The book is a satire of 19th century Russian society specifically and the human condition in general. It concerns a minor bureaucrat who is going around Russian society and buying up dead souls as part of a scam. The book is at times quite funny. It is also clearly foreshadow all sorts of stuff and the Eastern and Central |European biting social satire is here in its original form. The work was never completed with only Part I being published. My work has the surviving parts of Part II.
While the book is quite good and quite clever and clearly ahead of its time, I don't think that it is a book that will stick with me to a great amount. I generally do not find Russian writers overrated, but Gogol is a bit. Good but not great.