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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The genesis of Russian literature
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...
Published on 31 Dec. 2005 by Depressaholic

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3.0 out of 5 stars It's funny in a sarcastic way
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
Published on 28 Mar. 2013 by LMas


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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The genesis of Russian literature, 31 Dec. 2005
This review is from: The Overcoat and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) (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. It is beautifully written, combining black humour with savage social commentary.
Gogol’s short stories were all very easy to read. They deal with serious and saddening issues, but are shot through with humour and wry observation. Like many nineteenth century Russian authors he was chronicalling the effects of massive social upheaval that had created new and bewildering class distinctions that were deep running but built on superficialities of dress and manner. His stories are very human, focussing on well-realised and recognisable characters. I enjoyed this collection a lot, and think that a lot of other readers will as well.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a valuable introduction to gogol, 21 May 2004
This review is from: The Overcoat and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story, 2 Aug. 2005
This review is from: The Overcoat and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) (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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3.0 out of 5 stars It's funny in a sarcastic way, 28 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Overcoat and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars lovely reading, 26 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Overcoat and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
An interesting insight into past worlds, some very strange things went on in this mans' head, well worth a read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab stories, 5 April 2013
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This review is from: The Overcoat and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
I bought this book after listening to a good read on radio 4 and was very happy with it - thanks
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5.0 out of 5 stars delivered on time, 30 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Overcoat and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
A great book, delivered on time
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting, 29 April 2014
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Detailed description of characters which at times was a little tiresome as I like to fill in the gaps myself.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good soporofic, 8 July 2013
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The stories are quite good, but the writing is turgid. I finish most books I start, but not this one!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 18 July 2014
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This review is from: The Overcoat and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
Not as good as I thought it would be, feels dated and some stories were just boring
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The Overcoat and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Overcoat and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) by Nikolai Gogol (Paperback - 2 Jan. 2000)
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