The Little Golden Calf by Ilya Ilf

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Synopsis

This brand new, award-winning translation of the famous satirical sequel to The Twelve Chairs resurrects the con man Ostap Bender, the smooth operator, and follows him and his three hapless co-conspirators on a hilarious romp through the Soviet Russia and Central Asia of 1930.

Bender says he has "very serious differences of opinion with Soviet power. It wants to build socialism, and I don't." The smooth operator wants to emigrate to Rio de Janeiro, so he and his crew set off in pursuit of an underground millionaire, who, Bender is certain, will bring me his money himself, on a little saucer with a sky-blue rim.

One of the greatest works of Russian satire of the 20th century (the 1932 American translation billed it as "The book that's too funny to be published in Russia!"), this lively new translation (the first since 1961) by Anne O. Fisher is copiously annotated (nearly 300 footnotes), and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book s two co-authors.

So many quotations from The Little Golden Calf have entered everyday Russian speech that it stands alongside the works of Griboyedov, Pushkin, and Gogol for its profound effect on Russian language and culture. The tale overflows with legendary literary episodes, offering a portrait of Russian life that is as funny and true today as it was when the novel was first published (this edition is the first unabridged, uncensored English translation, and is 100% true to the original serial publication).

For decades, foreigners trying to understand Russia have been advised to read the adventures of Ostap. This new translation makes them more enjoyable than ever.
 

About Ilya Ilf

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Published January 8, 2011 by Russian Life Books. 450 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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