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  ·  Rating details ·  47,693 Ratings  ·  1,617 Reviews
A novel written by Nikolai Gogol, first published in 1842. Widely regarded as 19th century literature. Gogol himself saw his novel as an "epic poem in prose" and within the book as a "novel in verse".
Published February 8th 2011 by SAP (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.

Popular Answered Questions

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Nikólai Gógol es considerado uno de los padres de la literatura rusa junto con el eterno Alexandr Pushkin. Es gracias a ellos que Rusia fue conocida a nivel literario en toda Europa. Gógol, originario de la “pequeña Rusia” como se denominaba a Ucrania en los tiempos de los zares fue el pionero de la literatura moderna, además de perfeccionar junto con Pushkin la manera de escribir, así también como dar a conocer a Rusia al lector común, además de los estratos literarios más sofisticados. Luego d ...more
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
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
Aug 18, 2011 added it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian-roulette

Οι "Νεκρές Ψυχές" είναι ένα τόσο ρεαλιστικό βιβλίο που ίσως να αγγίζει τα όρια του τρομακτικού. Αθεράπευτα επίκαιρο πόσο μάλλον για την Ελλάδα του 2017 και ο νοών νοείτο... Δεν νομίζω ότι χρειάζονται συστάσεις για το βιβλίο καθώς όντας κλασικό  η υπόθεση του είναι γνωστή.

Η πένα του Γκόγκολ είναι από τις πιο αγαπημένες μου. Καυτηριάζει, ειρωνεύεται και δεν αφήνει τίποτα μα τίποτα ασχολίαστο! Σου πετάει την ασχήμια της ρωσικής κοινωνίας στο πρόσωπο και εσύ δεν έχεις παρά να γελάσ
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، این داستان که یکی از آثارِ بینظیر در ادبیات کلاسیک و ادبیات روس است، از دو جلد و 348 صفحه تشکیل شده است که جلد اول شاملِ 11 فصل و جلدِ دوم شاملِ 5 فصل میباشد
داستان در موردِ مردی به نامِ «ایوان ایوانوییچ چیچیکوف» است که به صورتِ مسافر و مهمان به سراغِ مالکان و زمین دارانِ بزرگ رفته و پس از ورودش با چاپلوسی و تملق خودش را در دلِ زمین داران و اشخاصِ معروف و مقاماتِ دولتی، جا میکند و سپس پیشنهاد جالب توجه و عجیبی به آنها میدهد... این پیشنهاد از این قرار است: تقریباً هر ده سال به ده
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Russians who own gold chains
Shelves: 2016
Here's a Russian douchebag.

This is called poshlust, an untranslatable word referring to a kind of banal tackiness special to Russia. Here's another Russian douchebag:

The stereotype goes all the way back to 1842 and Gogol's great antihero dandy grifter Chichikov, with his Navarino smoke-and-flame silk frock coat and his violet-scented snuffbox, and according to Nabokov poshlust is the great theme of this book, a definition of an essential theme of Russian character.


That's not what Gogol
Amr Mohamed

انا طلعت ظلمت كل الأسماء يا جماعة سارماجو خلي البطل كان بيكلم السقف وكنت زعلان..عمنا غوغول هنا بيوصف كل حاجة وفتفوتة فى الرواية يعني يوصف البيت حته حته ركن ركن بالخدامين بالسقف بالحيطان بالعواميد بكله ... ويوصف الابطال وهدومهم وبيجامة البطل وبعدين بقي يقولك مثلا البطل ده او الكمر ده في الحيطة بيفكرني بأله موسيقية ثانية واحدة اوصفلكم الألة الموسيقية يا دين النبي يابا احكي واخلص..

وشوية السواق بتاعه بيوصف ويرغي مع تلات حصنة واحد اسمه الارقط والتاني الاوسط والتالت اسمه كدا الحصان القريب ويعرف بالمست

As precedent#1 goes around shouting "I see dead people", it seems a great time to re-engage with this.

