Dead Souls Author:Nikolai Gogol 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 and is able to amass the "souls" because their owners must pay taxes on them until they are officially declared dead in... more » the rolls of the next census. An affable and personable business man, he is wined and dined in luxurious mansions and humble crofts, proclaimed a man of standing, and thought to be odd and delightful. Gogol's panorama of fraudulence is lasting allegory and aligns him with Swift, Voltaire, Balzac, and Dickens as one of the world's arch-satirists.
"Dead Souls provides an attentive reader with...that Gogolian gusto and wealth of weird detail which lift the whole thing to the level of a tremendous epic poem..."