The Good Soldier Švejk and His Fortunes in the World War

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 2000 - Fiction - 752 pages
110 Reviews

In The Good Soldier Svejk, celebrated Czech writer and anarchist Jaroslav Hasek combined dazzling wordplay and piercing satire in a hilariously subversive depiction of the futility of war.

Good-natured and garrulous, Svejk becomes the Austrian army's most loyal Czech soldier when he is called up on the outbreak of World War I—although his bumbling attempts to get to the front serve only to prevent him from reaching it. Playing cards and getting drunk, he uses all his cunning and genial subterfuge to deal with the police, clergy, and officers who chivy him toward battle. Cecil Parrott's vibrant translation conveys the brilliant irreverence of this classic about a hapless Everyman caught in a vast bureaucratic machine.

  • Introduction discusses Hasek's turbulent life as an anarchist, communist, and vagrant
  • Includes a pronunciation guide to Czech names, three maps, and the original illustrations by Josef Lada
  • The unabridged and unbowdlerized translation

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
57
4 stars
31
3 stars
15
2 stars
5
1 star
2

The illustrations are worth buying the book for. - Goodreads
Typeface hard to read and boring too. - Goodreads
It provides an insight into Czech culture and humor. - Goodreads
The premise of this book is brilliant and hysterical. - Goodreads

Review: The Good Soldier Švejk

User Review  - Richard - Goodreads

An amazing and funny description of the military world and beyond. Read full review

Review: The Good Soldier Švejk

User Review  - David - Goodreads

Genuinely funny. As I read it, I was frequently reminded of other comic novels, movies, and TV shows. "Candide" is probably its closest relation, and I suppose "Bartleby the Scrivener", but more often ... Read full review

References to this book

All Book Search results »

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.

Bibliographic information