In A Displaced Person—the third book in a trilogy that began with the modern classic The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin and continued with Pretender to the Throne—author Vladimir Voinovich turns his satirical eye to the difficult last days of the Soviet Communism he so lampooned. Often absurd, A Displaced Person follows a series of random events that brings Chonkin to the United States, where he becomes a farmer and, eventually, a member of a congressional delegation sent to the Soviet Union in 1989, during perestroika, to discuss agriculture with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. A Displaced Person carries on the rich Russian tradition of an essentially comic response to the absurdities inherent in totalitarian regimes.
Ivan Chonkin is a simple, bumbling peasant who has been drafted into the Red Army. Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, he is sent to an obscure village with one week's ration of canned meat and orders to guard a downed plane. Apparently forgotten by his unit, Chonkin resumes his life as a peasant and passes the war tending the village postmistress's garden. Just after the German invasion, the secret police discover this mysterious soldier lurking behind the front line. Their pursuit of Chonkin and his determined resistance lead to wild skirmishes and slapstick encounters.
This hilarious novel following the continuing adventures of Ivan Chonkin, a simple peasant who has been arrested as a traitor after spending World War II happily tending a garden. In this sequel to The Extraordinary Life and Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, Vladimir Voinovich ridicules everything sacred to the Soviet Union--the army, the justice system, the press, and Stalin himself--in a refreshing combination of dissident conscience and universal humor.