Customer Reviews


3 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead Souls, 15 May 2007
By 
D. Stephenson (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Souls (Everyman's Library Classics) (Hardcover)
Volume 1 of Dead Souls was published in Russia to immediate acclaim in 1842 when Gogol was 33 years old. Volume 2 remained incomplete on his death in 1852. Therefore there is no final resolution, and what exists of Volume 2 (while enjoyable) is fragmentary.

The basic "plot" is summarised in the Amazon synopsis. It consists of the adventures of Chichikov as he tries to buy up his "dead souls". The humour lies in the widely different characters he encounters and their responses to him. We do not find out Chichikov'a own history and what he is up to until the last chapter of Volume 1.

Gogol casts a cynical eye over Russian society. Not one of his characters comes out well and it is hard to like any of them. The humour is essentially satire and how funny you find the novel will depend on your taste. It has a historic interest - although presumably the widescale corruption and deceit portrayed is a caricature rather than a portrait.

Translation is a difficult art. I have no means of judging how well it has been done. However I missed the strong sense of the author's humanity that runs through Gogol's short stories.

The Everyman edition is the usual beautufully (for the price) produced hardback, bound in cloth with an attractive paper jacket and printed in Bembo. It contains a helpful short introduction, a bibliography, a chronology to help place the novel aginst world events, a Translators' Note, Volumes 1 and 2 of the novel and Notes on the text. Reading the short Translators' Note before the novels is a must if you want to understand the relevance of key English words used.

It would have helped to have had a summary of the different grades of nobility and public service in Imperial Russia as an understanding of relative social rank is important at points of the story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing translators, 7 Mar 2011
By 
C. Skillen - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Souls (Everyman's Library Classics) (Hardcover)
The Peaver/Volokhonsky translation is so good... It's like when you finally get a radio tuned just perfectly to a station and all the static falls away leaving the pure sound. So many other translations let you strain to hear the station through the static noise, but Peaver/Volokhonsky take it to a new level. I left my copy of this translation at work over the weekend and decided to read on with an older, though also respectable, translation I had at home. If I had never come across Peaver and Volokhonsky, I would have been happy with the other translation, but the comparison was striking. Fresh, clean, clear. Gogol's wit and playfulness, so dominant in the Russian original somehow manage to shine through even into the English. I can't recommend the Everyman's edition highly enough - stunning translation in a physically beautiful book, at a bargain price (2010 price - well under []).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chichikov's muzhiks, 1 Feb 2012
This review is from: Dead Souls (Hardcover)
"Dead Souls," by Gogol, is the greatest humourous novel in the Russian language! Probably,
the most popular book in Russia. Published in 1842, it has been entertaining a wide audience
ever since.

It is the story of a man's adventures in 'old' Russia and it has a deeper human appeal than
many other Russian books written subsequently. Bernard Gilbert Guerney's translation of 1942
was autographed for me many years ago. Coming from a master of Russian and English, like
Vladimir Nabokov, "an extraordinarily fine piece of work" (the translation) made me cherish
my copy of the book in English.

I have been meaning to review 'Dead Souls' translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky for some years. Their fine translations from many writers are truly excellent.
Theirs has certainly become the definitive edition!

Greatly recommended!

Dag Stomberg
St Andrews, Scotland
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Dead Souls (Everyman's Library Classics)
Dead Souls (Everyman's Library Classics) by Nikolai Gogol (Hardcover - 2 Sep 2004)
9.51
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews