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Dead Souls

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  41,162 Ratings  ·  1,346 Reviews
Dead Souls is eloquent on some occasions, lyrical on others, and pious and reverent elsewhere. Nicolai Gogol was a master of the spoof. The American students of today are not the only readers who have been confused by him. Russian literary history records more divergent interpretations of Gogol than perhaps of any other classic.

In a new translation of the comic classic of
Paperback, 464 pages
Published July 29th 2004 by Penguin Classics (first published 1842)
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Brent Ranalli Part 1 ends satisfyingly and logically enough (though telling only part of what is obviously a larger story). But English translations generally go on…morePart 1 ends satisfyingly and logically enough (though telling only part of what is obviously a larger story). But English translations generally go on to include what exists of Part 2, which adds new plot elements, themes, & characters and then trails off in fragments. Be warned. (less)
Brent Ranalli I thought the same thing--tantalizing and would be a good joke. But no, what is included and omitted in Part 2 appears to be simply a reflection of…moreI thought the same thing--tantalizing and would be a good joke. But no, what is included and omitted in Part 2 appears to be simply a reflection of what could be reconstructed from the author's papers.(less)
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2.0 stars. As much as I hate to say this about a book that is both a classic of Russian literature and considered one of the best satires ever written, THIS BOOK BORED ME TO DEATH!!! Okay, not quite "coffin ready" dead, but certainly bored to the point of suffering intermittent bouts of narcolepsy. I can certainly say without hyperbole that this is not a book I would recommend as an “enjoyable” experience, no matter how much Vodka you have standing by.

My assessment of the book arises DESPITE the
Vanja Antonijevic
Jan 07, 2008 Vanja Antonijevic rated it it was amazing
Gogol's "Dead Souls" is a true masterpiece. It is the only Russian novel that I have read that brings me as much deep satisfaction as Dostoevsky’s great novels. The novel is satirical, intellectual, political, and also entertaining.

The intriguing plot is sketched as follows:

A somewhat mysterious middle class man, named Chichikov, comes to a town and attempts to build prestige by impressing minor officials of the place. The man spends beyond his means in order to impress, and tries to befriend t
Dec 20, 2013 Tej rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Almost, one and a three quarters of a century ago, Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol-Yanovsky or simply, Gogol, himself lend words to the cries of dissent against the likes of him,

“Don’t we ourselves know that there’s much in life that’s contemptible and stupid? As it is, we often have occasion to see things that are far from comforting. Better that you show us what’s beautiful and distracting. Better that we should forget ourselves!”

That very arrogance and contempt has rocketed far beyond, eulogizing a
Mar 13, 2016 Jan-Maat added it
Recommends it for: For those who've enjoyed Gogol's short stories
What is this book?

I can't remember any more if Gogol described it as a Poem or an Epic, maybe it doesn't matter what he called it since he had great chunks of the manuscript fed into the fire on the advice of his religious advisor.

So we are left with part one, some bits of part two and an outline of the three part whole of the work, the rest having gone up in smoke.

What there is of the first part is generally read as a comedy. It is funny, but bear in mind that the first part is about a young ma
Sidharth Vardhan
Serfs in Russia were often referred to as souls which provides for literal meaning to the story. The symbolic meaning of title is easy to guess – people whose conscience is dead (in the story, they are mostly landlords)

The first part reads as a light satire on Russian landlords and society. The tone is of gentle humor and conversational nature (often referring to ‘reader’ and ‘author’) and makes a fast read. Almost all landlords in the book are caricatures of their personality type – and so the
Apr 30, 2014 L. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
غالباً ما يختبئ المؤلف أو الراوي خلف ستار إحدى شخصيات الرواية وتتولى تلك الشخصية بالنيابة عنه مهمة رواية الأحداث. إحساس القارئ بوجود المؤلف "فعلياً" قليل أو نادر الحدوث؛ هنا في الأنفس الميتة الوضع مختلف تماماً، الراوي خلق نوع من "النميمة" التي بطبعها تستدعي إحساس القارئ أنه جالس في جلسة مع متحدث لا تنقصه البراعة

في رسالة لبوشكين يقول غوغول: (بدأت أكتب الأنفس الميتة الموضوع امتد ليصير رواية طويلة جداً، واعتقد أنه مضحك جداً.....أحب أن أظهر في هذه الرواية جانباً واحداً على الأقل من روسيا)0

