Usually timid and subservient, councilor Golyadkin has lately become worryingly paranoid. After being humiliatingly thrown out of a party for acting erratically, he runs off into the night where he is shocked to come across a man who appears to be his exact double.
The double follows him home and begins to insinuate himself into every part of Golyadkin's life, and alternates between befriending him and cruelly taunting him. Worse still, the double has all the qualities that Golyadkin himself lacks such as charisma, self-assurance, and decisiveness.
Considered to be a response to the work of Gogol, this book explores themes of loneliness, individualism and man's search for identity, told through the eyes of an extremely unreliable individual.
Can Golyadkin get rid of the double before he takes over his life completely? Just who is this bizarre man, and why is he persecuting Golyadkin?