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Двенадцать Стульев (Ostap Bender #1)

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  13,556 Ratings  ·  215 Reviews
Ostap Bender is an unemployed con artist living by his wits in postrevolutionary Soviet Russia. He joins forces with Ippolit Matveyevich Vorobyaninov, a former nobleman who has returned to his hometown to find a cache of missing jewels which were hidden in some chairs that have been appropriated by the Soviet authorities. The search for the bejeweled chairs takes these unl ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published 2010 by АСТ (first published 1927)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 12, 2012 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

Good fun. It feels a bit dated, but that may be due to me being a Romanian and reading a 1960 English translation of a 1927 Russian text, and losing some of the original flavor along the way. Still, it is easy to see why Twelve Chairs is considered a classic, both inside and outside the Soviet space. At the first glance, it is an extremely sharp satire of the times in which the talented duo from Odessa were both witnesses and actors, as seen in the chapters about the editor of a Moscow newspap
I'm almost ashamed for not enjoying this book a lot more, but I suppose I've read it too late.
The beginning was one of the funniest I've come across in a long time, there were hilarious moments when I laughed out loud, the plot was really well crafted at times and it had some interesting insights into Russian social and political climate around 1920's. I was amazed to discover that some of the observations are valid even today - some things never change, it seems.
Yet, the language was a little
Well, I've read this book for about 3 or 4 times so far and listened once to a radio dramatisation. All in Russian, of course. The first acquaintance with the book occurred when I was just a little boy, of about 10. Knowing very little about USSR's grievous past, about uneasy 20s or new economical policy (NEP) introduced by Lenin, about hardships of a newly born communist empire and so forth, all these being a setting for the novel in question, I enjoyed it much nonetheless.

Then I read this boo
Aug 09, 2015 Floydian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
ძალიან ვიკაიფე ამ წიგნით.
მთავარი ხაზის, განძის ძიების მიღმა თუ გავიხედებით, აღმოვაჩენთ რომ ხალხის დაბოლების მასტერკლასებს ატარებს ბატონი ბენდერი. ამ წიგნის კითხვისას კიდევ ერთხელ დავინახავთ თუ როგორ გვაჭმევენ გაიძვერა, მოხერხებული ავანტურისტები გონებაჩლუნგ საზოგადოებას აბსურდულ იმედებს - ოსტაპ ბენდერი თავისი ჭადრაკის საპლანეტათშორისო კონგრესით ერთ კუანა ქალაქში და დიდი სიკეთის მთესველი "მახვილისა და სახნისის კავშირით", სააკაშვილი ლაზიკათი და სხვა ქარიზმატული და უიმედო წამოწყებებით, ბიძო "უფასო ფ
Harry Kane
Jun 08, 2012 Harry Kane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All my life this was the funniest book I have ever read. Once a year or two I would revisit it and double up instantly in helpless mirth. Because of this book I can pinpoint with accuracy the year I matured - it was the year I reread the book and realized that in spite of it playfull wittiness, it described a crushingly depressive vision of humanity. The last time I reread this book I didn't laugh once. I only cringed and groaned. Still brilliant, but suddenly not so lighthearted at all.
Good thi
Aug 14, 2016 Emina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ilk 150 sayfasını okudum ve çoook eğlenceli buldum kitabı. Rus yazar hayranlığım bu kitapla daha da artti.

