The Good Soldier Švejk and His Fortunes in the World War

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Penguin Books, 2000 - Fiction - 752 pages
179 Reviews
The inspiration for such works as Joseph Heller's Catch-22, Jaroslav Ha ek's black satire The Good Soldier vejk is translated with an introduction by Cecil Parrott in Penguin Classics. Good-natured and garrulous, vejk becomes the Austro-Hungarian army's most loyal Czech soldier when he is called up on the outbreak of the First World War - although his bumbling attempts to get to the front serve only to prevent him from reaching it. Playing cards, getting drunk and becoming a general nuisance, the resourceful vejk uses all his natural cunning and genial subterfuge to deal with the doctors, police, clergy and officers who chivvy him towards battle. The story of a 'little man' caught in a vast bureaucratic machine, The Good Soldier vejk combines dazzling wordplay and piercing satire to create a hilariously subversive depiction of the futility of war. Cecil Parrott's vibrant, unabridged and unbowdlerized translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing Ha ek's turbulent life as an anarchist, communist and vagranty, and the Everyman character of vejk. This edition also includes a guide to Czech names, maps and original illustrations by Josef Ladas. Jaroslav Ha ek (1883-1923) Besides this book, the writer wrote more than 2,000 short works, short stories, glosses, sketches, mostly under various pen-names. If you enjoyed The Good Soldier vejk, you might like Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, also available in Penguin Classics. 'Brilliant ... perhaps the funniest novel ever written' George Monbiot 'Ha ek was a comic genius' Sunday Times 'Ha ek was a humorist of the highest calibre....A later age will perhaps put him on a level with Cervantes and Rabelais' Max Brod"

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I also enjoyed the art work. - Goodreads
Typeface hard to read and boring too. - Goodreads
It provides an insight into Czech culture and humor. - Goodreads
Because this is a serial, it has an uneven pace. - Goodreads
The illustrations are worth buying the book for. - Goodreads
The premise of this book is brilliant and hysterical. - Goodreads

Review: The Good Soldier Švejk

User Review  - Cerisaye - Goodreads

A picaresque satirical novel that is more a related series of stories or episodes featuring the apparently idiotic but actually quite ingenious 'Good Soldier Švejk' as he easily runs rings around ... Read full review

Review: The Good Soldier Švejk

User Review  - Brian Palmer - Goodreads

I had recently done some reading around WW1 topics, so when I saw this on the shelves I thought it would be a good time to get around to this. I felt like that was good preparation ... I definitely ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Jaroslav Hasek (1883?1923) wrote, in addition to this masterpiece, more than 2,000 short works, stories, glosses, and sketches, mostly under various pen names. Born in Bohemia, he spent several years in Russian prison camps, and died at Lipnice in Czechoslovakia.
Cecil Parrott was Hasek?s biographer as well as the best-known translator of his work.
Josef Lada was an artist and illustrator and friend of Hasek?s from 1907.

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