The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol

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The mayor and local officials of a small provincial town in Russia have got it made: corruption is rife and they have all the power. Yet, when they learn that an undercover government inspector is about to make a visit, they face a mad dash to cover their tracks. Soon, the news that a suspicious person has recently arrived from St Petersburg and is staying in a local inn produces a series of events and misunderstandings that lead to a hilarious dénouement.

Often quoted as Russian literature’s greatest comedy, The Government Inspector is a trenchant satire of the corruption, greed and stupidity of petty officialdom, and the crowning achievement of Gogol’s skills as a playwright.

Translated by Roger Cockrell

Paperback