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Publisher's Summary

Jaroslav Hasek's world-famous satirical farce The Good Soldier Svejk has been translated into over 60 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 Å vejk is the 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, Hasek'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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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If you need a good laugh

What did you love best about The Good Soldier Svejk?

Svejk is the embodiment of Czech passive resistance to foreign domination, in this case Austro-Hungarian, and later, Russian Bolsheviks. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether he's really a "patent idiot" as he proudly proclaims, or a conniving saboteur who can wreck the simplest orders with creative application of cheerful obedience coupled with elastic morality.

But Svejk the idiot seems positively sensible when confronted with the Imperial war machine, which even without Svejk's help manages to sabotage its own greatness through equally imbecilic acts of obedience.

If you're feeling a bit oppressed by some misbegotten authority or asinine bureacracy, this book is for you. The Czechs have mastered the art of patient suffering, so the book is surprisingly lighthearted given the weight of its content. You'll feel a lot better afterwards.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Good Soldier Svejk?

Svejk helpfully offers to haul a load of books from brigade office and deliver them to the staff. When the train is called to leave midway through the task, Svejk commits a blunder so serious that even he is not authorized to know what he has done.

Who was the most memorable character of The Good Soldier Svejk and why?

Svejk of course is the centerpiece of the novel. Second after that is probably poor Lieutenant Lukaš, a career officer and lothario who fails on numerous occasions to rid himself of Svejk.

Any additional comments?

The audiobook is "abridged" from the original without serious loss. There is a certain amount of ribald activity and some really eloquent cursing (how many ways are there to call a soldier a "bastard"?), delivered in a British comedic style that would be at home in a Monty Python.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Too abridged

Brilliant narration.
Good book.
Would like it better in unabridged version.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Hugh
  • Leona Valley, CA, USA
  • 02-11-15

Great WWI Farce; Great reading

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The reader is terrific! I will look for his other work. Jaroslav Hasek's comic masterpiece, despite (unwelcome) abridgment, and the fact that the original novel was unfinished, is still an absolute delight from the very first paragraph.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Beg to report sir!

Can't give story 5 stars because this is abridged which means you can't read along while listening because some parts are snipped. Otherwise this was great listenin.

Svejk would be an awesome person to meet in real life. I actually laughed out loud at least once hearing about one of his mishaps. The performance is brilliant and the characters felt animated.

This was recommended during a lecture in TGC: World War I: The Great War.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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excellent narratiion of a brilliant book,

if you have a knack for satire, well this is one of the best pieces you will ever Come across. The narration is extraordinary.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Satirical and Amusing

This is a social commentary and uses humour and satire to make political points. It is well narrated and the story is entertaining. Not my favourite book but interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • marek
  • warszawa, Poland
  • 07-13-09

comedy clasics

It is one of the best comedy books ever written.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Terry
  • 04-03-12

A great listen

Do take time to listen to even this abridged version of one of the 20th century's most humerous and iconoclastic novels detailing the adventures of a hapless, bumbling characters ( or is he? judge for yourself ! ) in the First World War. I can't remember a more scathing satire of the lunacy of war,especially combined with the incompetent buffoonery of those supposed to be in charge ! David Horovitch does a superb job with a great variety of accents depicting the book's characters.

So why only 4 stars then? Come on Audible, let's have the whole book !

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike G
  • 04-13-13

A really enjoyable listen.

I have been travelling to Prague regularly for the last couple of years and I have realized how much the Czechs have in common with the British in so many ways - particularly our sense of humour. However, even in English I don't know of another book as subtly critical of the stupidity of war and yet so amusing at the same time. I came to look for this book because my favourite restaurant in Prague is called U Brázdů and is part of the small chain of Švejk Restaurants, where authentic local dishes can be savoured. This book is an insight into the Czech folklore that is well worth listening to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 05-12-17

Brilliantly narrated satire of WW1

You can't help but admire Svejk - an apparent idiot whose folk logic helps him out of scrape after scrape during a year as a Czech soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army.
Brilliantly narrated - all the absurd characters Svejk meets come alive with an amazing range of voices and accents.
Highly highly highly recommended

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  • spanner's spanner
  • 08-08-16

superb

excellent adaptation of one of my favourite books. narrator was 5 stars too, I'd be more than happy to purchase another book he reads. well paced, names excellently pronounced, I'm bound to keep returning to this brilliant reading

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  • Sceptic
  • 08-10-16

Funny but slightly dated comic war novel

What made the experience of listening to The Good Soldier Svejk the most enjoyable?

The narration is first class in this adaptation of the classic. Editing it down to its current size was a good idea and I don't think anyone will miss any of the filler.

What about David Horovitch’s performance did you like?

Excellent performance and very suited to the book.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It's funny but you won't need to change your underwear.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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