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The Golden Calf (Ostap Bender #2)

4.47 of 5 stars 4.47  ·  rating details  ·  3,141 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Ostap Bender, the "grand strategist," is a con man on the make in the Soviet Union during the New Economic Policy (NEP) period. He’s obsessed with getting one last big score—a few hundred thousand will do—and heading for Rio de Janeiro, where there are "a million and a half people, all of them wearing white pants, without exception."

When Bender hears the story of Alexandr
...more
Paperback, 323 pages
Published December 15th 2009 by Open Letter (first published 1931)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ints
Šī grāmata man pusaudžu gados kotējās tikpat augstu kā „Divpadsmit krēsli”. Iespējams, pie vainas bija tas, ka padomjlaiku izdevumā abas šīs grāmatas bija atrodamas kopā, iespējams, ka manī mājoja privātīpašnieciskums. Esmu ļoti iepriecināts, ka izdevniecība „Zvaigzne ABC” turpina izdot šo padomjlaiku romānu necenzētās versijas. Man ļoti gribējās uzzināt, kas tad padomju varai ir licies ārā izmešanas vērts.

Kurš gan no mums negribētu, lai Ostapa Bendera vārdiem runājot, piepildītos scenārijs: “.
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Emily
Part political satire, part madcap adventure, part giant pun fest, The Golden Calf had me laughing out loud by the end of the first page and hooked until the end of the last.

Gurevich and Anderson offer a complete translation of the novel (unlike earlier editions that left out entire chapters) as a labor of love--they are not full-time translators--and their long hours and sometimes days spent researching and deliberating over single words or phrases certainly paid off, as they have accomplished
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March
It's hard sometimes for a book or a movie to make me genuinely lol. I was giggling so hard while reading Zolotoi Telenok, it deserves four, if not five stars just for that.
Ilf and Petrov are a very witty couple, and even though the narration and the language of their books seem light-hearted, a lot of work has gone into making every little detail right. And this book is full of quirky colorful little details of life and mores in 1920s' Russia. I guess I'm also really loving Russian authors for
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Bill Paterson
Wonderful, funny and amazing this got by the censors in Russia in its time. these two authors created one of the finest characters in Russian literature -- Ostep Bender.
Anna
Feb 07, 2010 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
A comic Russian novel? It’s possible. The Golden Calf by Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov is described as hilarious and raucous—and I admit, I was skeptical. The book was published in the early 1930s in the Soviet Union, first serialized over several years in a popular magazine. Funny? Maybe. But I doubted that the humor would translate over eight decades to an English-reader in the United States.

But it did. This is a book that can be best described as a caper, featuring Ostap Bender, a larger than l
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Anna
"Золотой теленок" - это продолжение приключений Остапа Бендера. Этот выдающийся авантюрист все никак не успокоится и мечтает заполучить миллион (желательно, особо не напрягаясь и уважая Уголовный кодекс). И вот у него появляеся шанс...

Ильф и Петров снова блеснули. Столько разных героев, характеров! И все такие живые, яркие! Советская бюрократия, подпольные миллионеры, мучимые кошмарами по ночам почитатели монархии... Да кого только не встретит на своем пути неутомимый Остап!

Правда, конец меня н
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Claudia Serbanescu
O poveste plina de haz cu escroci...simpatici si peripetiile lor prin Rusia sovietica.
Un citat:
"— În Rusia sovietică, spunea el învelindu-se în pătură, casa de nebuni este singurul loc unde poate trăi un om normal. Tot restul este un hiperbalamuc. Nu, eu nu pot să trăiesc cu bolşevicii. Mai bine stau aici, în tovărăşia unor nebuni obişnuiţi. Ăştia, cel puţin, nu construiesc socialismul. Apoi, aici ţi se dă de mâncare gratis. Pe când acolo, în halimaua lor, trebuie să munceşti. Dar eu n-am să mun
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Yulichka Dmytryshyn
Great combination of spicy humour and lifetime wisdom.

