on 25 October 2003
Best known for his unfinished masterpiece of novel 'Dead Souls', Gogol was a tortured writer. His short stories are brilliant and fascinating in their often surreal approach to satirizing Russian society of the mid-nineteenth century. 'The Nose' was a favourite of Shostakovich, who embarked on an operatic adaptation only to abandon it when the icy winds of Stalin's purges threatened to destroy him.
To read these stories is to gain a riveting insight into a declining society: absolutely essential reading.
The only reservation I have is that this is NOT a 'complete' collection of Gogol's Tales - it is the second of a two-volume set, the first volume of which seems to be out of print.
The book is very well produced & full of brilliance - but it is frustrating to see it on the bookshelf with its large "2" on the spine, knowing that it will remain only a portion of what it is advertised as being.