The Night Before Christmas by Nikolai Gogol
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If I wasn't already a big fan of Russian literature, I'd have found this short story to be a real odd duck. Or a devil, as the case may be.
Seeing it through modern standards, it's easy to see the carollers and the devil shoving himself down chimneys as both usual and unique at the same time, but it's the poor drunks, the adultery, the vanity, and the eventual romance that is had at the knife of a suicide attempt that makes this a TRUE Christmas story.
Do you think I'm joking? We've gotta have a roll call of ALL the sins before they can all be signed off. This is a GLORIOUS tribute to a truly Russian Xmas. It's not hard to find the devil if he rides on your shoulder!
(BTW I hated all the characters. And yet, it was fun.) :)
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