The narrative begins with the description of Nevsky Prospekt, its beauties, which no inhabitant “will exchange for all good”. A prospectus is described in the morning when it is still empty and it is possible to see only the working people going to the service or a sleepy official. At twelve o’clock in the afternoon on Nevsky “the tutors make tutors” with their pupils. By two o’clock “their parents take the place of pupils”, and later all other regulars of this street join them. Only on Nevsky can you find the best whiskers, mustaches, dresses, hats, ladies’ sleeves, smiles, frock coats, noses, rings and much more. From four o’clock the Nevsky is empty, only some seamstress will run across it. But as soon as dusk comes, the avenue revives. Only now everyone does not walk along the street, but run.
Two comrades – lieutenant Pirogov and a young man in a dress coat – parted ways to catch up with the beauties who fancied them on Nevsky in the twilight. Pirogov smugly and presumptuously believed that there was no beauty in the world that would not submit to him, and therefore boldly went for his beauty. His friend walked timidly, wanting only to see the house in which he lives that beautiful creature, “which seemed to fly off the sky directly to Nevsky Prospekt and, surely, would fly away no one knows where.” This young man was an artist Piskarev, “shy, timid, but in his soul carried sparks of feeling, ready at a convenient opportunity to turn into a flame.” The girl pursued by Piskarev looked back, her eyes expressed indignation, and the artist stopped, lowering his eyes. But then again I went after a stranger. She looked back, but now she seemed to smile. So they reached the four-story house, where the stranger turned to the artist and invited him to follow her with a gesture. He walked along the spiral staircase, and in his head various thoughts about the dream come true. When they found themselves in the room, Piskarev realized that this house was a shelter, “where he founded his home a miserable depravity.” The beauty, which he had been pursuing for so long, insolently looked at the artist, he began to babble every nonsense that made him feel sick. Piskarev that he had the strength to run away from this house. When Piskarev reached his home, it was already a deep night. He sat very long at the table, thinking about life, about the beauty, feeling sorry for the latter. Suddenly the door opened and a footman entered in a rich livery. He said that the lady who Piskarev had been going to the house wanted to see him. The artist goes to the house of the lady. There he meets many guests. In the middle of the hall she dances with a knight. Piskarev can not believe his eyes. At last she approached the artist. He was not himself. She said that she would explain to him why she was in such an obscene place. But at that time someone called her. The stranger beckoned the artist behind him. He went, but the crowd divided them. Piskarev walked through the halls, looking for a beauty, but she was nowhere to be found. He continued to search, but they were vain. But before his eyes began to show through the walls of his room. It turns out that he slept and dreamed everything to him! He looked around his room, which seemed dirty, ridiculous. Piskarev went to bed, hoping to see her again in a dream, but... she did not come. Only the next night she came in a dream. And from that day the dream became his life. He slept in reality and lived in a dream. This condition weakened his health, so that the dream began to leave him altogether. Piskarev tried all means to return the dream, even took opium. And the tool helped to see her again. He began to use drugs all the time to see her in her sleep and always “in a situation contrary to reality.” Once he dreamed that he was working in his studio, and next to her – now she is his wife. And Piskarev decided that if she thought better of it, she would renounce her former life, he would marry her. The artist found a house, met a stranger, told her his plan, how she would become his wife, he would work, and she would inspire him. But the beauty only contemptuously laughed at Piskarev’s words. His mind was confused. He returned to his room, four days did not come out. On the fifth day they broke open the door and found Piskarev’s corpse with a cut throat. By the form of the corpse could be concluded, that Piskarev unsuccessfully cut his throat and suffered for a long time before he died. So the poor artist Piskarev died, the victim of insane passion. No one was crying over him. Even his comrade Pirogov did not come to say good-bye. But he was not up to it: “he was busy with an emergency incident.”
When Pirogov parted on the avenue with Piskarev, he rushed after a sweet blonde who was “an interesting creature.” Pirogov himself was one of those officers who could make a statue laugh. Such people do not appear in high society, but at an evening with a state councilor or an actual state councilor, you can meet them. They love literature, theater, have a cabriolet and a couple of horses. As a result, they marry the daughter of a merchant and serve up to the colonel. Pirogov continued to pursue the stranger, sometimes taking up her conversations. So they reached the master’s apartment, the stranger walked into the side door. The lieutenant followed after her. He got into the room where Schiller and Hoffmann were sitting – the tin maker and the shoemaker. They were very drunk. Pirogov tried to talk to the men, but they drove him away.
The next day Pirogov appeared in the workshop, where he met his blonde. He complimented her, and she threatened to call her husband. Shiller appeared. Pirogov ordered the spurs from him, and himself wagged about his wife. Schiller sent his wife to the kitchen. Pirogov had no choice but to retire, but he was not going to surrender. As soon as the spurs were ready, Pirogov ordered Schiller’s rim to the dagger: thus he could often visit the blonde’s house. Later Pirogov learned that on Sundays Schiller was not at home, he decided to take advantage of this. The next Sunday Pirogov went to the blonde. He had already kissed the beauty’s leg when the drunk Shiller returned with two friends. They excellently finished Pirogov. He angrily decided to complain to the general, but on his way home he went into the confectioner’s shop, then walked along Nevsky Prospekt, later went to the evening,
The story ends with a warning: “Do not believe this Nevsky Prospekt!” He lies at any time, this Nevsky Prospekt, but most of all then… when the demon lights the lamps for that only to show everything not in real form. “