The Good Soldier Svejk – By Jaroslav Hasek

This translation is one of those unfortunate attempts at trying to shoot the moon with a catapult. The original is a multi-lingual (austrian, hungarian, german and slavic mix) satire on the futility of war and the comic bumblings of an everyman within a bureaucratic system. This translation was flat and boring.  After plodding through 100 pages of it in 3 weeks (yes, its that bad) I just could not carry on.

I am sure the original is an insanely brilliant work but take away the language, context and period and it falls flat other than for academic interest.

Read catch 22, if you want a closer feel of the subject for non native readers and then imagine a book that we will never be able to read (unless some tech company invents a true babel fish app, coming to think of it why haven’t they yet?). That is the closest I can come to experiencing Svejk.

A special mention though to Joseph Lada’s illustrations. They are brilliant. Very “TinTin”- esque.

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