Jimmy's Reviews > The Collected Tales

The Collected Tales by Nikolai Gogol
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Feb 06, 10

bookshelves: russia, male, short-stories, and-a-half-stars, year-1850s
Read in February, 2010

There's not a bad story in this batch! But I especially loved "Nevsky Prospect" and "The Story of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich". These are long stories, but they are cozy and full-of-life stories that I want to read out loud by a campfire. Nobody alternates between the absurdly comical and the frightfully chilling like Gogol. The first half (Ukrainian Tales) tells more stories that are mystical in nature, sounding sometimes like folktales, dealing with witches and devils. The second half (Petersburg Tales) have some of that as well, but more surreal unexplained occurrences (like "The Nose") and other oddities. Gogol makes hilarious observations about his characters and their hypocrisies. He also inserts his own (or his persona's) storyteller voice in almost every story, wedging himself inside of them (sometimes the narrator's voice adds a whole new dimension to the basic story) would hardly work for any other writer but Gogol is not just any other writer. Ah, but before we go on, we should first acquaint the reader somewhat with this remarkable character, Nikolai Gogol...
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