Some call him a Russian Mark Twain. And with his special blend of comedy, social commentary, and fantasy, Nikolai Gogol paved the way for his countrymen Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. This sampling of Gogol s works includes the increasingly fantastic entries of The Diary of a Madman, followed by the wonderfully surrealistic The Nose, in which the title character embarks on some unlikely activities when separated from its owner s face. In The Carriage, a pompous landowner gets his comeuppance when he attempts to impress a general. Rounding out the collection are the woefully comic tale of a clerk s acquisition of The Overcoat and the celebrated novella Taras Bulba about the Ukrainian mythic hero said to have led a bloody Cossack revolt against the Poles. Translated by Priscilla Meyer and Andrew R. McAndrewWith a New Introductionand an Afterword by Priscilla Meyer"