- Надо мыслить, - сурово ответил Остап. - Меня, например, кормят идеи.
- Командовать парадом буду я!
- Автомобиль, товарищи, не роскошь, а средство передвижения! Остап.
- Бензин ваш, а идеи наши! Остап.
- Жизнь прекрасна, невзирая на недочеты.
- С деньгами нужно расставаться легко, без стонов.
- Раз вы живете в Советской стране, то и сны у вас должны быть советские.
- Я, конечно, не херувим. У меня нет крыльев, но я чту уголовный кодекс. Это моя сл
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Katya
Безумно веселая книга, написанная сочно и ярко, с фразами, разошедшимися в народ. Книга очень интересная и забавная. Не несёт в себе ничего плохого, гарантирует только хорошее настроение. Читается очень хорошо и быстро, Остап Бендер на высоте. Это шедевр, конечно!
projektmagla
I am not a big fan of political satire but in this case - I was swept off my feet.
Story revolves around Ostap Bender, a lovable con artist in Soviet Russia which dreams on becoming a millionaire and moving to Rio de Janeiro - and he will do anything to make it happen.
I loved the humor, loved the illustrations but it took me a while to finish it due to a lot of complicated abbreviations from the Soviet era.
But... All in all I really liked it and will have to read the prequel - The Twelve Chairs o
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Yofish
Written between Russian Revolution and WWII. Sort of satire of early Soviet life--these guys also wrote "The Twelve Chairs." A con-man and his minions spend most of the book trying to bilk money from a millionaire who sort of stole his money during state-run projects, but who now lives the life of a lowly clerk, and on the salary of a lowly clerk (so as not to give away the fact that he's rich). Various adventures with cars (they pretend to be leading a cross-country race, which makes them semi- ...more
Realini
I loved both The Golden Calf and The Twelve Chairs, by Ilf and Petrov. I would say for both books, what Sinclair said about The Golden Calf:

"....Upton Sinclair “assured us that he'd never laughed as hard ashe did while reading

The Little Golden Calf.

... he announced thathe practically had it memorized.”—

Letters of Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov (1935)

There is a sadness and regret as I write this, since I had to live through all that: Yes, Ilf and Petrov make it all sound very funny, but the humor is
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Olga
Книга с культовыми выражениями, которым улыбаешься, когда читаешь.
В этой книге людей искать счастья, т.е. богатсва с Остапом Бендером побольше набралось - Шура Балаганов, Паниковский, Адам Козлевич. Как развести миллионера, чтобы он сам отдал свой миллион? Бендер заявляет, что он с легкостью это сделает, и таки сделал! А что с этим богатством делать - это уже совсем другая история.
В книге так много отдельно взятых интересных моментов, которые хочется отметить, - сыновья лейтенанта Шмидта, фирм
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Vlad Toma
Una dintre cele mai bune carti pe care le-am citit. Comicul si lejeritatea cu care e descrisa societatea rusa de la inceputul luminoasei Puteri Sovietice prin prisma unui erou romantic si liber in visele sale sunt extraordinare. Orice urma de umanitate e distrusa, dar nu dispare umorul....
Dan Richter
Wieder herrlich komische Szenen, aber es kann von Tempo und Witz nicht ganz an die zwölf Stühle anschließen. Außerdem doch deutlich bei Huckleberry Finn geborgt.
Mikee
A funny, satirical and ultimately ridiculous (in a good way) book about a Russian con man trying to make it in the era of the first Five Year Plan in the Soviet Union.
Sarah
Sep 05, 2012 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sarah by: MB
Even funnier than Twelve Chairs, I think. A few special favorite moments: (view spoiler)

