Like many, I suppose, I first encountered the work of Nikolai Googol while in college. I found his stories “The Nose” and “The Overcoat” entertaining, original, with some biting social commentary … exactly the sort of writing a university student might really get into.
This collection includes Gogol’s arguably three most famous short stories (“The Nose,” “Diary of a Madman,” and “The Overcoat”) as well as two other, lesser-known works. The collection is billed as ‘Essential Stories.’ Other than the first three stories (which can be found just about anywhere), I don’t know how ‘essential’ this collection is. It is, however, nice to have these stories collected and in hand for quick and easy reading.
I find that these stories, like any true classic, stand the test of time. Not only are they a great look at manners, customs, and social conventions of some 150+ years ago, the human emotions and aspects of the stories are still relevant today.
Although the main character in “The Nose” is a St. Petersburg official, and the central figure in “The Carriage” is a Russian cavalry officer, I think one could still say that the protagonists in Gogol’s stories here represent a working-class everyman. And not just the everyman of the 1800’s. Concerns about appearances; concerns about living within ones means; concerns about others … these are still thoughts that concern people today.
I really liked this collection. If anything, I’d prefer a more comprehensive collection of Gogol’s work, but for what this is, the stories, the translations, all are worth reading.
This collection contains the following:
Note on Ranks
“Diary of a Madman”
Looking for a good book? And the Earth Will Sit on the Moon, a collection of short stories by Nikolai Gogol (translated by Oliver Ready) shows why these works are classics and still worth reading.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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And the Earth Will Sit on the Moon
author: Nikolai Gogol
translator: Oliver Ready
publisher: Pushkin Press
paperback, 224 pages