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Preview — Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov. Death and the Penguin Penguin 1 by Andrey Kurkov ,. George Bird Translator. Viktor is an aspiring writer with only Misha, his pet penguin, for company. Although he would prefer to write short stories, he earns a living composing obituaries for a newspaper. He longs to see his work published, yet the subjects of his obituaries continue to cling to life.
But when he opens the newspaper to see his work in print for the first time, his pride swiftly t Viktor is an aspiring writer with only Misha, his pet penguin, for company. But when he opens the newspaper to see his work in print for the first time, his pride swiftly turns to terror.
He and Misha have been drawn into a trap from which there appears to be no escape. Get A Copy. Paperback , UK , pages. Published February 1st by Vintage first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Death and the Penguin , please sign up. How do I get in touch with the author?
I live in New Zealand. See 1 question about Death and the Penguin…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Death and the Penguin. Dec 19, Mariel rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Hugh Jackman. Recommended to Mariel by: my usual method. Russian authors list.
I'm unoriginal. Death and the Penguin is a sweet and strange little book. It won't admit it is sweet. Don't call me sweet! I'm so sad. Can't you see that I'm sad? It might say. I'm not sure how to review it without sounding like a weirdo. I liked it a lot and almost loved it. It was almost warm and it almost made me happy. I almost belonged there. It is bittersweet feeling like going to a funeral and looking around to see if anyone else showed up, like that would make a difference.
If you were the sort to show Death and the Penguin is a sweet and strange little book. If you were the sort to show up to other kids parties kids you didn't know very well, or at all just in case no one else showed up. Why are there no black veiled women in the back? What else is the measure of success?
Kind of. At least, until I wore out my welcome like those kids parties. This girl told me that she had her "real" party the next day and this was the one for me to go to. I began to feel a bit like that. Why can't I just say it dragged a bit, like a normal person? Or it is an obituary. Did Ashton Kutcher tweet about it or did he delegate to his missus? I'm not crazy. Viktor's job is writing obits. He also goes to funerals. Not crazy. Viktor is a forty something year old writer living in post soviet Ukraine.
Okay, Viktor reminded me of my ex boyfriend in some not too comfortable ways it was eerie. Right down to the pissing and moaning about how it wasn't sunny one day, as if that was something anyone else had control over. He's a writer too and he whines a whole lot about not having time to write when he doesn't write much when he does have time. Like it is anyone else's fault or you are stopping them from writing.
Viktor whines about having to have a day job to pay the bills. Okay, I may be projecting the high level of douchiness onto Viktor. He was not as bad as my ex boyfriend. But still! I didn't warm to Viktor at all because of this similarity. Don't they know that everyone has to work and it isn't always something that makes us feel fulfilled? Suck it up, Vik! It was a weird place to want to tell Viktor that he was lucky to have a job and have food to put on the table when I had the feeling it was meant to be a situation for the reader to sympathize with him.
He was sad. He was afraid to feel happy for what he had. I started to worry about the other people in his life, in case he wasn't appreciating them. There's only so much you can do if he's willfully blind, you know. Should I spoil the plot? There's mafia reasons behind the obits and missing bodies. I didn't care as much about this stuff. I didn't care at all about the forced penguin performances at funerals except to want to cry for Misha when he collapses after all of those funerals in the rain.
Viktor should have stood up for him. Misha was a penguin in the zoo until he was a penguin in Viktor's apartment. I love Misha so much. I worried about him. I felt like I knew how he felt. He stared at the wall. I wanted to listen for his foot falls.
I wanted to keep him company.
Death and the Penguin
Andrei Kurkov is dismayed to see how the portrait of post-Soviet Ukraine created for his political satire Death and the Penguin has come so close to reality. As a writer, he had a moment of satisfaction when he began to see how neatly life was imitating art, but it was a fleeting sensation, quickly overwhelmed by a sense of gloom. Contract killings, executed journalists, rampaging political corruption and an environment of profound moral chaos fuel the plot of Kurkov's novel, creating a humourously bleak picture of Ukrainian life. The absurdities of the lifestyles enjoyed by the new mafiosi and the criminal elite are evoked with the cheerful narrative simplicity of a children's fable. But a glance at the news emerging daily from Ukraine gives a sour edge to the comedy. The novel's publication in Britain comes as political crisis continues to unfold in Kiev - a thickening scandal, fermenting on contract killings, an executed journalist and political corruption. The chaos surrounding the beheaded opposition journalist Georgy Gongadze and continuing speculation over the possible involvement of President Leonid Kuchma in his death make the extraordinary events of the novel seem unremarkable.
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The streets are unusually dark and empty, and the only person to emerge from the shadows runs away from him in terror. After a perplexing conversation with the terrified man, who turns out to be a wine smuggler, and on recovering from the resulting hangover, Igor comes to an unbelievable conclusion: he has found his way back to Kiev. As he travels between centuries, his life becomes more and more complicated. Andrey Kurkov was born in St Petersburg in Having graduated from the Kiev Foreign Languages Institute, he worked for some time as a journalist, did his military service as a prison warder in Odessa, then became a film cameraman, writer of screenplays and author of critically acclaimed and popular novels. For the latest books, recommendations, offers and more.
Andrei Kurkov's first novel to be published in English is built from a series of amiable absurdities. The first involves a penguin who has been adopted by a struggling writer named Viktor after the even more struggling Kiev Zoo gives up trying to feed its animals. Viktor calls his pet penguin Misha, a name usually reserved in that part of the world for one's pet bear. The next absurdity comes when Viktor, after his latest short story has been rejected by the local newspaper, is asked to write obituaries instead.