Mikhail Zoshchenko, 1895-1958, was a great Soviet humorist. His works give a unique picture of Russian life in the Soviet period - a picture which, though satirically distorted and camouflaged by deliberate ambiguities, presents a shrewd commentary on the times. Lyudi first appeared in 1924. It is a long short story about the loss of gross illusions, about despair and decay, the struggle for existence, the animal in man. The hero is an emigre of the Tsarist period, who returns to Russia after the Revolution, has his illusions duly shattered, and sinks into a scarcely human existence. He is a parody of two stock figures: 'the repentant nobleman' and 'the superfluous man'. The language is a splendid mixture of colloquial speech, official jargon, and inflated style. There is an English introduction, notes on the linguistic difficulties and select vocabulary, while the text is in Russian.