Kitap bittikten sonra gelen duzeltme: Rus edebiyatını sevmenin verdiği rahatlıkla çok eğlenerek ve keyifle okudum ama itiraf etmeliyim ki kitabın eğlenceli yani haliyle biraz eski moda. Ve hiç beklemediğim bir sonla bittiği için de kitabın yazarlarına ( evet iki ayrı yazar) ayrıca kızgınım.
Ah ne okusam şu yaz günü diyenler için gayet iyi bir kitap.
Rusça dan çeviri diyince aklımda yazar adı
Ilf and Petrov started off writing short humourous pieces for Soviet newspapers. The quest plot of The Twelve Chairs gave them a loose format that allowed them to write it as a series of fairly short comic incidents. (My favourite of these has the lead character posing as Chess Grand Master and challenging an entire chess club to simultaneous matches). This isn't unique, Three Men in a Boat, Diary of a Nobody and The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War all take much the same app ...more
A sure sign of a great novel is its ability to enthrall and entertain the reader over and over again, withstanding multiple rereads over the years. Twelve Chairs by Ilf and Petrov is such a novel for me. I can probably turn the last page and immediately crack the book open again at the beginning, perpetually submerged in the adventures of former bourgeois Kisa Vorobyaninov and the legendary conman Ostap Bender as they throw themselves into a breakneck hunt for the coveted chair with heirloom dia ...more
Jan 23, 2009 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Russian satire from the late imperial and early Soviet period. It's basically a picaresque - Ostap Bender is a rogue who knows Soviet society so deeply and truly that he can exploit it for his own gain. Voryobaninov is dragged along (well, mostly :-) and everyone else is basically a caricature - but what brilliant caricatures! I&P do for the Soviet period what Gogol did for the Imperial - basically, show that nothing's changed.
I read this in Russian years ago. While it's absolutely hilarious in its native language, the translation works just fine, too. To really appreciate, however, you'll need to have a decent grasp of Russian culture and humor, specifically during the Soviet era.

I loved this enough that let's put it this way... I have a cat named Ostap. :D
All the time it was going so nice, so funny, but then the ending...!!!

OMG! First I thought I've misunderstood something, after third time rereading all I can say: F you Ilya Ilf, F you! I still cant believe it! Not Bender! Please!

But I can't give it less than 5 (though i have to try to forget 'THE ENDING'), pure humour, loved it.
Mar 21, 2016 Bjorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russia, soviet
OK, now that was just plain old... fun.

A bit dated, sure. But it's very easy to see why it's become a classic; not only is it laugh-out-loud-in-public funny, but with some brilliant settings and character work too, all circling around a huckster character who'll sell people any get-rich-quick scheme or political/philosophical utopia with the same bravado. Almost as if there wasn't really a huge difference between appealing to Mammon or Lenin when it comes to getting people to think they're doing
Anna Kļaviņa
Is this one of the works that are untranslatable like Eugene Onegin, I'm not sure. Could be.

Ostap Bender is now one of my favourite characters. I've suspicion he might be a sociopath, someone you would wish to avoid in real life but as fictional character it's hard not to like him. He is very charming.

Osip Shor (Осип Шор) - the prototype of Ostap Bender. Interesting personality.

Free audiobook available here. Password:
Jul 08, 2011 Grifonus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Сейчас в очередной раз перечитываю, всё так же получаю удовольствие.
Всё таки в экранизации много не вошло(хотя они и неплохи). Чего стоит одна история о гусаре, который решил стать отшельником, и искал смысл жизни и смешно и поучительно. Собственно, то же самое можно сказать о всей книге.
Jul 24, 2010 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Russian Lit People
Shelves: russian
When you hear me say: "Don't tell me how to live," you hear me quotethis book. You might need to know a little about Russian history to enjoy this, or not. Times were tough, money was scarce, and Moscow was having a housing crisis. You're prepared. Go read it.
I read this book many years ago when I was in college—loved it! Ippolit Matveyevich Vorobyaninov had been a nobleman in Russia before the revolution. Some of his family’s jewels had been hidden inside the seats of a set of chairs which were confiscated by authorities. With the help of a con artist named Ostap Bender, Ippolit sets out to find them. This satire of the early Soviet system had me, at times, laughing out loud at the escapades of the two men as they travelled the country in search of ...more
Aug 21, 2016 Marta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Tā kā vispirms biju redzējusi Jaunā Rīgas teātra izrādi, informēta par saturu biju. Tomēr domāju, ka labāk būtu bijis sākt ar grāmatu, kurā ir tik daudz pietiekami nozīmīgu detaļu, ka izrāde vienīgi piešķirtu lasītajam attēlu. Tēli prātā vizualizējās kā no izrādes, taču par to biju tikai priecīga - izrāde ir izcila.
Interesanti bija lasīt par to, kā kāre pēc bagātībām spēj iedvesmot vienkāršus cilvēkus rīkoties, izmantojot absurdas metodes, doties (burtiski) smieklīgi lielus attālumus, meklējot,
The Twelve Chairs by Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov, and its sequel, The Golden Calf, have enjoyed an immense popularity in Russia and Eastern Europe. I had read (and greatly enjoyed) The Golden Calf many years ago in Romanian, and as a consequence, I was very excited by the recent publication of a new English translation of The Twelve Chairs (Northwestern, 2011, translated from the Russian by Anne O. Fisher). I wondered, however, whether a satirical Russian novel set in 1927 and published a year la ...more
Jul 28, 2012 Olga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Наверно я единстенная, но я не смотрела фильм и не читала книгу "Двенадцать стульев" до сегодняшего дня, т.е. до моих 25 лет. А тут неожиданный и такой приятный подарок от подруги на Новый Год - "Двенадцать стульев" и "Золотой теленок" Ильфа и Петрова в необычном издании. Чтение началось с "Двенадцати стульев", как перовго совместого произведения этих писателей, которое сделало их легендами.
Я даже представить себе не могла, что столько фраз в нашей повседневной жизни было заимствовано именно из
Sep 19, 2016 Aslan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dahi kombinator Ostap Benderin siyasi-ictimai məsələlərlə bağlı elə özünəxas dahiıiklə etdiyi çıxış :D

