Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dead Souls” as Want to Read:
Dead Souls
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview read book* *Different edition

Dead Souls

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  33,158 ratings  ·  1,090 reviews
Dead Souls describes the gambits of a quixotic opportunist in provincial Russia who sets out to buy deceased serfs at a low cost from their owners. Chichikov requires evidence of "property," since he wishes to marry an heiress, & is able to amass the "souls" because their owners must pay taxes on them until they are officially declared dead in the rolls of the next cen ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published August 1961 by Signet Classics (first published 1842)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dead Souls, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dead Souls

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Stephen
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
...more
Vanja Antonijevic
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
...more
Erik Simon
I had long resisted reading this book because Gogol didn't finish it. But Virgil didn't finish the Aeneid, which I think ends perfectly, and Bolano didn't finish 2666, which is plenty complete for me, so I figured I'd give this thing a whirl. Besides, there's a translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky, and their translations are sublime, so it was all the more reason to read it.

My instincts were pretty right. For what is there, it is marvelous, but I sure miss what Gogol didn't have time to get to.
...more
Tej
Dec 20, 2013 Tej rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lona
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
...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
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'
...more
knig
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:

description



I now know Gogol never finished the book and that may be the reason the second half was a mess
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Riku Sayuj
Feb 13, 2012 Riku Sayuj rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...
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,
...more
Michela
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
...more
TarasProkopyuk
Не книга, а просто прелесть!

Искусство автора - редчайший шедевр! Прочитав его стало понятно почему Гоголь определил своё произведение не романом, а поэмой.

Сам сюжет настолько интересен и загадочный и забавен, что невозможно не оценить его по достоинству (кстати это благодаря Пушкину, который преподнёс идею данного сюжета Гоголю).

А неповторимое мастерство автора вдохновило этот сюжет жизнью, весельем, яркими эмоциями, задором и целым радом искусных приёмов. Не книга, а упоение. Жаль, что автору н
...more
Simona
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
...more
Erik Graff
Jun 06, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Sandra
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
...more
Alan
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
...more
Rick
Gogol’s masterpiece was never finished. Volume 1 is complete but Volume 2 has missing pages and incomplete sentences and then doesn’t so much finish as just stops. (Gogol announced it as a trilogy, completed the second volume but destroyed the manuscript, and scholars rescued the existing second volume from his papers. Some insist it was never really meant to be more than one volume, though the existence of much of a second volume draft—over 130 printed pages—suggests a rather elaborate red herr ...more
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
...more
Darwin8u
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
James
We can thank our lucky stars for writer's block, as we'd likely have set fire to the Dead Souls manuscript ourselves if Nikolai Gogol hadn't. Hadhe, overcome with religious fervor, forged ahead with his plan and complete this three-parter, separated into volumes each of crime, punishment, and redemption, and not starve himself to death,we might've had on our hands a literary misfire it seemed like he, previously so promising, wanted to unleash upon us expectant and unsuspecting masses.Fortunate ...more
Sara
My introduction to Gogol. After reading on the net how corporate life insurance was called "dead peasant's insurance" and why, I had to read this book. Selling and buying dead peasants? I was intrigued.

And amused! This book is very witty, very funny, and very insightful. It seems to me that Gogol is poking fun at the aristocrats in Russia as they are over-the-top caricatures. Social satire perhaps? I realize entire books have been written to dissect this book so I'm not going to dwell on that. I
...more
David
Only with trepidation do I give a measly 2 stars to classic books on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list. Even if I didn't particularly like the book (e.g., Steppenwolf, The Sea, Wuthering Heights, or The Kreutzer Sonata - dear God, the Kreutzer Sonata!), I'll usually give it 3 stars out of appreciation for its literary merits, its thematic depth, or the prose.

I won't deny Dead Souls has literary merit and thematic depth. It's hard for me to judge the prose since I've learned to mis
...more
Jim
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's handsome edition of Gogol's "poem" Dead Souls has been setting on my shelves since it was published in 1996. I've long been a fan of Gogol's crazed stories, but had always assumed that his novel would be a bit boring. Again, I was wrong.

