Nikolai Gogol's hilarious and macabre tale of a Christmas Eve with a devil and a romantic twist.
It is the night before Christmas and devilry is afoot. The devil steals the moon and hides it in his pocket. He is thus free to run amok and inflicts all sorts of wicked mischief upon the village of Dikanka by unleashing a snowstorm. But the one he’d really like to torment is the town blacksmith, Vakula, who creates paintings of the devil being vanquished. Vakula is in love with Oksana, but she will have nothing to do with him. Vakula, however, is determined to win her over, even if it means battling the devil.
Taken from Nikolai Gogol’s first successful work, the story collection Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, The Night Before Christmas is available here for the first time as a stand-alone novella and is a perfect introduction to the great Russian satirist.
|Product dimensions:||5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.22(d)|
About the Author
Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852) was a novelist and political satirist. The author of Dead Souls and The Overcoat, he was one of Russia’s greatest writers.
Read an Excerpt
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
THE DAY OF CHRISTMAS EVE ENDED, AND the night began, cold and clear. The stars and the crescent moon shone brightly upon the Christian world, helping all the good folks welcome the birth of our Savior. The cold grew sharper, yet the night was so quiet that one could hear the snow squeak under a traveler’s boots from half a mile away. Caroling hadn’t yet begun; village youths weren’t yet crowded outside the windows waiting for treats; the moon alone peeked through, as though inviting the girls to finish up their toilette and run out onto the clean, sparkling snow. Just then one of the chimneys began to belch clouds of black smoke, and along with them, straddling a broom, flew out a witch. If Sorochintsy’s property assessor happened to be passing by on a troika of horses in his resplendent winter attire, he surely would have noticed the witch, for that remarkable man noticed everything: every piglet, every bolt of cloth in a housewife’s trunk, each household article her husband left at the tavern on Sunday. But, unfortunately, the assessor wasn’t anywhere in the vicinity, and why would he be? He had his own district to mind.
Excerpted from "The Night Before Christmas"
Copyright © 2014 Nikolai Gogol.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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