-Vətəndaşlar - deyə Ostap iclası açaraq diləndi - Həyat öz qanunlarını diktə edir, öz amansız qanunlarını. Mən yığıncağımızın məqsədi barədə danışmayacam - o sizə bəllidir. Məqsəd müqəddəsdir. Biz hər tərəfdən iniltilər eşidirik. Geniş ölkəmizin hər tərəfindən köməyə çağırırlar. Biz kömək əlimizi uzatmalıyıq və biz onu uzadacağıq. Sizdən biri işləyir və yağ yaxmacı yeyir, digəri mövsümi işlə məş
Feb 01, 2015 Ieva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un vēl viena Lielās lasīšanas TOP 100 grāmata – dīvainā kārtā esmu pamanījusies līdz šim brīdim neredzēt ne filmu, ne izlasīt romānu. Lai gan nekā dīvaina tur nav – nav mans ģimenes tradīcijās skatīties „vecās krievu filmas”, lielu daļu esmu redzējusi vai nu pieaugušā vecumā apzināti izvēloties beidzot noskatīties to populāro filmu, vai tā arī nenoskatos.
Zinu, ka ir izdots arī necenzētais variants, bet tas, pirmkārt, ir biezāks un līdz ar to somā apkārt grūti nēsājams un, otrkārt, man nepatīk la
Mar 27, 2016 Elena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Лёд тронулся, господа присяжные заседатели! Лёд тронулся! Не могу не вставить сюда эту ставшую крылатой фразу, так как в свои 22 23 года я таки вышла из стыдливого клуба не читавших сие творение знаменитого тандема Ильфа и Петрова. В конце концов, неприлично щеголять цитатами из «12 стульев» (коих оказалось огрооомное количество, роман буквально на них «растаскан»), «стульев» этих самых не читая. О том, что первоисточником большинства этих фраз является роман, я и понятия не имела. Что ж, будем ...more
Marin Popa
A satirical account of the early soviet times, the NEP period, disguised as an action comedy.
It is surprising how this book (and the second one - The Little Golden Calf) passed the rigour of the drastic communist censorship.
I read it initially 30 years ago and I was amazed by the incessant humour and the sharp fine critique of a society which was totally different from the one portrayed in the propaganda books.
People here try to make a living, some more desperately than others and none is conce
Claudia Serbanescu
Rusia sovietica a anului 1927 satirizata cu un haz incontestabil. Alegeti versiunea necenzurata, editata de Polirom in 2012, deoarece diferenta este semnificativa fata de versiunile anterioare.…/...
Dec 28, 2014 Octavian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: satire
A very good satire that reminds me somehow of Bulgakov. Recommended!
Jan 21, 2013 Guna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lai gan mucā gluži augusi neesmu, jāatzīst, ka vēl nesen par Divpadsmit krēsliem neko nebiju dzirdējusi. Ostapa Bendera vārdu gan zināju, bet nekad necentos noskaidrot, kas tas par putnu. Nu tad beidzot es zinu!
Pirms lasīšanas, apskatot recenzijas, nopratu, ka būs daudz jāsmejas. Nu, laikam nebiju pareizajā stāvoklī, jo pārāk bieži nesmējos, lai gan romāns nudien ir asprātīgs, man drīzāk bija slinkums smieties. Taču nodaļa par dzejnieku Luņķi man šķita absolūti ģeniāla, un es smējos nepieklājīgi
Vladimir Grigorov
Две забавни истории, които на няколко места ме накараха да се смея с глас. Ако ги бях прочел малко по-рано, когато му беше времето, може би щяха да ми се видят още по-забавни. На заден план, интересно беше да се види времето, в което живеем, пуснато като на лента отзад напред. Или с други думи как частната инициатива се измества от комунистическата колективизация.

