Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Gogol was a Ukrainian-born Russian writer, playwright, and poet known for his surreal and grotesque portrayals of Russian society. His most famous works include the novel 'Dead Souls,' the play 'The Government Inspector,' and short stories such as 'The Overcoat' and 'The Nose.' Gogol's writing is characterized by his use of satire, dark humor, and the supernatural, and he is considered a major figure in Russian literature, influencing later authors like Dostoevsky and Kafka.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Dead Souls

    In this satirical novel, a man travels through Russia buying up the titles to deceased serfs (or "souls") from their naive landowners, under the guise of a get-rich-quick scheme. However, his real plan is to use these "dead souls" to create a phantom estate and secure a massive loan. The story explores the corruption and greed prevalent in 19th-century Russian society and provides a unique perspective on the human condition.

    The 136th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Nose

    "The Nose" is a satirical short story that follows the life of a Russian official whose nose leaves his face and develops a life of its own. The nose transforms into a human and starts living as a higher-ranking official than its original owner. The story unfolds as the official tries to regain his lost nose, only to face numerous absurd and comical situations. The narrative is a critique of the social and bureaucratic conditions of 19th-century Russia.

    The 1506th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Government Inspector

    The play is a satirical comedy that exposes the corruption and foolishness of the bureaucracy in a small Russian town. When officials mistake a lowly civil servant for a feared government inspector traveling incognito, they fall over themselves to cover up their town's numerous misdeeds. The visitor exploits the situation for personal gain, accepting bribes and enjoying the sycophantic hospitality of the town's officials, who are oblivious to his true identity. The story unfolds with a series of comedic misunderstandings and ironic twists, culminating in a final revelation that leaves the townspeople facing the consequences of their deception and moral laxity.

    The 1704th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Evenings On A Farm Near Dikanka

    "Evenings On A Farm Near Dikanka" is a collection of short stories that take place in a small Ukrainian village. The stories are filled with folklore, supernatural elements, and humorous anecdotes, depicting the lives and adventures of the villagers. Through vivid descriptions and lively characters, the book offers a glimpse into rural life in 19th-century Ukraine, blending reality with fantasy in a captivating and entertaining manner.

    The 1760th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Overcoat

    The narrative centers on a meek and downtrodden government clerk living in St. Petersburg, whose life is consumed by the desire to replace his threadbare overcoat. After much sacrifice, he finally acquires a new overcoat, which momentarily elevates his social standing and brings him brief joy. However, his triumph is short-lived as the overcoat is stolen, plunging him back into misery. The clerk's desperate attempts to recover his lost garment ultimately lead to his untimely death, and his ghost is said to haunt the city, searching for the stolen overcoat, in a tale that intertwines the tragic with the absurd, and critiques the indifference of society to the plight of its less fortunate members.

    The 1924th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Stories of Nikolai Gogol

    This collection of stories offers a look into the world of 19th-century Russia through the eyes of one of its most celebrated authors. The stories are marked by their satirical and often surrealistic view of Russian society, exploring themes such as the absurdity of bureaucracy, the plight of the poor, and the complexities of human nature. The author's unique narrative style, characterized by a blend of realism and fantasy, creates a vivid and compelling portrait of a society in transition.

    The 3279th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Diary Of A Madman

    The book is a dark and satirical short story presented as a series of diary entries from a low-ranking civil servant who gradually descends into insanity. As he becomes increasingly alienated from society, he develops delusions of grandeur and believes himself to be of noble descent. His madness escalates as he convinces himself that he can understand the conversations of dogs and that he is destined to become the king of Spain. The narrative provides a poignant critique of the bureaucratic world and the protagonist's struggle with his identity and self-importance, reflecting the absurdities and injustices of the society in which he lives.

    The 3710th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Nevsky Prospekt

    The narrative unfolds on the bustling Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg, where the lives of two men intersect amidst the avenue's deceptive allure. One man, a romantic artist, becomes infatuated with a beautiful woman who is not what she seems, leading to a disillusioning revelation. The other, a pragmatic German, pursues a seemingly modest seamstress with tragic consequences. Through these parallel tales of love and illusion, the story offers a satirical and poignant exploration of the superficiality and transient nature of urban life, revealing the stark contrast between the glittering facade of the city and the grim reality of its inhabitants' lives.

    The 3723rd Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. The Mysterious Portrait

    The novella centers around a young and impoverished artist who becomes obsessed with a captivating portrait he purchases at an auction. The painting, which depicts a menacing figure with a haunting gaze, exerts a malevolent influence over the artist's life. As he delves deeper into the mystery of the portrait's origin, he discovers a chilling story of avarice and the corrupting power of greed. The artist's own moral and artistic integrity is tested as he struggles against the dark forces emanating from the artwork, leading to a tale that intertwines the supernatural with a critique of the superficiality and materialism of the art world.

    The 3738th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. The Old World Landowners

    "The Old World Landowners" is a tale that paints a portrait of an elderly, contented couple living in rural Ukraine, untouched by the passage of time and the changing world around them. They lead a simple, routine life, deeply rooted in traditional values and the comfort of their ancestral estate. Their existence is characterized by a profound connection to their land and a gentle, almost childlike approach to life. However, the story takes a turn when the inevitability of change and mortality confronts their idyllic lifestyle, leading to a poignant reflection on the transient nature of life and the end of an era.

    The 3767th Greatest Book of All Time