Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin by Vladimir Voinovich
This book is one of the only satires I've read, and I really enjoyed it. It was the story of Ivan Chonkin, a private in the Red Army, who is sent to guard a downed plane in an obscure village. He is issued a week's worth of food and promptly forgotten. After marching back and forth in front of the plane for a couple minutes, he notices a pretty girl in the garden next door and introduces himself, and thus begins his relationship with the village postmistress, whom he lives with for a while, forgotten by the army and quite contented. But when suspicion arises about the mysterious soldier hidden away in a village, a few officers are sent to arrest him, and havoc ensues. The rest of the book is packed with humorous misunderstandings and mockery of the government, society and just about everything else.