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The Good Soldier Svejk [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Jaroslav Hasek , David Horovitch
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2008 Classic Fiction
Jaroslav Ha'ek's world-famous satirical farce "The Good Soldier Evejk" has been translated into over sixty languages, and is one of the best-known Czech works ever published. A soldier in the First World War who never actually sees any combat, Josef Evejk is "The Good Soldier's" awkward protagonist - and none of the other characters can quite decide whether his bumbling efforts to get to the front are genuine or not. Often portrayed as one of the first anti-war novels, Ha'ek's classic satire is a tour-de-force of modernist writing, influencing later writers such as Hemingway, Faulkner and Joseph Heller. In this version, it has been sensitively and carefully abridged.

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About the Author

Jaroslav Hasek (1883-1923) Besides this book, the writer wrote more than 2,000 short works, short stories, glosses, sketches, mostly under various pen-names. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
'And so they've killed our Ferdinand,'1 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. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably My Favorite Book Jan. 11 2001
I first read Hasek's masterpiece almost 30 years ago in a shorter and more Bowdlerized translation. The Cecil Parrot edition is, needless to say, far preferable (it even contains a wonderful introduction including a discussion of Czech profanity as compared to that in English) and I've read it again and again since it came out in 1974. Shelby Foote said somewhere that every year he reads Proust as a sort of literary vacation. About ever 2 or 3 years I reread Svejk to cleanse my literary palate and it's always as fresh and as enjoyable as it was the first time. The dialogue, the characters and the situations in Svejk are, stated simply, the funniest I've ever read. Many other books have many merits in this regard, but none has approached Hasek in the sustained hilarity over 500 pages or more. The secret policeman, Bretschneider, Chaplain Katz, Sergeant Major Vanek, Cadet Biegler, Balloun and Lt. Dub are all memorable characters in their own right, but when they interact the result surpasses anything I have ever read for comedy. The episode involving a character with writer's block during his drafting of a prayer to be recited while administering Mr. Kokoska's pharmaceutical powders for cow flatulence is a classic rivalling Aristophanes or Rabelais. [I realize that sentence is confusingly prolix, so please read the book; it will be worth your while.] The term "laugh out loud" is overused and abused these days, but The Good Soldier Svejk will have you disturbing family and friends with repeated guffawing any time you are reading it nearby. I can't give a text any higher recommendation.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Two Best Novels of World War I Nov. 27 1999
Both of the best books on the First World War were written by the losing side...ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT and THE GOOD SOLDIER SCHWEIK tell the same story, but from different viewpoints. Schweik is a wise fool whose main goal is to avoid the greater foolishness around him. Hasek was a modern day Cervantes and this modern day Don Quixote interacts with a gallery of hilarious characters and their stories. I only regret that Hasek died before the book could be finished. Josef Lada's illustrations are a wonderful addition to the book, and it's a pleasure getting Cecil Parrott's translation in hardcover. Note: The earlier translations are not the complete book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Central European Must June 2 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jaroslav Hasek's "Svejk" is a classic of post WW I Central European literature. The character of Svejk is legendary throughout that region, and the English translation masterfully conveys the ironic tone of Hasek's Svejk without sounding stilted. My grandfather served in the Austrian Imperial Army, like Svejk, a Slav, and his jokes about the service in the "Kaiserliche Armee" are echoed by this book. I highly recommend it.
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