Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852) was a preeminent Ukrainian-born story writer. He is particularly famous for those stories which veer in the direction of surrealism and the grotesque. The Cloak is one such tale. Akaky Akakiyevich is a reclusive and widely ridiculed lower official whose job is to copy letters. He lives a hand-to-mouth existence with his elderly landlady and has little money. But the harsh weather in St. Petersburg necessitates the purchase of a new cloak. His existing cloak, threadbare and filthy, is the butt of jokes among his comrades, and the tailor refuses to patch it up any further. Akaky Akakiyevich has somehow to scrape together the money for a new one. As he begins to save for it, the cloak begins to take on a much greater significance in his life. He dreams of it, visualises it, plans it with the tailor and scrimps and saves until the glorious day when he is able to actually commission its manufacture. The cloak is his pride and joy...but disaster waits around the corner. And in true Gogol style, the story takes a weird twist.