A new translation of some of the stories of one of Russia's greatest writers showcases his vivid, haunting imagination: an encounter with evil in a darkened church, a downtrodden clerk who dreams only of a new overcoat, and a nose that falls off a face and reappears around town on its own.
Fusso has done an excellent job with some of Gogol’s stories ... Fusso’s ear for humor makes all the difference. Everywhere Gogol describes a world of incandescent inanity. Things may look fascinating, variegated, and endlessly interesting, as the narrators of his stories sometimes suggest at their beginnings, but by the end the world’s metaphysical boredom shines through ... Gogol creates conversations so insipid as to achieve a kind of negative sublimity.
... no gloomy tales are these: while they deal in subjects including witchcraft, demonic influence, and madness, Gogol’s stories are as humorous as they are bizarre. They often mock those in power, especially those who allow a small amount of power to go to their head ... The book’s endnotes elaborate on cultural specifics and untranslatable jokes. This makes the book perfect for learning about Gogol’s subject cultures and time periods. Filled with unusual stories with hidden meanings, The Nose and Other Stories is filled with ill-fated characters, strange happenings, and satirical commentary.
[Fusso] acquits herself admirably in this collection, which brings out Gogol’s playfulness and eccentricity ... An added virtue of this first-rate collection is the inclusion of 'Rome,' a long story not often anthologized, in which the plot is thin but the imagery extraordinary ... Admirers of Gogol and his odd sensibilities will devour this excellent gathering.