The Petty Demon is one of the funniest Russian novels ever written.
It is also the most decadent of the great Russian classics, replete with naked boys, sinuous girls and a strange mixture of beauty and perversity.
The main character, Peredonov, is as comical as he is disgusting at once a victim, a monster, a hypocrite and a sadistic dullard.
The plot moves from Peredonovs petty quest for a promotion to arson and murder, via one of the most incredible and uproarious scandal scenes in world literature, the masquerade attended by the boy Sasha dressed as a beautiful geisha.
Even in its censored form, The Petty Demon is one of the most provocative and sexually open works of the Russian literary canon.
Sologub removed many passages that would have been unacceptable at the time of publication.
These sections are restored in this edition, so that the reader can experience the novel as it was originally written.