This book is dedicated to the problems of the explicit reader. The main reason is the influence of William Shakespeare on Laurence Sterne, and the influence of Sterne's prose on Russian classical literature.

The study consists of the preface, the three chapters, the conclusion, the appendix, and the bibliography. The preface depicts the poetics of the Sterne's prose, briefly describes the influence of Shakespeare on Sterne and the influence of Sterne on Russian classical literature, together with the description of the chapters.

The first chapter is dedicated to two Yoricks, one of whom is addressed by Hamlet in the tragedy written by Shakespeare, and the second one is depicted in the novels written by Sterne. The appearance of Yorick in Sterne's novels is, in fact, reveals the influence of Shakespeare on Sterne, and is a vivid Sterne’s tribute to the great English playwright.

The second chapter is a highly detailed research of the Sterne's influence on Russian classical literature. The main feature of this influence is the appearance of the explicit reader in the text. This is the only method of Sterne's poetics that was perceived by Russian writers. The adahtation period is located within the last quarter of the 18th century through the late early 19th century, starting with «Facts and Fancies» by Russian empress Catherine the Great and ending with the short stories and essays by Anton Chekhov. There is no a Russian classical writer that was not included in what is called the Russian Sternian tradition.

The third chapter is dedicated to the imitative nature of art known as mimesis, and different theories of the reader, both foreign and native.

In the last part, the Conclusion, the author observes the possible perspective of the studies to be followed.

The appendix is the article «Interest in Sterne in Russian Literature of the late 18th and the early 19th century» written by the Russian scholar scientist V.I. Maslov in 1919.