While the pseudonymous authors of this picaresque novel have been dead for more than twenty years, their work has survived them-certainly their most famous comic novel, The Twelve Cha, and now comes this exuberant satire (which is also scheduled for play production this fail). Its scapegrace hero is Ostap Bender, a blustering ""smooth operator"" who is the year 1980- in the ancient automobile he has christened ""Antelope-Gnu"" is tracking a ""secret millionaire"" across the length and breadth of Soviet Russia. He gets little help from his three Inept confederates, but he has a broad objective: the shakedown of a million rubies which will eventually take him to his imaginary paradise - Brazil. While much of this is farce, there are many brilliant comic characterizations and satirical insights into the early Communist regime. With so very much to recommend it, it is a pity that there is not a better translation than this limping version by John H. C. Richardson.