Gogol's great comic masterpiece paints an hilariously satirical picture of provincial life in 19th century Russia. Its publication in 1847 not only provided inspiration for succeeding generations of Russian writers, but fanned the already flickering flames of social discontent which were eventually to flare up and consume Russia in the revolution of 1917.
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"Some contend that this novel, one of Gogol's defining works, was a precursor to Joseph Heller's great satirical novel Catch 22. The irony in both runs deep, wide, and circularly; in Gogol's case, we find an early example of the antihero, Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov, who purchases the souls of dead Russian peasants to further his soulless career. This criminally minded social climber has left the world of corrupt bureaucracy to fleece the self-same bureaucracy in a hilarious fable of small minds in nineteenth-century rural Russia. Gordon Griffin does a marvelous, plummy job of bringing Dead Souls through a glass, darkly." (AudioFile)
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