Записки Кирпатого Мефістофеля - Володимир Винниченко This took me horrifyingly long to read, but it was very good. To my defense, it is rather long, containing the following works:

Записки Кирпатого Мефістофеля (novel)
Момент (short story)
Федько-халамидник (short story)
На той бік (novella)
Чорна Пантера і Білий Медвідь (play)

I liked all the stories in this volume, even the play - and I'm not a big fan of plays - because they are all somehow "unpleasant" and/or macabre, something I really, really like in literature. These aren't really typical classical pieces as I think most people view them, i.e. slow and somewhat boring with people behaving impeccably; rather they made me think of Zola (of whom I am a fan), in that they illustrate the less than flattering nature of human beings, in all sorts of people, under all sorts of circumstances. People all go to the extreme in his stories: either it is from love and the desperate need to be free, to not be tied down by past mistakes (Записки Кирпатого Мефістофеля, with a higly interesting protagonist), or from righteousness and prejudice (Федько-халамидник), pure despair and recklessness in the face of death (Момент, На той бік) or from selfish need and a feeling of entitlement (Чорна Пантера і Білий Медвідь). There are no heroes. The one true hero dies due to his heroism, whereas the one praised as one is only accidentally a hero, because his attempt at treachery failed. And that's just brilliant.

I don't understand why Dostojevsky is all the rage when no one ever mentions Vinnichenko.