Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov
(Melville International Crime)

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It's fast-paced and witty and on the side of the angels. For all the immorality that threatens to drown them, his heroes cling, like latter-day Buster Keatons, to the life raft of their personal decency.
-NPR

Synopsis

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.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Andrey Kurkov

See more books from this Author
Andrey Kurkov borrowed money from friends to selfpublish his first books, which he sold himself on the sidewalks of Kiev. He has gone on to become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed writers in Ukrainian history, and his books have been translated into 25 languages.George Bird is the translator of Kurkov's Penguin Lost and Death and the Penguin.
 
Published June 7, 2011 by Melville International Crime. 242 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Death and the Penguin
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Reviewed by John Powers on Apr 24 2012

It's fast-paced and witty and on the side of the angels. For all the immorality that threatens to drown them, his heroes cling, like latter-day Buster Keatons, to the life raft of their personal decency.

Read Full Review of Death and the Penguin (Melvil... | See more reviews from NPR

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