This is an unfinished novel, however do not let that put you off, nosiree! This visit is via Librivox/youtube

Wiki description: Dead Souls (Russian: Мёртвые души, Myórtvyjye dúshi) is a novel by Nikolai Gogol, first published in 1842, and widely regarded as an exemplar of 19th-century Russian literature. The purpose of the novel was to demonstrate the flaws and faults of the Russian mentality and
Maria Espadinha
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insatisfação Degenerada

"Almas Mortas" é uma crítica caricatural quer da sociedade excessivamente burocratizada da época, quer da ambição humana.
Quanto a mim, a necessidade compulsiva de Tchíchikov acumular almas mortas é uma caricatura da ambição material desmedida.
A natural insatisfação humana, nem sempre escolhe os alvos mais indicados para se manifestar!
Quando assim é, embarca num ciclo de acumulação infindável, pois as escolhas efectuadas não proporcionam a satisfação almejada!
Julgo ser este
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
Sep 15, 2011 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
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ο μανιώδης αγοραστής νεκρών ψυχών κουβαλούσε κι ίδιος μέσα του μια νεκρή ψυχή, ίσως ο πραγματικός λόγος που αγόραζε νεκρές ψυχές να ήταν, επειδή, ήθελε να βασιλεύει σε μια αυλή νεκρών ψυχών.
Richard Derus
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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'
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
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
فهد الفهد
الأنفس الميتة

مات غوغول وقد أحرق الجزء الثاني من هذه الرواية، ومن سيقرأ سيرته سيقول: حسناً فعل!! فقد سيطرت على غوغول روح دينية في آخر أيامه، كما أثر فيه النقد الذي كان يكيله له الجميع، سواء كانوا من تيار السلافيين – الذي يريد الحفاظ على روسيا كما هي – أو الأوروبيين – الذين يريدون تغيير روسيا لتلحق بأوروبا -، فلذا قرر جعل الجزء الثاني تمجيداً وتبجيلاً للروح والمجتمع الروسي الذي تفنن في الجزء الأول في إظهار عيوبه وشخصياته الطريفة، ولكن الحصيلة كانت باهتة، فلذا أحرق المخطوطة ولم يفرغ منها بعد.

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. Had he, 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. Fortuna ...more
3.5 stars.

I had my reservations about reading Dead Souls for years - the synopsis never had me sold really, but I know a couple of people who profess that this is one of their favourite books of all time, if not their number one favourite. So I finally picked this up on a buddy read, and I'm really glad I did!

The story follows Chichikov, the anti-hero of the story, who attempts to cheat the system by buying up important landowner's 'dead souls', in order to make money off the government. And of
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-read
De eerste 100 pagina's waren zeker aangenaam om te lezen door de spot die Gogol drijft met alles en iedereen die Tchitchikov op zijn zoektocht ontmoet. Maar op een bepaald moment wil je toch een inkijkje krijgen in het karakter en de echte drijfveren van de hoofdpersoon. Pas op de laatste bladzijden kom je wat te weten over het doel van al die opgekochte zielen, maar de persoon Tchitchikov blijft een schimmig personage en wordt nooit interessant.
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, humor, classics
what a great book, there are no amount of stars in this universe that would give this book justice, i am so glad i have had a pleasure of really treasuring the gift of this masterpiece in my 40's. there are advantages of being a bad student during the Soviet School era in the eighties. minimum amount of brainwashing.
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
دویست سال پیش وسط روسیه تزاری نشسته باشی و رمان بنویسی، اون وقت به گردو های مبارکت هم نباشه که یه نفر یکی دو قرن بعد، اون هم این سر دنیا، یه روز نفوس مرده ات رو بخونه و بهت زده خیره ی متن بمونه از بس که تازه اس و ملموس. ساختار بوروکراتیک، نفوذ قدرت و چکمه بوسی، جایگاه های اجتماعی و کاسه لیسی، حرافی های خاله زنکی و خساست های ایام پیری، همه و همه شاید به اندازه ی رمان های تولستوی به خورد روایت داده نشده باشن و در حد توصیف باقی مونده باشن؛ اما این توصیف ها اون قدر دقیق و گزارش گونه هستن که چاره ای ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Catching up on Cl...: Dead Souls - SPOILERS 26 61 Jul 01, 2017 01:48PM  
Catching up on Cl...: Dead Souls - NO spoilers 84 113 May 22, 2017 03:23AM  
  • Sketches from a Hunter's Album
  • The Foundation Pit
  • The Golovlyov Family
  • The Queen of Spades and Other Stories
  • The Petty Demon
  • The Enchanted Wanderer: Selected Tales
  • Moscow to the End of the Line
  • The White Guard
  • Oblomov
  • Demons
  • A Hero of Our Time
  • Golden Calf
  • Life and Fate
  • A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays
  • Petersburg
  • Red Cavalry
  • Envy
  • Summer in Baden-Baden
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...

Share This Book

“However stupid a fool's words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man.” 168 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.” 109 likes
More quotes…