Originally Posted by toomanybooks
I recently finished reading a pair of Russian novels written and set in 1930s Soviet Union about a unscrupulous con artist running around Russia after a treasure using all sorts of tricks and wiles. They are called Diamonds for Sitting On and The Golden Calf by Ilya Ilf. If you want to read a less literary, but amusing set of stories set in this era, I would recommend these books.
On one of those, Mel Brooks might have based his second film: The twelve chairs.