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The Good Soldier Svejk (1922)

by Jaroslav Hašek

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Good Soldier Svejk (1-4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,176543,455 (3.98)237
Good-natured and garrulous, Svejk becomes the Austrian 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 Svejk 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 Svejkcombines dazzling wordplay and piercing satire to create a hilariously subversive depiction of the futility of war.… (more)
  1. 50
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (roby72)
  2. 00
    Schlump by Hans Herbert Grimm (sneuper)
    sneuper: A novel about with many layers: humoristic and satiric at the surface, but realistic and a bitter complaint against war underneath.
  3. 00
    Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (CGlanovsky)
  4. 00
    Goma de borrar (Spanish Edition) by Josep Montalat (Anonymous user)
  5. 11
    The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin by Vladimir Vojnovitsj (pgmcc)
    pgmcc: Chonkin is very similar to Svejk. The humour and satire are very similar; as is the exposition of bureaucratic nonsense.
  6. 01
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Misguided protagonist gets into a series of misadventures
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» See also 237 mentions

English (39)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  Estonian (1)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Slovak (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
המלחמה מעולם לא נראתה כל כך מטומטמת וחיי צבא מתוארים בצורה שכל חייל בכל צבא מזהה. מצויין ( )
  b.b.michael | Jun 19, 2022 |
Well, we read this for one of our f2f book groups, and I got about 2/3 of the way through before my eyes glazed over and I found myself falling asleep and dreaming the end of each sentence. Classic though it might be, it wore out its welcome with me. Schwiek is a con-man and otherwise a cypher at the start of WWI in the Czech-speaking part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and the book is a series of escapes from a bureaucratic, idiotic and mismanaged army and surrounding society. No one actually gets into battle by the book's ending, but the cruelty and mismanagement the erstwhile hero keeps subverting is a sarcastic look at a rotting system. Glad I peeked at it, not sorry I didn't finish it. ( )
  ffortsa | Jun 7, 2022 |
Very little of the humour appealed to me. I smiled once or twice, that was about all.
  wbell539 | Dec 22, 2021 |
The satirical tale of a czech soldier, part of the austro-hungarian army during WWI. A lot of the humour of this story still holds up well. It would have been nice to know that the book is unfinished, however although you'd like more closure the story still stands up well as it is.
Svejk is very much like Baldric from Black Adder or Homer Simpson, but your never entirely sure how stupid he is. Oh he's certainly not the brightest but behind that suspiciously honest face is a pretty devious mind, at least at times.
The Czechs are looked down on by the rest of the army and people are constantly trying to find traitors or reasons to punish the lower ranks. Svejk has developed the perfect defense to survive in these dangerous conditions, constantly agreeing with everything the army does, coupled with a garrulous nature that usually drives his superiors nuts and makes them forget what they planning on doing to him.
His constant stream of little stories, are both a highlight and a problem of the book. It might be quite annoying for some to have these innumerable diversions and i personally thought it would get old fast but it never really did for me, i did however quite like it on those occasions when Svejk was ordered to shut up before he could finish :) .
Oh.. and the constant suspicion and risk of being locked up or executed by your own side, made it seem like a parody of 1984 at times.
As i said its unfinished and more of a denouement would have been nice but overall very good and i won't be forgetting Svejk any time soon. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Jaroslav Hasek is the Czech equivalent of Joseph Heller and Mark twain among Americans. Perhaps inadvertently he manages to convey the mental atmosphere of a time period through a collection of apparently humorous episodes. but as "If it not true they won't laugh" he also illuminates the world of Central Europe in a timeless fashion. If you want to step out of the English-speaking box, to join hands with another set of survivors who live a good deal closer to the risk of imminent destruction, this is the book. Warning, the book is incomplete, we don't know whether the author planned a happy ending for our hero, but, as it is central Europe i rather doubt it. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jun 29, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (57 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hašek, JaroslavAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, DanielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fiedler, Leslie A.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lada, JosefIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meriggi, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parrott, CecilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pieters, RoelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poggioli, RenatoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Selver, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zgustová, MonikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'And so they've killed our Ferdinand', said the charwoman to Mr Svejk, who had left military service years before, after having been finally certified by an army medical board as an imbecile, and now lived by selling dogs - ugly, mongrel monstrosities whose pedigrees he forged.
"Nii nad tapsidki meie Ferdinandi," ütles virtin härra Švejkile, kes oli aastate eest vabanenud sõjaväeteenistusest, kui kroonuarstide komisjon ta lõplikult lolliks tunnistas, ja elatas ennast nüüd sellega, et müütas mingeid jõledaid segaverelisi koerapeletisi, võltsides nende sugupuud.
„Tak nám zabili Ferdinanda,“ řekla posluhovačka panu Švejkovi, který opustiv před léty vojenskou službu, když byl definitivně prohlášen vojenskou lékařskou komisí za blba, živil se prodejem psů, ošklivých nečistokrevných oblud, kterým padělal rodokmeny.
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The Good Soldier Svejk (Schweik, Schwejk, Svejkin...) was written as 4 volumes. Modern editions are often a selection from all of them, but let's try to keep those published as the original volumes separate.
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Good-natured and garrulous, Svejk becomes the Austrian 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 Svejk 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 Svejkcombines dazzling wordplay and piercing satire to create a hilariously subversive depiction of the futility of war.

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Average: (3.98)
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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