficiality of Russian life, where an overcoat attains more importance than its wearer.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By jo on 21 May 2004
Format: Paperback
This volume contains some of Gogol's best known works. The Overcoat being the most notable. His original style of irreverent detail and irony make this work a masterpiece. Often interpreted by Soviet critics as a work of social sympathy but in reality a grotesque play with words and values. He portrays a world like our own but not quite through his varied style and innovative prose. He parodies the imperial bureaucracy whilst warning of the danger of desiring something too much.
This edition is a good price but you may find other translations to be a little more readable and to convey Gogol's style more effectively.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sergey Vasilev on 2 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
Two Russian short stories captured my heart. I am talking about THE OVERCOAT and WARD No6. The overriding thing about this book is that it stirs the humanity in the read so that one starts having a different outlook to the unfortunate people in society. Gogol is very descriptive in the story and weaved a simple plot ,pitiful hero and other rich characters. Also, the story is poetic and flows smoothly. I also enjoyed reading UNION MOUJIK, THE RUSSIAN MASTER, and THE CHERRY ORCHARD. These are stories that once you start reading them, you won't want to stop until you finish them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a non-typical Russian literature. Gogol is very clever and sarcastic, and describes Russia well in those days, not much far off today's Russia actually, especially in the provinces
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By G Dickeson on 26 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting insight into past worlds, some very strange things went on in this mans' head, well worth a read
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