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Jonathon Cape, London, 1977. hardcover, 8" x 5 1/4", with dust jacket. Ours is an ex-library copy in transparent protective covering, with usual stamps, stickers, barcode, pocket etc. GOOD book in GOOD unclipped dust jacket. Black cloth-bound boards with gold type to spine, tinted top edge. Private Chonkin is hardly what one expects a hero to be. Small, red-eared, awkward, he is is a simple farm boy who has been drafted into the Red Army. Shortly before the second World War starts, he is commandeered to stand guard over a downed plane in a forsaken village, with only a week's supply of canned meat and orders that the plane must be protected at all costs. Apparently forgotten, Chonkin resorts to his natural peasant existence (with a young woman) until, after the German invasion, the secret police learn of this mysterious soldier and pursue him, leading to wild skirmishes and slapstick encounters. A piece of Russian literary history; with chapters secretly circulated, building a legendary reputation for the author.