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The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol

Book cover for The Overcoat
Book cover for The Overcoat
The story begins by taking its readers through the mundane and alienating world of a bureaucratic office in St. Petersburg where an awkward, impoverished clerk must scrimp and save in order to afford a badly needed new winter coat. As the story progresses, we enter a fairy-tale world of supernatural revenge, where the clerk's corpse is seen wandering city streets ripping coats off the backs of passersby. Gogol's story is both comic and horrific - at once a scathing social satire, moralistic fable, and psychological study.