Death and the Penguin

A BBC Two Between the Covers Pick

Andrey Kurkov author

Format:Paperback

Publisher:Vintage Publishing

Published:27th Feb '02

£9.99

Available for immediate dispatch.

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Death and the Penguin cover

In today's Ukraine, all that stands between one man and murder by the mafia is a penguin.

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. But when he opens the newspaper to see his work in print for the first time, his pride swiftly turns to terror.

A BBC Two Between the Covers Pick

'A tragicomic masterpiece' Daily Telegraph


All that stands between one man and murder by the mafia is a penguin.

Viktor is an aspiring writer in Ukraine with only Misha, his pet penguin, for company.

Although Viktor 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 Viktor opens the newspaper to see his work in print for the first time, his pride swiftly turns to terror. Viktor and Misha have been drawn into a trap from which there appears to be no escape.

'A striking portrait of post-Soviet isolation... In this bleak moral landscape Kurkov manages to find ample refuge for his dark humour' New York Times

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 *
A chilling black comedy * Guardian *
A striking portrait of post-Soviet isolation... In this bleak moral landscape Kurkov manages to find ample refuge for his dark humour * New York Times *
A minor tragi-comic masterpiece * Daily Telegraph *
A brilliant satirical take on life in modern-day Kiev. Watch out, though, as Kurkov's writing style is highly addictive * Punch *

  • Short-listed for Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2002

ISBN: 9781860469459

Dimensions: 198mm x 129mm x 15mm

Weight: 170g

240 pages