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A masterful tale set in post-Soviet Kiev that’s both darkly-funny and ominous...
In the widely hailed prequel to Penguin Lost, aspiring writer Viktor Zolotaryov leads a down-and-out life in poverty-and-violence-wracked Kiev–he’s out of work and his only friend is a penguin, Misha that he rescued when the local zoo started getting rid of animals. Even more nerve-wracking: a local mobster has taken a shine to Misha and wants to keep borrowing him for events.
But Viktor thinks he’s finally caught a break when he lands a well- paying job at the Kiev newspaper writing “living obituaries” of local dignitaries–articles to be filed for use when the time comes.
The only thing is it seems the time always comes as soon as Viktor writes the article. Slowly understanding that his own life may be in jeopardy, Viktor also realizes that the only thing that might be keeping him alive is his penguin.
Praise for Death and The Penguin
“Pathos and humor shine through to make this a black comedy of rare distinction, and the penguin is an invention of genius.”–The Spectator
Praise For Kurkov’s Penguin books
“A striking portrait of post-Soviet isolation.... In this bleak moral landscape Kurkov manages to find ample refuge for his dark humor.”–The New York Times
“Delicious... when Viktor finally finds Misha it is as if Woody Allen had gone to meet Kurtz.” –The Spectator
“The deadpan tone works perfectly, and it will be a hard-hearted reader who is not touched by Viktor’s relationship with his unusual pet.”–The Times (of London)