Basically, there were q
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Baklavahalva
Absolutely hilarious, I have no idea how Ilf and Petrov got away with this kind of satire (I guess, had they lived any longer, they, too, would have ended up in a gulag), while the book can, without too much stretching, work as a criticism of a money-obsessed hedonistic crook brilliantly embodied by Ostap Bender or of an entire army of crooks, small and large, exploiting the utter chaos present at a transitional moment from czarism to Communism and from one type of Communist economic policy to a ...more
Vafa
Hilarious and although written at the time of the NEP a very modern book :)
Borislav Stefanov
Amazing book. It is funny and sad, light and sophisticated at the same time.... While, perhaps written as an easy reading type of book, it is still so thorough, with such precise and vivid descriptions, that it transports you back in Soviet Russia from the 1920s-30s, and lacking any political or other propaganda brings a certain feeling of nostalgia for and era that has long gone and will not come back.
Kobe Bryant
Pretty cool Soviet adventure, and I did not learn any lessons
Nina
Okay, I tried to like this classic Soviet Union tale. I really tried. But, I wasn't getting the jokes. It was basically about a gang of tricksters who try to pull the wool over everyone else's eyes and rob people. I just wasn't following the humor. My friend from Russia told me that you just have to know the Soviet Union to appreciate the dry humor of this book. She said that even her daughter who lived part of her life in America wouldn't understand it at this point. I gave it a try, but I just ...more
Val
I wanted to read "Twelve Chairs", but was finding it difficult to get hold of a copy. This is the sequel to it, and is available for kindle and as a book. (I don't know why one should be and the other not, it seems strange.)
Some of my favourite books of Russian satire turn out to be written by Ukrainians, when Ukraine was part of the USSR. This one doesn't make my favourites list, but is pretty good. I think it would have been better if I had read "Twelve Chairs" first, as I would have understoo
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Lavinia
I think this summarizes my taste for satyre... I guess it is funny, if you like that kind of humour. I guess it criticizes, and even not so subtly, but not enough for my taste. The idea of treating communism as a joke - just cannot work for me. There was nothing funny about communism and I hate presenting it as such. What would Germans react like to a satyre on the nazy regime? Or maybe I'm just not open-minded enough. Bottom line: it definitely did not make me laugh, even if I do believe it's v ...more
Valentyna Zelena
This is a great irony on the USSR. And Bender is just so lovable and adventurous, I am in love with him. I think that each character is thought of to the greatest details, so there is consistency in character.
This book is easy to read, easy to comprehend and is quite funny with the hint of irony. I recommend it to everyone, who is tired of philosophical and "thinking" books. Take a bread and enjoy a good laugh with Golden Calf.
I am definitely reading more of Ilf and Petrov!
Bimbo
Za kalibre, ki so doslej že večkrat naleteli na ime Ostap Bender in razumeli le, da gre za nekakšnega zvitega prevaranta, je ta knjiga pravo odkritje. Prav tako za tiste, ki radi preberejo kakšno zmerno gorko na račun socializma-komunizma. Enako velja za tiste, ki na obeh glavnih ideološko-političnih bregovih zadnjega stoletja prepoznavamo slabe in dobre plati. Je tudi mojstrsko napisano in - se mi zdi - krasno prevedeno. Kdor ljubi ruski esprit, jo tudi mora prebrati.
Zygmunt
This novel contains, in no particular order: a typewriter with a German accent, funerals for bureaucratic red tape (coffin and pallbearers included), anti-clerical card tricks, ideologically-correct brain teasers, a Revenge Industrial Cooperative, Soviet road rallies, a rubber stamp swearing ceaseless dedication to stamping out convention in opera, a locomotive with a newsletter, and formalized collusion in the trade of Revolutionary hero descendant impersonation.
Will
About as funny as a book can be. This sequel to The Twelve Chairs follows Ostap Bender, a likable con man, and his inferior partners across the southern Soviet Union and back by car, train, air, and camel. Their mark is a wealthy grifter who is so afraid of being caught by the authorities himself that he refuses to spend any money at all to avoid notice. Once the loot is in hand, however, there is nothing for a private citizen to buy.
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Must read 5 7 Nov 23, 2014 08:08AM  
Fabula: Обсуждение романа "Золотой теленок" 15 12 Aug 30, 2014 03:44AM  
Better, annotated version 1 23 Jan 18, 2013 11:48PM  
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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 Yevgeni Petrov. See Ilf and Petrov for more info.

Ilya Ilf died from tuberculosis.

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilf_and_...
More about Ilya Ilf...

Other Books in the Series

Ostap Bender (2 books)
  • The Twelve Chairs
The Twelve Chairs Двенадцать стульев. Золотой теленок Ilf and Petrov's American Road Trip: The 1935 Travelogue of Two Soviet Writers 1001 день, или Новая Шахерезада Необыкновенные истории из жизни города Колоколамска. 1001 день, или Новая Шахерезада

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“Жизнь страны менялась с каждым столетием. Менялась одежда, совершенствовалось оружие, были усмирены картофельные бунты. Люди научились брить бороды. Полетел первый воздушный шар. Были изобретены железные близнецы пароход и паровоз. Затрубили автомашины.
А дорога осталась такой же, какой была при Соловье разбойнике.”
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“Финансовая пропасть-самая глубокая из всех пропастей, в нее можно падать всю жизнь.” 3 likes
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