Welcome to Part Three of my serialization of The Overcoat, and the latest in our series of audio entertainments, Tales for Our Time. This Russian classic by Gogol was published in 1842, and has never been out of print. In tonight's episode a humdrum nondescript clerk finds that his brand new coat has made him the life of the party:
Akakiy Akakievitch, having hung up his own cloak, entered the inner room. Before him all at once appeared lights, officials, pipes, and card-tables; and he was bewildered by the sound of rapid conversation rising from all the tables, and the noise of moving chairs. He halted very awkwardly in the middle of the room, wondering what he ought to do. But they had seen him. They received him with a shout, and all thronged at once into the ante-room, and there took another look at his cloak. Akakiy Akakievitch, although somewhat confused, was frank-hearted, and could not refrain from rejoicing when he saw how they praised his cloak.
The journey home from the party will prove more eventful than he expected. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Three of our adventure simply by clicking here and logging-in. Parts One and Two can be found here - and if you've only joined in recent days and missed our earlier serials (by Dickens, Conrad, Kipling, H G Wells, Conan Doyle, Anthony Hope, Scott Fitzgerald, Jack London - plus me), you can find them all here.
We always get questions about the music, so in this case I went with Glinka and his Valse-Fantaisie, originally written for piano in 1839 - or three years before the publication of Gogol's tale. But, after some thought, I opted for the later orchestral version.If you're a Club member who's yet to settle down with this latest radio serialization, you can find my intro to Gogol, along with the first episode, here.
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To become a member of The Mark Steyn Club, please click here - and, for a friend or family member, don't forget that new Gift Membership. And please join me tomorrow for the concluding episode of The Overcoat.