By Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov
Absolutely fantastic. This is exactly what I love: picaresque, amusing, ironic, intelligent and surreal. I am not sure how exactly they got this through the censor – possibly because the moral can be seen as being against the filthy lucre. The alternative ending given as an appendix is very interesting as well. As with most picaresque novels there is a search for something or a goal. I really don’t want to give too much away so all I can say is you should read it if you like this sort of thing. I do, so will soon be purchasing the Twelve Chairs and their American Road Trip.
As a summary, Ostap Bender is a con man operating in the relatively lax NEP environment of the 1920s. The Golden Calf is the sequel to the Twelve Chairs so I have read this the wrong way round – but no matter. I would really love a sequel to the Golden Calf. Maybe this is something worth pursuing – though it would need to be with an accomplice. Would anyone like to write a sequel with me?