With the remaining ten chairs consuming both father Theodore, who is sent on a wild goose chase to the edge of Russia, and the pair working together the beginning of the end draw near as each of the chairs is discovered and found to be empty.
This search takes them across Moscow and then finally down to the Crimea. Ippolit and Bender survive being chased out of town by the chess club, an earthquake and other threats.
But the impact of chasing wealth and living like a beggar is that it changes the outlook from Ippolit and he turns from a former member of the landed gentry into a criminal. In the end he is determined to resort to extreme measures to get his hands on the jewels.
But in this tale of the madness of bureaucracy and of the collective against the greed of the individual the fates of Theodore, Ippolit and Bender are all cautions of how naked greed and tear apart the mind and soul. Although there are plenty of little shots at the soviet system and society it is that final message that presumably protected the book and the authors from the traditional Soviet censorship and spells in prison.
A review will follow soon…