Summary of the “12 chairs” by Ilf and Petrov

Summary of the “12 chairs” by Ilf and Petrov

On April 15, 1927, in the city of N, the mother-in-law of Ippolit Matveyevich Vorobyaninov, the former leader of the nobility, dies. Before her death, she informs him that in one of the chairs of the living room, the headset left in Stargorod, where they fled after the revolution, all the family jewels have been sewn on it. Vorobyaninov urgently leaves for his hometown. The same goes to the confessing old woman and the priest, Fyodor Vostrikov, who learned about the valuables. Around the same time, a young man of about twenty-eight enters the Stargorod wearing a green waist suit, with a scarf and an astrolabe in his hands, the son of a Turkish-subject, Ostap Bender. Accidentally, he stops to spend the night in the vestibule of Vorobyaninov’s mansion, where he meets his former master.

The latter decides to take Bender to his assistants, and between them is a kind of concession. The hunt for chairs begins. The first is stored here, in the mansion, which is now the “2nd house of the social estate”. The head of the house, Alexander Yakovlevich (Alchen), a shy thief, arranged a bunch of his relatives in the house, one of whom sold this chair for three rubles to an unknown person. They are just the father of Fyodor, with whom Vorobyaninov enters the street in the fight for a chair. The chair breaks. There are no jewels in it, but it becomes clear that Vorobyaninov and Ostap have a competitor. Companions move to the hotel “Sorbonne”. Bender is looking for archivist Korobeinikov on the outskirts of the city, who keeps at home all the orders for the nationalized with new power furniture, including the former Vorobyaninovsky nut set by Master Gambs. It turned out that one chair was given to the disabled war veteran Gritsatsuev, and ten were transferred to the Moscow Museum of Furniture Craftsmanship. The archivist who came after Bender’s father Feodor deceives, selling him orders for the suite of General Popov, transferred in due time to engineer Bruns. On May Day in Stargorod, the first tram line is allowed. Accidentally recognized Vorobyaninov invited to dinner with his longtime lover Elena Stanislavovna Bour, moonlighting now fortune-telling. Bender gives the assembled to dinner “former” his partner for “the giant of thought, the father of Russian democracy and a person close to the emperor” and calls for the creation of an underground “Union of sword and plowshare.” Five hundred rubles are going to meet the future needs of the secret society. The next day, Bender marries the widow of Gritsatsyeva, “a sultry woman and the poet’s dream”, and on the first wedding night leaves her, taking in addition to the chair and other things. The chair is empty, and they go with Vorobyaninov to search for Moscow. The concessionaires stay in the student hostel with Bender’s acquaintances. There Vorobyaninov falls in love with the young wife of the draftsman Kolya – Lisa, who quarrels with her husband about the forced, due to lack of funds, vegetarianism. Accidentally being in the museum of furniture skill, Lisa meets there our heroes, looking for their chairs. It turns out that the desired set, seven years lying around in the warehouse, it is tomorrow will be put up for auction in the building of the Petrovsky passage. Vorobyaninov appoints Lisa a date. Half the amount received from the Strogor conspirators, he takes the girl on a cab to the cinema “Ars”, and then to Prague, now the “exemplary dining room MSSO,” where he shamefully gets drunk and, having lost a lady, it turns out the next morning in the police station with twelve rubles in his pocket. At the auction, Bender wins a bid at a figure of two hundred. So much money he has, but you still have to pay thirty rubles of commission. It turns out that Vorobyaninov has no money. The pair is taken out of the hall, the chairs are allowed to be sold by the retailer. Bender hires the neighboring street children for the ruble to trace the fate of the chairs. Four chairs get into the theater of Columbus, two took a chic chmara in a cab, one buys a bleating and wagging citizen on Sadovo-Spassky, the eighth is in the editorial office of the newspaper Stanok, the ninth in an apartment near Chistye Prudy, and the tenth disappears in the commodity yard of the October Railway Station. A new round of searches is beginning. “Chic chmarah” turns out to be a “cannibal” Ellochka, the wife of engineer Shchukin. Ellochka dispensed with thirty words and dreamed of shutting up the daughter of billionaire Vanderbildsha. Bender easily changes one of her chairs to the stolen strainer of Madam Gritsatsueva, but the trouble is that engineer Shchukin, unable to withstand the waste of his wife, moved out the day before from the apartment, taking the second chair. The engineer who lives with his friend takes a shower, unintelligibly leaves, lathered, on the landing, the door slams, and when Bender appears, the water is already pouring down the stairs. The chair that opened the door to the great combinator was given almost with tears of gratitude. Vorobyaninov’s attempt to seize the chair of