My first random card draw brought me:

♦︎ JackThe OvercoatNicolai GogolThe Overcoat and Other Short Stories

Whilst I do remember watching an old black and white adaptation of this short story and being quite puzzled by it, this was my first experience of reading Gogol.

It was both delightful and perplexing. He certainly seems to have been a writer that could tell a story with a twinkle in his eye. Not necessarily a laugh-out-loud story, but certainly making fatalistic points in an entertaining manner.

The Overcoat, written in 1842, was just like this. The story is basically a witty character sketch making fun of several characters, while saying

“How little humane feeling after all was to be found in men’s hearts; how much coarseness and cruelty was to be found even in the educated and those who were everywhere regarded as good and honorable men.”

And while even a powerless outcast may get a chance at happiness, it will be snatched away by someone at some time. It’s a vicious circle and you can’t win.

Weird story, but I liked it.