Hasek's episodic novel describes the adventures of a soldier who is drafted into the Czech army despite the fact that he has been certified as retarded. Svejk becomes a batman (a kind of servant) to Lieutenant Lukas. He constantly gets himself and the Lieutenant into trouble because he always follows instructions to the letter. When he is told to wait at a railroad station, he misses the troop train, and begins to try to find his regiment by walking in the wrong direction. He is arrested as a deserter, but is sent back to his regiment where he is promoted to orderly. Later when he is sent to find billeting for the troops, he tries on a Russian uniform he finds and is arrrested as a spy. He is threatened with hanging until an officer from his regiment recognizes him. Svejk's misadventures are meant to show the follies of the military. Hasek died before he was able to complete the book.
This report prepared by Jack Goodstein