Дали защото двамата автори си подхождат като Андреа Бочели и Дейвид Гета, или просто защото и на двамата им е харесвало всяка глава на
Apr 08, 2013 Arnis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tomēr aizmocīju līdz galam.
Pirmo smaidu grāmata izvilināja tikai 309. lapaspusē. Humors tomēr noveco. Paskaidrojumi gan sakrita uz nerviem. Piemēram, 31. nodaļā paskaidrojumu teksts ir tikpat vai pat garāks par pašu grāmatas nodaļu.
Ja kādu interesē, tad 166. lapaspusē var atrast avotu no kurienes nāca slavenais Putina izteiciens par "sprāguša ēzeļa ausīm" Abrenes kontekstā. Redz' kā lasot klasikas grāmatas var iemācīties labāk izprast mūsdienu Pasauli!
Lielos vilcienos - no paskaidrojumiem maz jē
Jan 13, 2013 BoekenTrol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to BoekenTrol by: Igor
Saying "I liked this book" will probably get me lots of comments, how I dare to only give it 3 stars. It is such a great book....!

Well, yes it is. Or at least, that is what I hear around me. But.... I've grown up here in the west, Russian is not my mother tongue and therefor reading this book did not come all naturally to me.
Of course I liked it, but I sometimes was more busy trying to figure out if it was satirical, just humor or neither. And to see if I could find parallels between the charact
I chose this because it was classic. And most of the time, you can never go wrong with classics. I was a bit wrong. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't brilliant either. Something in the middle, nothing that stays in memory for a long time.
After reading Remarque (which I absolutely love), then "Sh*t my dad says" (gorgeous, for sure), this was just "eh, nothing special". Maybe if I'd read it in different circumstances, I'd love it! That's why I'm going to re-read it some day.
I thought that the humor was
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Latvija: ĀRZEMJU-aprīlis-Divpadsmit krēsli 7 84 Feb 01, 2015 04:14AM  
Discovering Russi...: 2013 Group Read: The Twelve Chairs by Ilya Ilf 5 90 Apr 21, 2014 07:01AM  
  • The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin
  • The Tale of Tsar Saltan
  • Village Evenings Near Dikanka and Mirgorod
  • The Compromise
  • The White Guard
  • Приключения Незнайки
  • Children of the Arbat (Arbat Tetralogy, #1)
  • Nervous People and Other Satires
  • Понедельник начинается в субботу
  • Moscow to the End of the Line
  • Envy
  • Demon
  • The Petty Demon
  • Волшебник Изумрудного города (Волшебник Изумрудного города, #1)
  • The Golovlyov Family
  • Peter the First
  • Tales of Odessa
  • Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
Илья Ильф (Iehiel-Leyb (Ilya) Arnoldovich Faynzilberg; 15 October 1897 in Odessa – 13 April 1937) was an extremely popular Soviet author of the 1920s and 1930s, who worked in collaboration with Yevgeny Petrov. Ilya Ilf died from tuberculosis.

See also

Илья Ильф
Ilja Ilf
Иля Илф
More about Ilya Ilf...

Other Books in the Series

Ostap Bender (2 books)
  • Golden Calf

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“Он любил и страдал. Он любил деньги и страдал от их недостатка.” 50 likes
“Время, которое мы имеем, - это деньги, которых мы не имеем.” 19 likes
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