the “bleating citizen” who turned out to be a professional humorist Absalom Iznurenkov ends in failure. Then Bender, pretending to be a judicial executor, takes away the chair himself. In the endless corridors of the House of Peoples, in which the editorial office of the newspaper “Stanok” is located, Bender comes upon Madame Gritsatsuev, who came to Moscow to look for her husband, whom she learned from an accidental note. In the pursuit of Bender, she gets entangled in the numerous corridors and leaves for Stargorod with nothing. In the meantime, all the members of the Union of the Sword and the Screamer were arrested, distributing places among themselves in the future government, and then, in fear, reported each other. Opening the chair in the office of the editor “Stanka”, Ostap Bender gets to the chair in the apartment of the verse Nikifor Lyapis-Trubetskoy. There remains a chair that disappeared in the commodity yard of the October Railway Station, and four chairs of the Columbus Theater, leaving on tour throughout the country. Visiting the day before the premiere of Gogol’s “Marriage”, staged in the spirit of constructivism, accomplices are convinced of the availability of chairs and go after the theater. At first they pretend to be artists and enter the ship, which goes with the actors to agitate the population to purchase the bonds of the winning loan. In one chair, stolen from the director’s cabin, the concessionaires find a drawer, but it only contains the nameplate of the master Gambs. In Vasyuki they are driven from the steamer for a badly produced banner. There, posing as a grandmaster, Bender gives a lecture on “a fruitful debut idea” and a session of simultaneous chess games. Before the shocked Vasyuki, he develops a plan for transforming the city into a world center of chess thought, in New Moscow – the capital of the country, the world, and then, when the method of interplanetary communication and the universe will be invented. Playing chess for the second time in my life, Bender loses all the games and runs from the city in a Vorobyaninov boat prepared in advance, turning the barge to the pursuers. Catching up the theater, accomplices fall in early July to Stalingrad, from there to Mineralnye Vody and finally to Pyatigorsk, where the mechanic Mechnikov agrees to kidnap the necessary for the twenty: “in the morning – money, in the evening – chairs or in the evening – money, in the morning – chairs.” To get money, Kisa Vorobyaninov asks alms as a former member of the State Duma from the Cadets, and Ostap collects money from tourists for the entrance to the Failure – Pyatigorsk landmark. Simultaneously, former owners of chairs come to Pyatigorsk: the humorist Iznurenkov, the ogre Ellochka with her husband, the thief Alchen and his wife Sashchen from the office. The architect brings the promised chairs, but only two of the three, which are opened (to no avail! ) on top of Mashuk mountain. In the meantime, he was wandering around the country in search of Bruns’s chairs and the deceived father Fyodor. First to Kharkov, thence to Rostov, then to Baku and finally to the dacha near Batum, where on his knees he asks Bruns to sell him chairs. His wife sells out everything that is possible, and sends Father Fyodor money. Having bought chairs and chopping them on the nearest beach, Father Fyodor, to his horror, finds nothing. The Columbus Theater takes the last chair to Tiflis. Bender and Vorobyaninov go to Vladikavkaz, and from there go on foot to Tiflis along the Military Georgian road, where they meet the unfortunate father Fyodor. Fleeing from the pursuit of competitors, he climbs on a rock with which he can not get down, goes crazy, and ten days later he removes there from Vladikavkaz firemen to take him to a psychiatric hospital. The concessionaires finally reach Tiflis, where they find one of the members of the “Union of the sword and scream” Kisliarsky, who “lend” five hundred rubles to save the life of “the father of Russian democracy.” Kisliarskiy flies to the Crimea, but friends, after drinking a week, go there after the theater. September. Having made their way to Yalta at the theater, the accomplices are ready to open the last of the theatrical chairs, as he suddenly “jumps” aside: the famous Crimean earthquake of 1927 begins. After opening the chair, Bender and Vorobyaninov find nothing in it. The last chair remains, which has sunk in the commodity yard of the October Railway Station in Moscow. In late October, Bender finds him in a new club of railway workers. After the comic bargaining with Vorobyaninov for interest from the future of capital, Ostap falls asleep, and somewhat injured in his mind for six months of searching, Ippolit Matveyevich cuts his throat with his razor. Then he sneaks into the club and opens the last chair there. There are no diamonds in it either. The watchman says that in the spring he accidentally found in his chair treasures hidden by the bourgeoisie. It turns out that this money was built, to everyone’s happiness, the new building of the club.


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Summary of the “12 chairs” by Ilf and Petrov