The Queen of Spades
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The Queen of Spades is the best known and probably the best of all Russian short stories. It confronts the great riches of a few, the impoverishment of the many in the form of the assistant to the fabulously rich and old Countess, Hermann seeking great wealth through any means, and the Countess's knowledge of how to win one's fortune on three cards. The denouement is worthy of being considered one of the finest in literature. As a great critic said, Gogol's The Overcoat may have been the great work that inspired Russian authors such as Fyodor Dostoevsky, but the Queen of Spades inspired all literature.