الأنفس الم
Parthiban Sekar
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? (Luke 9:25)


This is not a new story which Gogol tries to say through his not good looking, but not uncomely in appearance either, not overly fat, not overly thin Hero Chichikov whose desire takes him in pursuit of buying dead souls from landowners affected by sickness, famine, and other misfortunes which may befall any man. But, the same old story being told time and again, only in diff
Richard Derus
Apr 14, 2014 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: Dead Souls is eloquent on some occasions, lyrical on others, and pious and reverent elsewhere. Nikolai Gogol was a master of the spoof. The American students of today are not the only readers who have been confused by him. Russian literary history records more divergent interpretations of Gogol than perhaps of any other classic.

In a new translation of the comic classic of Russian literature, Chichikov, an enigmatic stranger and schemer, buys deceased serfs'
Simon A. Smith
I didn't enjoy this novel nearly as much as I enjoyed Gogol's short stories. A couple of things...

1. Several times throughout, the text breaks off and a line is inserted that reads something like, "and here there are many pages missing..." and then the story picks back up in the middle of nowhere again. I didn't know that going in and it was a little confusing.

2. The first 100 pages are very funny and highly engrossing. Starting on about 150 there begins the most monotonous passages. All the bac
Moira Russell
Was just as hilarious as I remembered, which is really saying something, since I last read Part I about twenty years ago maybe. I don't think I read Part II then; it's so sad, such a skeleton. "At once a wild phantasmagoria and a work of exacting realism" - well, I don't know how phantasmagoric it actually is, but that's about right. I do think Rayfield's translation is v questionable ("A pleasant feeling of calm invaded one's soul").

(Chichikov admiring himself in his "Navarino smoke-and-flame f
Jun 28, 2015 [P] rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bitchin
For my review of Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet I asked you to imagine that someone has given you a beautiful old watch, a gift with a catch, which is that it unfortunately does not work, is not, somehow, whole. Would you, in this situation, feel aggrieved, because the watch is not all that it could have been? Or are you happy to have it as it is, opining that you have gained something, rather than lost out, because you cannot lose something that never was [the watch had never and could ...more
Aug 28, 2015 Soycd rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-2
“Countless as the sands of sea are human passions, and not all of them are alike, and all of them, base and noble alike, are at first obedient to man and only later on become his terrible masters.”

Dead Souls follows the story of Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov, an ambitious and seemingly unscrupulous man who travels across Russia's countryside to buy dead serfs from landowners to relieve them from tax payment, making himself a wealthy man in the process.

This novel has a slow start, with Chichikov re
Maru Kun
The hero of Dead Souls, Chichikov, these days would be Fabulous Chichikov.

Sitting at his 40th floor, 200 West Street dealing desk Fabulous Chichikov’s eye would travel from screen to screen searching out deals in NINJA loans, distressed debt and CDOs squared. Debits and credits would flit in and out of his trading book as ephemeral as any Dead Soul.

Instead of a “troika suitable for bachelors”, Fabulous Chichikov would travel by Uber limousine. He would move from Manhattan steakhouse to members o
Dec 09, 2012 knig rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
OK what just happened here? First things were going splendidly and then – like Chinua Achebe says, things just fall apart. Where did the magic go? I was robbed, I tell you.

This feels exactly like one of those unfortunate cases, where Mother Nature goes on strike, having had enough of the standard conveyor belt assembly tactics, and proceeds to screw together two halves that obviously don’t fit together:


I now know Gogol never finished the book and that may be the reason the second half was a mess
Pelas alminhas...
Terminei o livro há pouco mais de uma semana e já não me lembro de quase nada. Ou estou a ficar gágá, ou Gogol não é do meu gosto.
Vamos lá fazer um esforço...

