“The classic comic novel of the First World War.” —The New Yorker • “A literary masterpiece.” —New York Review of Books • “One of the greatest works of 20th century literature.” —Boston Globe
Jaroslav Hasek's The Good Soldier Svejk follows the adventures of Josef Svejk, a boisterous and sometimes bumbling (or brilliantly subversive?) Czech soldier, as he navigates the trials of World War I. Thrust into the Austro-Hungarian Empire's army in 1914, Svejk, "one of the great characters of 20th century literature" (New Republic), embarks on a wild trip through war-ravaged Europe as he fakes illnesses, is captured by his own men, and takes on various quixotic quests to avoid arriving at the front lines, always with a bizarre—and often hilarious—anecdote at the ready. Predating countercultural American classics like Catch-22 by a generation, The Good Soldier Svejk was the first great antiwar satire, and still one of the finest ever written.