Summoned to the country estate of his wealthy uncle Colonel Yegor Rostanev, the young student Sergey Aleksandrovich finds himself thrown into a startling bedlam. For as he soon sees, his meek and kind-hearted uncle is wholly dominated by a pretentious and despotic pseudo-intellectual named Opiskin, a charlatan who has ingratiated himself with Yegor’s mother and now holds the entire household under his thumb. Watching the absurd theatrics of this domestic tyrant over forty-eight explosive hours, Sergey grows increasingly furious – until at last, he feels compelled to act. A compelling comic exploration of petty tyranny, The Village of Stepanchikovo reveals a delight in life’s wild absurdities that rivals even Gogol’s. It also offers a fascinating insight into the genesis of the characters and situations of many of Dostoyevsky’s great later novels, including The Idiot, Devils and The Brothers Karamazov.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), one of nineteenth-century Russia’s greatest novelists, spent four years in a convict prison in Siberia, after which he was obliged to enlist in the army. In later years his penchant for gambling sent him deeply into debt. Most… More about Fyodor Dostoyevsky