Everyone knows the premise. A seedy character, Chichikov, travels about Russia buying "dead souls" – the titles to serfs who have died. Some dark satire seems intended, but as anyone who's read "The Nose" or "The Overcoat"
...more
رغد عبد الزهرة
رغم طولها استمتعت و ضحكت كثيراً مع هذه الرواية كما لم يسبق لي الا في روايتين هما جاك المؤمن بالقدر و طبعاً الدون كيشوت
رواية ذكية ، فوغول لديه عين ناقدة للمجتمع و مراقبة و روح فكاهية عالية لما يمكن تسميته السخرية الهادفة ، احببته و احببت اسلوب السرد الذي يُدخل القارئ في جو الرواية بطريقة تشبه احاديث الاصدقاء و النميية ، ممتعة و انسانية في الوقت ذاته.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Dead Souls=‭Mertvye dushi, Nikolai Gogol (1809 - 1852)
عنوان: مردگان زرخرید - رعایای مرده (بردگان مرده)؛ اثر: نیکولای گوگول (نیکولای واسیلیویچ)؛ مترجم: فریدون مجلسی، مشخصات نشر: تهران، نیلوفر، چاپ دوم 1387، در 352 ص، شابک: 9789644483844؛ کتاب از متن انگلیسی برگردانده شده، ، چاپ نخست انتشارات رسانه در سال 1379؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان روسی قرن 19 م
عنوان: نفوس مرده؛ اثر: نیکولای گوگول (نیکولای واسیلیویچ)؛ مترجم: کاظم انصاری، مشخصات نشر: ویرایش 2، تهران، نشر اندیشه، چاپ دوم 1369، در 348 ص، موضوع:
...more
James
I have to give the whole thing five stars just for chapter's 9 and 10 of the first part where the town becomes suspicious of Chichikov and institutes an inquiry. There, the narrative takes on the very funny and intense absurdism that you find in "The Cloak" or "Diary of Madman" or "The Nose." The whole Captain Kopeiken digression is fantastic as is the testimony of Nozdrev--the pathological liar. Both passages work a bit like Monty Python's Dead Parrot Sketch. The Postmaster suggests that Chichi ...more
Carl Brush
My last experience with Gogol was a dance/drama production of his “The Overcoat” presented at the American Conservatory Theater. Delicious and unforgettable. A relative talked to me about Dead

Souls, and I realized it was one of those classics I’d known about forever but had never actually read. There are a lot of those around, I fear. Nevertheless, I’m glad and proud to have finally gotten to it.

It was my son-in-law who steered me here. I was telling him about Catherine the Great, and he told
...more
Markus
Oh Nikolai, you had some clever characters developing. You made me laugh out loud like no Russian literature has done before. I told my wife that I loved Gogol.

But you made me a liar. What happened? All of the sudden, you waxed loquacious about the Russian countryside and the main character's psyche. Suddenly you were offering up major details about some minor characters troubled youth, and you went on and on and on and on.

I'm told that you burned the sequel to this book because the devil appea
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Arab librarians ك...: كتاب واحد وثلاث صفحات 8 31 Jan 09, 2015 01:39PM  
Dead Souls 8 175 Oct 20, 2014 11:30PM  
Boxall's 1001 Bo...: September {2014} Discussion -- DEAD SOULS by Nikolai Gogol 33 142 Oct 16, 2014 01:23PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book description is for different edition 3 25 Nov 03, 2013 01:29AM  
NYRB Classics: Dead Souls, by Nikolai Gogol 1 11 Oct 22, 2013 11:53AM  
NYRB Classics: October 2012: Dead Souls 28 78 Jan 18, 2013 10:50AM  
Best translation? 3 174 Aug 15, 2011 07:44AM  
  • Eugene Onegin
  • The Double and The Gambler
  • Oblomov
  • Virgin Soil
  • The Foundation Pit
  • The Golovlyov Family
  • A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays
  • The White Guard
  • The Enchanted Wanderer: Selected Tales
  • The Kreutzer Sonata
  • Petersburg
  • Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night / Come Back to Sorrento / Turn, Magic Wheel / Angels on Toast / A Time to Be Born (Library of America #126)
  • The Archidamian War
  • A Hero of Our Time
  • Life and Fate
  • The Case of Comrade Tulayev
232932
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...
The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol The Overcoat The Overcoat and Other Short Stories The Nose Village Evenings Near Dikanka / Mirgorod

Share This Book

“However stupid a fools words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man.” 101 likes
“There are occasions when a woman, no matter how weak and impotent in character she may be in comparison with a man, will yet suddenly become not only harder than any man, but even harder than anything and everything in the world.” 59 likes
More quotes…