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➲ Жизнь и необычайные приключения солдата Ивана Чонкина Read ➺ Author Vladimir Voinovich – Blockdiagramwiring.co

Private Chonkin has frequently been called the Schweik of Stalinist Russia Like Schweik he uses his extraordinary stupidity to outwit his persecutors Unfortunately, for Chonkin Stalin s communist apparatchiks were farskilled persecutors than Franz Joseph s Imperial bureaucrats Whereas Schweik survives and prospers, Chonkin inevitably is dispatched to the Gulag.Gogol and Bulgakov are the only two Russian writers that I am aware of who possess the same level of talent in comic writing as Voinovich This book is great fun and highly recommended for anyone who has an interest in Stalin s Russia. Yikes How does this have such a bad rating This book is hilarious Every sentence and every page is tickle your tummy funny Voinovich channels Gogol s anti hero Chichikov in Chonkin, a petty soldier sent to guard a broken down airplane in the middle of nowhere His troubles start with a cow and getandridiculous Ivan Chonkin Is A Simple, Bumbling Peasant Who Has Been Drafted Into The Red Army Shortly Before The Outbreak Of World War II, He Is Sent To An Obscure Village With One Week S Ration Of Canned Meat And Orders To Guard A Downed Plane Apparently Forgotten By His Unit, Chonkin Resumes His Life As A Peasant And Passes The War Tending The Village Postmistress S Garden Just After The German Invasion, The Secret Police Discover This Mysterious Soldier Lurking Behind The Front Line Their Pursuit Of Chonkin And His Determined Resistance Lead To Wild Skirmishes And Slapstick Encounters Vladimir Voinovich s Chonkin is a good foray into the Russian muzhik s commoner s psyche Born and raised a farmer in Stalin s time, Ivan gets called to the army, where he embarks first unbeknowingly then unwillingly into an adventure that will change spoiler and end his life Chronicling this journey, the author gets to talk about the joys of real Communism indoctrination of simple people who can barely speak not to mention write , formation of cliques for sharing the little local power, propagation of meaningless orders from the top, the wireless phone lossy or faulty transmission of messages through human chains , obliteration of personal opinion, etc Unlike Solzhenitsyn, Voinovich adopts a cynical, tragicomical tone thus, this story can be seen as a Russian take on Jaroslav Hasek s The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War Poorly educated and easily dumbfounded, Chonkin is perhaps a less lovable character than Svejk it is perhaps because of this that Voinovich makes his story take surreal and oneiric turns What I disliked about this work is the rather thin story much thinner than in Moscow 2042, by the same author , the lack of powerful characters a characteristic of Voinovich s work, as far as I can tell , and the often rough wording Voinovich is no Russian classic Overall, a nice read but overall not inspiring. I didn t laugh until the Molotov cocktails started flying This book probably wouldn t mean anything to those who don t know the history of the USSR The absurdity of life brilliantly portrayed in this book is founded on the evil reality of the socialist system Innocent people executed, anonymous condemnation to The Institution , paranoia, redistribution of possessions of anyone who hasthan someone else What I had on my mind throughout was the realization that few today understand the scourge of this system of government In fact, we find many now treating communists as cute, unique, interesting Today Cuba is chic, Venezuela is courageous, China should be emulated Of course, those advocating don t intend to live there Didn t find this book as humorous as I expected But there were some good lines Perfect description of the party boss He was always oppressed by freedom of choice He suffered unbearably when pondering which shirt to wear that day, the green or the blue, or which boots, the old or the new.A common warning to the kolkhoz chairmen by the District CommissionerRemember, you are under constant surveillance Chilling to think that how true this warning would be if they had the technology we have today.3 Stars Private Chonkin is breezy and hilarious read about a quixotic failure of a hero that serves as a compendium of communist dunderheads, snollygosters, lickspittles, boozers and bedpressers Acomplete catalog of nincompoopery I am not familiar with Voinovich s piss take on communist society should leave no attentive reader with a straight face There s little gravity in the style of Voinovich s writing as he s obviously focused on mockery But style aside unseating the power of communist oppression shouldn t be a laughing matter but something tells me that the day Voinovich learned of his loss of Russian citizenship there was probablythan a few laughs in his house The character development is a bit sparse around the periphery but that s not an impediment to the appreciation of this brief read The prose is breezy but not plain and anything not serving to advocate laughter is presented in almost apologetic tones Judgment and mockery are doled out in equal measures and for a change it s only the two main women Chonkins love and a home brewing granny that are both pained in mainly positive tones but even their graces pale in comparison to a pig and a horse So add Gogol s wit, Swift s social criticism, Zoschenko s humor in the face of oppression that is shared by Orkeny and you ll get something very much like Voinovich V should be sainted for his assistance in bringing Grossman s Life and Fate to print and his sense of humor places him properly at the right hand of Groucho I ve seen some less than glowing reviews of this book and I m not sure who wouldn t appreciate this other than those that might have approached it by force or without any appreciation of political satire Concise, hilarious and loads of fun this qualifies as a classic in my opinion at least This shares a space on my shelf next to Moscow to the End of the Line as the most hilariously entertaining Russian books I ve read One spoiler do not drink every home brew you are offered. The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin is perhaps the funniest book I have read all year It tells the tale of a simpleton Russian soldier named Ivan Chonkin who is sent to guard a plane that came down in the village of Krasnoye As the Germans picked this time to invade Russia, Chonkin is forgotten He begins a relationship with the local postmistress and all seems welluntil his neighbor whose plants were destroyed by the postmistress s cow turns him in as a deserter A detachment of NKVD the predecessors of the KGB is sent to arrest him, and is arrested in turn by Chonkin More andpeople from headquarters start showing up.The end is a hilarious confrontation when the imprisoned NKVD officer is in turn imprisoned by the Russian army, who mistake him for a German The NKVD officer plays along, yelling Heil Hitler Stalin kaputt Vladimir Voinovich has, in Chonkin created a classic of humor comparable to Hasek s The Good Soldier Svejk In many ways, Voinovich s novel is even better. 19561961 1963,, ,,,, , . This has been called the Russian vejk , and I can certainly see that It s a farce and it kept me smiling then laughing, at a little sly humor or at outright buffoonery.Skewering the communist system A meeting is an arrangement whereby a large number of people gather together, some to say what they really do not think, some not to say what they really do.Or the foolishness of war Chonkin did not learn about what had happenedBarbarossaimmediately because he was sitting in the outhouse, in no hurry to leave.The laugh out loud part is when, through a misunderstanding, a Russian officer escaping from Chonkin is thought by other Russian officials to be a German soldier He has to be interrogated, right So they find some junior lieutenant who studied German in school What he actually learned pretty much began and ended with Heute ist das Wasser warm. But in he goes to question the German The poor Russian officer wakes from a concussion, thanks to a rifle butt to the jaw, and is groggily confronted by this soldier barking some Guten Morgen, Herr at him Thinking himself captured by the Nazis, he starts shouting Heil Hitler Stalin kaputI was entertained.Not that these star rating thingies really matter, but I bumped this up a half star because Vladimir Voinovich is the guy who carried the micro filmed pages of Vasily Grossman s Life and Fate to the West That has to count for something. Chonkin a hapless, stupid soldier, is a classic Ivan from a folk tale who although simple and straight forward will win through in the end Taken out of his environment and placed in another ecosystem things quickly look very different Sent to guard an aeroplane that was forced to land in a village, the dumbest soldier in the Red Army becomes the cleverest man for miles around There he finds true love in the shape of the cleverest woman in the village view spoiler a woman who is beautifully described as literate , to contextualise her response in a moment of crisis hide spoiler