16 February 2011

Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov

My first book by Andrey Kurkov and certainly not my last.

A Ukraininan writer, Kurkov plunges us with irony and humour into a world full of invisible manipulation. Death and the Penguin is not a thriller as such, but as you read it, you know there is an underlying threat somewhere, somehow, for the protagonist.

The lovely, simple Viktor just wants to lead a normal life, with his penguin Misha by his side, of course. A writer with not much success, he is employed by a newspaper to write the obituaries of Kiev's V.I.Ps. That is, before they die.

Characters come and go in this novel, but Misha remains by Viktor's side and they both welcome into their lives the endearing Sonya, daughter of a the editor's Associate, who needs to "leave town for a while".

This was certainly an enjoyable read - a satire about Kiev's current system.

For Kurkov's view on Ukraine's current political situation, visit the BBC's website archive www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12171740

And if you would like to recommend any other Kurkov novels or point us in the direction of similar works, please do so below.

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