13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Very enjoyable collection,
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This review is from: Gogol Collected Tales (Hardcover)
This book consists of two parts. Part 1 ("Ukrainian Tales") has seven short stories which were selected by the translators from the "Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka" (1831-32) and "Mirgorod" (1835). These are folk tales in a rather weird world of witches, proud Cossacks, devils and magic spells. Gogol apparently based these stories mainly on the tales told by his Ukrainian mother.
Part 2 ("Petersburg Tales") has six well-known short stories. I particularly like "Nevsky Prospect". The atmospheric descriptions of St. Petersburg (where Gogol worked as an official for a while) are very good. "The Overcoat" and "The Nose" are fantastical tales, while "The Diary of a Madman" is rather disturbing.
The translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (a husband and wife team) is excellent. It brings out the author's wit and humour, while the characters in the stories vividly come to life. There are extensive notes which are of great help to the reader. I whole-heartedly recommend this book (a good hardcover edition). (Granta Books also publishes exactly the same version in a paperback edition.)
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Initial post: 28 Jul 2013 23:30:41 BDT
G. Williams says:
I wonder how the "Ukrainian tales" compare in quality to the "St Petersburg Tales" which I have and are just some of the greatest short stories ever? But I will probably have bought the book before I get a reply....
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