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The Good Soldier Svejk (1922)

by Jaroslav Hašek

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,873463,330 (3.98)211
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 211 mentions

English (34)  Spanish (3)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  Estonian (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
This book is in 4 volumes, and really my rating is 5 stars for volume 1, 1 star for volume 2, and I didn't even start reading volumes 3 and 4. The first volume would make a lovely (and already fairly long) stand-alone novel, in which Hašek uses Svejk as a sort of universal "wise fool" character to show up the stupidity of everyone else around him, imperialism, reverence for royalty, patriotism and war. It's lightly written, but often quite cutting, and for a few hundred pages it's a delightful read. The trouble is, by the end of volume 1 it's already starting to get repetitive, so volume 2 became a real slog, and ultimately I lost patience with Svejk's monologues and gave up. ( )
  eldang | Sep 18, 2019 |
This book is in 4 volumes, and really my rating is 5 stars for volume 1, 1 star for volume 2, and I didn't even start reading volumes 3 and 4. The first volume would make a lovely (and already fairly long) stand-alone novel, in which Hašek uses Svejk as a sort of universal "wise fool" character to show up the stupidity of everyone else around him, imperialism, reverence for royalty, patriotism and war. It's lightly written, but often quite cutting, and for a few hundred pages it's a delightful read. The trouble is, by the end of volume 1 it's already starting to get repetitive, so volume 2 became a real slog, and ultimately I lost patience with Svejk's monologues and gave up. ( )
  eldang | Aug 11, 2019 |
An engaging and incredibly funny look at the dying hours of the Austria-Hungary monarchy, this classic of European 20th century literature tells the tale of the Czech private Švejk, who is desperately trying to get to the front-line to defend the emperor and the motherland, only to be always thwarted by some unfortunate event at the last minute.

This book is particularly interesting to the people living in the area of the former monarchy, as it is also an examination of the lives of our recent ancestors and the relations between the monarchy's nations of the time.

Read in Slovene under the title Dobri vojak Švejk. ( )
1 vote matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
Это прямо таки энциклопедия людской глупости, подлости и скотства.

Книга, как и её герои — неоднозначна. Сложно и не всегда возможно оценить не только описываемых людей в целом, но и даже их отдельные поступки. У меня даже сначала был дискомфорт и желание бросить чтение, но потом пришло понимание, что жизнь многогранна и никто не знает, какие финты она завтра выкинет.

Настоятельно рекомендую после прочтения книги ознакомиться с биографией Гашека — так впечатление от книги будет ещё полнее.
( )
  sr71at | Apr 27, 2018 |
This is quite a tome. It is really four books in one or three and a half, as the author expired before the final book was completed. This is my first reading of a Czech author. I understand that the Austro-Hungarian Empire was held back by the Russians and later the Italians, otherwise the Anglo-French and their allies may have been in some mighty trouble during the Great War. Švejk puts an interesting spin on the peoples and cultures of this part of the conflict and, as an ex-soldier, I couldn't help but chuckle at the timeless idiocies of the military life, and Švejk's nonchalant way of handling such banal annoyances as "greatcoats on, greatcoats off", making "lists of lists", and nonsensical statistics about serving soldiers. While the work is part comedy, it is also satirical. In my mind's eye the comical events were reinforced by the cartoon drawings of Švejk and his antics. These cartoon characters tended to dance in front of real war footage, so a Laurel and Hardy figure had me laughing with embarrassment while at the same time I felt like I shouldn't be laughing. The effect is brilliant. There are so many stories within stories, and Švejk reminds me of the many characters I crossed paths with during my time in the army. One constantly came to mind as I read The Good Soldier Švejk: a soldier who could recite word for word any Monty Python movie ever made. At times, you had to tell him to just shut up, but it was hard to dislike him. Švejk is this same person. Tragic comedy is how I would describe this work. Brilliant. ( )
3 vote madepercy | Nov 7, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (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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