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The Good Soldier Svejk

The Good Soldier Svejk


The Good Soldier Svejk

ratings:
4.5/5 (58 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Jul 1, 2008
ISBN:
9789629547837
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Jaroslav Hašek’s world-famous satirical farce The Good Soldier Švejk has been translated into over sixty languages, and is one of the best-known Czech works ever published.

A soldier in World War I who never actually sees any combat, Josef Švejk 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, Hašek’s classic satire is a tour-de-force of modernist writing, influencing later writers such as Hemingway, Faulkner, and Joseph Heller.

©2008 Naxos Audiobooks; (P)2008 Naxos Audiobooks

Released:
Jul 1, 2008
ISBN:
9789629547837
Format:
Audiobook

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Reviews

What people think about The Good Soldier Svejk

4.4
58 ratings / 21 Reviews
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Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    This WW1 classic Czech novel reminded me of Catch-22 or M.A.S.H. -- black humor about the way armies work. I much prefered this older translation to that of Sadlon's new one I started off with in Book 1 and also enjoyed Lada's illustrations this book had.
  • (5/5)
    The absurdities of the military during wartime. A thoroughly satisfying read. The book that inspired Joseph Heller's Catch-22Library Book
  • (2/5)
    It was hard to pick a rating for Jaroslav Hasek's novel "The Good Soldier Svejk." I liked the concept of the book much more than its actual execution -- it quickly got too repetitive and even the amusing bits didn't really sing anymore.The book follows Svejk, who is either an idiot or very good at playing one -- as he becomes a Czech soldier during World War I. There are about a zillion different Svejk antics in the book, that mostly end up the same way-- he nearly gets, jailed, committed or executed but someone believes he is just too dumb for words and therefore he is saved. Onto the next antic...Hasek's point about the futility of war is amply illustrated and there is a good bit of humor in the story. Had it been given a good edit for length and content, I probably would have enjoyed it more.
  • (5/5)
    I've been on a roll with my reading recently. Love having time off.

    Anyways - it is often said that this novel was an inspiration for Catch-22. Like Catch-22, it is hilarious. Unfortunately, it tends to go on for a little too long, also like Catch-22.

    The moralizing in the end does tend to break up the monotony. The book ends abruptly, but this is due to the author's unfortunate death. This also explains some 'unpolished' sections of the book.

    Despite these flaws, it is still hilarious and very much worth your time if you want a good rollicking anti-war novel.
  • (4/5)
    "The Good Soldier Svejk" is a 20th century classic, but that doesn't mean one will necessarily love it, or indeed finish it -- I read the first of the four volumes, and feel that I have done my duty. Moreover, there was a lot I enjoyed in the book, and quitting early may have kept it that way. Three more volumes, I suspect, would pretty much extinguish the enjoyment.The book begins in 1914, when the Czech Republic was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Svejk (Schweik in German, same guy) is a Czech soldier in the Austrian army, whose attitude of glowing idiocy (assumed, we assume, but --) brings him into constant conflict with the military authorities. This is usually a lot harder on the authorities than on Svejk. The book is about the futility and stupidity of war, of the military, of the Church -- of all the institutions of the State that screw up the lives of ordinary people. Svejk is the ordinary person who resists not by refusing to go along, but by cooperating so idiotically that he succeeds in avoiding (at least in Book One) actually going to war. He is a terrific character, and has become a key character in Czech self-definition.So -- why the three and half stars, instead of five? There are three main problems, and they all have more to do with me than with the book. First, I don't read Czech. The introduction tells us that Hasek used language in a revolutionary way, running up and down the linguistic social scale, switching between German and Czech (as Czechs did in those days) and using much more informal language than was accepted. Most of this does not come through in the translation, which in this case is probably more a problem of translation in general than of this translation. The Austro-Hungarian empire must have created a sort of linguistic goulash for anyone who wasn't down on the farm, and that's not something that can really be reproduced in 21rst century English. Second, a lot of water has gone under the bridge (or blood under the battlements) since Hasek published this book in 1923. Anti-war sentiments are less shocking that they were, and more recent anti-war novels speak more strongly to at least this reader -- for example, Catch-22.Finally, I'm female. Usually, this doesn't have much impact on my reaction to books, but in the case of military humor, it does. Like sports talk and trading room banter, this is a genre which is less than dear to my heart.Anyway, I'm glad I read Volume I, but doubt I will forge on into 2, 3, and 4
  • (4/5)
    Clever satire,worth the effort of reading in the original, Europe's catch 22 40 years earlier than Joseph H's excellent book.