hoo-kayy...bravely confronting the Big Uknown--meaning, in my case, those great Russian Works Of Literature. I've done some Pushkin short stories, seen a Turgenev play, and I've steadfastly avoided intimidating Russian writing--especially in the long form--for many a year. and then I remembered, in my acting days I did perform in Gogol's The Inspector-General, playing the whiny little bastard who comes to town and is mistaken for, well, an Inspector-General, and thus has his ass kissed by everyone he meets, until it's time to get the heck out of Dodge. it was a fun play, and so, with fond memories of the Gogol way of doing Comedy (yes, I'm wimping out and picking a "light" Russian Classice--sorry, Anna Karenina, maybe one day...), I'm sampling Dead Souls. I almost put it away again, in favor of contemporary Horror or Fantasy, but I'll feel bad if I keep doing that. time to buckle down and take the big first step into this new world of Russian novels. new to me. I can tell you the first 15 pages were good.