This is the funniest book I've read since A Confederacy of Dunces. Gogol always surprises:
He slept deeply, wonderfully, as only the fortunate can sleep, who know nothing about hemorrhoids, lice, or overdeveloped mental faculties.
It's my first Gogol novel; previously I'd read (and re-read) several of his short fictions (The Overcoat and The Nose--stories don't get any better than that!--in particular). There's a lot in Gogol that later will become Kafka-esque and Surreal. A true clownish literary innovator.
Through the humor, of course, we see the great tragedy that is Russia.