The Village of Stepanchikovo : And Its Inhabitants: from the Notes of an Unknown Paperback
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".
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 224 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/06/1995
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780140446586
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Review by jwhenderson
The Village of Stepanchikovo is less well-known than other works of Dostoevsky's mature period. It was written near the end of his Siberian exile yet, despite that, was basically a farcical comedy. The abundant humor and small size combines to make it an entertaining work that is worthy as either an introduction to the author or a light entertainment for readers who have already encountered the masterful novels of his maturity. If it is read with the expectation that it will simply amuse and entertain you it will succeed. At least it did for this reader.