“Good Soldier Swejk” by Jaroslav Hasek

Good Soldier Swejk” is a satire novel written by Jaroslav Hasek. The book is unfinished; however, it is still interesting to read. I’m not going to tell you the whole plot, but I’ll try to summarize the general theme of the book.

The story begins with the news of assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the beginning of the First World War. The main character, Joseph Swejk, who sells stolen dogs, gets involved in a chain of events and is sent directly to the front lines. During the whole story he constantly gets himself in trouble and finds himself in different kinds of situations. The author wrote the book to show how a war influences different layers of society and people. One should mention here that the main character is considered to be a complete idiot by the others. However, his appearance is just this way of getting out of trouble and avoid potential consequences. He can do extraordinary and crazy things, and never be punished for it. In addition, many times he is the only one who actually makes good decisions and does reasonable and well-thought out things. The author himself once mentioned that Swejk isn’t an idiot. Thus, it appears that this figure was created in order to show the main vices of the society.

The book inspired a lot of authors in different countries. It is one of the most translated Czech novels, and it will remain popular for a long time. Highly rated by critics, it is one of the first and greatest anti-war books.

All in all, I want to say that this book is very interesting,the characters are bright and striking, and the plot is well-developed. It made a great impression on me. I highly recommend it to you if you want to learn more about that time period.


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