Na Rússia do século XIX, um homem, acompanhado do criado, visita casas de proprietários rurais propondo-lhes adquirir, por baixo valor, um "produto" que a ele lhe é útil e a eles só dá despesa.
Com uma galeria de personagens - composta, na sua maioria, de vigaristas, sovinas e espertalhões - que protagonizam cenas com algu
Nov 17, 2015 Mohammed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
فلنفرض أن أحدهم عرض عليك شراء شيء لا تحتاجه البتة، بل ويثقل ببعض التكاليف، لقاء مبلغ رمزي مع التزامه بدفع كل ما يتعلق بالسلعة. بدعوى التبسيط، تخيل أن أحدهم عرض عليك شراء فواتير الكهرباء الخاصة بكمع التكفل سدادها. هل ستقبل العرض دون تردد أم لن تترك الصفقة تمر دون تمحيص؟ هل ستطمع في المزيد أم ستستفسر أولاً عن وضع الحلال والحرام؟ هل ستصر على طلب التوضيح حتى وإن حال ذلك عن إتمام الصفقة، أم ستتهم المشتري في قواه العقلية؟ أياً كان موقفك فستجده مُدوناً في هذه الرواية الساخرة ببطلها الغريب (تشيتشكوف) وم ...more
Riku Sayuj
Feb 13, 2012 Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tanuj Solanki
Shelves: favorites
Why has no one turned thought to completing this in some form as a homage to the master. SO many literary works have spawned from this and yet...
Mar 20, 2016 Rasha rated it really liked it
للأدب الروسي عبقه الخاص، ففيه من الوصف الدقيق لتفاصيل التفاصيل، والإفراط في العاطفة، والغموض، والفلسلفة ما ينقل القارئ لروح روسيا.

تستفرد الرواية بفكرتها، فالبطل الغير مثالي الذي يدعى تشيتشيكوف يسعى لشراء أنفس ميتة. تتابع الأحداث والحكايات إلى أن يكشف المؤلف في أواخر الصفحات عن شخصيه تشيتشيكوف و نظرته حول الطبيعة البشرية. اتفق مع الكاتب وبإعجاب حين يرى ويصور النفس البشرية دون الفضيلة والكمال. فلا فائدة ترجى من تجميل حقائق البشر.

مما جاء في أسطر الرواية " فلم يكن بوسعي أن اختار شخصية فاضلة لبطلي. و
Panos Lettas
Το πρώτο μέρος ήταν, μπορώ να πω, πάρα πολύ καλό. Εξαιρετικά γραμμένο (Ο Γκόγκολ -αναμενόμενο- με κέρδισε, δεν έχω διαβάσει ακόμα κάτι άλλο πέρα από το «ημερολόγιο ενός τρελού»), πολύ καλή η ιστορία, σε κράταγε και διαβαζόταν εύκολα και ευχάριστα.
Στο δεύτερο μέρος, από τη μέση και μετά, είναι λίγο σαν να έχεις πάθει άνοια, λείπουν σελίδες παντού, βλέπεις ξαφνικά ονόματα και γεγονότα από το πουθενά. Οι τελευταίες σελίδες όμως είναι πραγματικά εξαιρετικές.
Κρίμα να πετάξεις ένα τέτοιο έργο στο τζάκ
Entisar Radhi
Apr 14, 2016 Entisar Radhi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
إذا كنت من محبي ديستوفسكي والأدب الروسي .. فعليك أن تقرأ للروائي الذي خرج ديستوفسكي ومن معه من عباءته .. كما قال ديستوفسكي نفسه "كلنا خرجنا من معطف غوغول" !

والد الأدب الروسي الذي يمسك بيدك كقارئ منذ بداية روايته حتى صفحته الأخيرة ويتجول معك في أسطرها .. ستجد القارئ والكاتب والبطل معا في رحلة واحدة ! ولا أبالغ إذا قلت هذه أول رواية أقرأها بهذه التقنية .. أنا المشبعة بنظرية موت المؤلف الذي أنساه ما إن أنظر لغلاف كاتبه .. وأتنفس تلك المساحات التي يتركها لك الكاتب للتأويل وسوء القراءة.. كيف سمحت له
Rambling Reader
Mar 28, 2016 Rambling Reader rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nyrb
Dec 20, 2013 Alan rated it it was amazing
I have read only fifty pages of Gogol in Russian, enough to know how hilarious he is, and to regret his conversion and attempt to destroy this great book.
"Sobakavich" alone rewards the reader with the Russian patronymic, "Son of" applied to "Sobaka," a bitch. Yet Sobakavich is the most genial of men, who refuses to sell even those of his employ who have died. His sentimental valuing of the mere memory of his dead worker is a triumph over materialism. Lovely stuff. Viva Gogol! Sobakievich is ev
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
I was a bit surprised by this. Old Russian novels usually are like long, black trains loaded with ponderous themes travelling the entire length and breadth of Russia and ending up in Siberia with all its passengers dead or dying. The title of this book itself, "Dead Souls," suggests a good halloween read. I made a grave mistake.

