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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny and perceptive, 27 Mar. 2009
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This review is from: The Good Soldier Švejk and his Fortunes in the World War (Paperback)
The storyline of "Svejk" is easily summarised-a Czech soldier survives the First World War by sheer stupidity.
Parrott's translation is rare indeed,because even the jokes survive.I believe this is the first more or less unexpurgated transaltion into English,and it is of a very high class.His depiction of army chaplins(Hasek detested religion)is truly hilarious.
There's so many good points to this book,it's silly to try to pick out highlights as it works as a totality,not a collection of episodes.
As well as a very funny novel,Hasek's work is often seen as an allegory of Czech and Czechslovak history in the 20th century.As Svejk survives the First World War,the Czechs have survived the Austro-Hungarian Empire,the 1st World War,independence,dismemberment and occupation after the 1938 Munich Conference,mass murder of Czech Jews and Roma,the impositon of Stalinism after 1948,the crushing of the Prague Spring,and self-inflicted dismemberment-the "Velvet Divorce" of 1993.As Svejk survives anything,so do the Czechs-no matter what history throws at them.
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Location: Liverpool,UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,330