The Village of Stepanchikovo, a book Dostoevsky wrote while in Siberian exile. Ignat Avsey gives a very interesting introduction to the povest, noting that it was originally intended as a play, but given no takers Dostoevsky made it into a narrative. As it was, it took several publishers, before having the book serialized in 1859, and was mostly panned by critics.
Avsey also notes that Dostoevsky drew a lot from Gogol, and that Foma Fomich may have been a caricature of Gogol himself, which Dostoevsky had lost respect for. He also notes other influences like Dickens, whom Dostoevsky read while in exile, and Moliere's Tartuffe.
The story revolves around a dysfunctional gentry family in a remote village in which a man of dubious nature has managed to gain sway. Rostanev's young nephew comes to visit and is soon caught up in a maelstrom of events largely the result of Foma Fomich, who isn't formally introduced until the middle of the narrative. Written largely for comic effect, the story is not without its insights into the crumbling aristocracy of Tsarist Russia.
It wasn't until the end of the nineteenth century that Dostoevsky's wife approached Stanislavsky with the novella. He apparently so identified himself with Colonel Rostanev that he had a very difficult time reconciling himself with Foma Fomich. So, the play languished for years until finally produced in 1917, and became both a critical sensation and popular success. Largely, it seems, because of the parallels drawn between Foma Fomich and Rasputin.
I saw a Lithuanian production of the play a couple years back with Rolandas Kazlas in the title role. It was very well done and Kazlas was excellent. Jonas Vaitkus is one of Lithuania's leading theater directors and a mentor to many of the younger directors today.