This is more like Huckleberry Finn, except that its principal protagonist (or "hero," as Nikolai Gogol calls him), named Chichikov, is not a young clever boy but a wily,
Feb 22, 2012 Michela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continua il mio viaggio alla scoperta della letteratura russa, sono arrivata a Gogol’ passando da Dostoevskij, ed è proprio il caso di dire meglio tardi che mai.
“Le Anime Morte” staziona nella mia libreria dal 2006 quando, mi decisi a comprarlo dietro ispirazione di un personaggio televisivo della serie ‘Gilmore Girls’.
Durante la lettura di “Delitto e Castigo” più di una volta si è fatto riferimento a Gogol’, cosi che non ho potuto far altro che pensare fosse un segno, un indizio, per la mia pr
Dec 03, 2015 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps due to the title, "Dead Souls" was very different from what I thought it would be. It's not gloomy or ponderous at all, but funny and satirical. It's also written in an engaging style.

It has a lot to say to and about 19th century Russia -- and to human nature in general. Because Gogol never finished it, it ends up being a picaresque novel with hints of things to come. Gogol himself seemed to have changed quite a bit (though he denied it) after writing the part that was published, and it
Erik Graff
Jun 06, 2014 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Russian lit fans
Recommended to Erik by: Ed Erickson
Shelves: literature
By the last two years of high school many of my friends were older fellows already in college. Most were poorer than the average Maine South student, so their colleges weren't far away. As a consequence, I was afforded opportunites to visit and sometimes stay at Roosevelt University, Loyola University, Kendall College, Oakton Community College, the University of Illinois (Chicago and Champaign), the University of Chicago, Oxford University etc.--a practice continued, reciprocally now, when I mat ...more
Oct 25, 2012 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aere-perennius, 2012
An absurd and brilliant satire. To think I avoided reading this novel for years because I thought it was going to be depressing. Ha! Dead Souls reminded me in many ways of the Odyssey + Don Quixote written by Mark Twain in a Russian prose poem. Gogol captures the absurdity of the mid-19th century Russia. Included in Gogol's satire/farce is an absurd and brilliant look at the corruption of the government, the stratification of society, the pretentiousness of the Russian middle-class, etc. Anyway, ...more
Jan 18, 2015 Simona rated it liked it
Può un romanzo che sogni di leggere da molto, troppo tempo non corrispondere alle tue aspettative? Sì, se si sta parlando de "Le anime morte" di Gogol'.
Non facile, ostico, di difficile comprensione, non solo per lo stile, ma anche per la storia narrata.
Bellissime le descrizioni della Russia, una Russia diversa da quella che si è soliti immaginare, una Russia di desolazione, di solitudine, di scompiglio, una Russia abitata da personaggi di cui Gogol' dipinge virtù e difetti in un caleidoscopio
Aug 01, 2015 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russia, classicissimi
Gogol è stato definito da Tolstoj “il Balzac russo”: “Anime morte” può essere definito un viaggio allegorico nell’umanità, una commedia umana ambientata in Russia, un viaggio realistico e visionario insieme, umoristico e divertente con un retrogusto amaro. Purtroppo ci sono rimasti solo il primo libro, un capolavoro, e il secondo libro mancante di diverse parti, anch’esso molto bello, specie nel finale.
Mi sono divertita molto lungo la strada, ho viaggiato a fianco di Pavel Ivanovic Cicikov , un
Aleksandar Janjic
Прво да нагласим очигледно - наравно да нисам читао књигу на руском (мада исти планирам да научим, из чистог патриотизма), али на Гудридсу нема издање које сам ја читао, па сам онда у недоумици које да изаберем ставио ово.

Нажалост, ово издање има врло опширан поговор у коме је све претресено са таквом детаљношћу да се поставља питање шта ту уопште може да се дода, а нарочито шта може да дода неко ко је потпуни дудук за лијепу књижевност и ко је из тога увијек имао лоше оцјене јер никад ништа ниј
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Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Николай Васильевич Гоголь) was born in the Ukrainian Cossack village of Sorochyntsi, in Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire, present-day Ukraine. His mother was a descendant of Polish nobility. His father Vasily Gogol-Yanovsky, a descendant of Ukrainian Cossacks, belonged to the petty gentry, wrote poetry in Russian and Ukrainian, and was an amateur Ukrainian-langu ...more
More about Nikolai Gogol...

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“However stupid a fools words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man.” 145 likes
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