The classic satire of greed, corruption, and paranoia in czarist Russia
In a small Russian town, the rich wield the power of the gods over their serfs, who remain enslaved even in death. Life is turned upside down with the arrival of Chichikov, a mysterious gentleman who wants to buy the rights to these useless “dead souls.” What is this strange traveler up to? Is he mad, or does he know something the townspeople don’t?
As Chichikov visits local landowners, rumors swirl; some even claim he might be Napoleon in disguise. But avarice is an even more powerful instinct than suspicion in this depraved society, and soon Chichikov owns more than four hundred deceased serfs—what he plans to do with them, no one can guess.
A laugh-out-loud satire and an incisive indictment of the corruption at the heart of Russian society, Dead Souls is a masterpiece of nineteenth-century literature.