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 armyas most loyal Czech soldier when he is called up on the outbreak of World War Iaalthough 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 Parrottas vibrant translation conveys the brilliant irreverence of this classic about a hapless Everyman caught in a vast bureaucratic machine.
aBrilliant . . . Perhaps the funniest novel ever written. -- George Monbiot