Death and the Penguin

Death and the Penguin

Paperback

$12.99 $14.95 Save 13% Current price is $12.99, Original price is $14.95. You Save 13%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Friday, October 27 , Order now and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.

Overview

Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935554554
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Publication date: 06/07/2011
Series: Melville International Crime Series
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 227,653
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Andrey Kurkov, born in St. Petersburg in 1961, now lives in Kiev. Having graduated from the Kiev Foreign Languages Institute, he worked for some time as a journalist, did his military service as a prison warder at Odessa, then became a film cameraman, writer of screenplays, and author of critically acclaimed and popular novels. He is the author of Penguin Lost, a sequel to Death and the Penguin, and The Case of the General's Thumb.

George Bird
has translated extensively from German and Russian. In 1986 he won the Pluto Crime Prize for his novel Death in Leningrad.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Death and the Penguin 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
dragonfly74 More than 1 year ago
The first book in Kurkov's pair of penguin novels is one of the more difficult books to explain. How can a book be "noir" and "cute" at once? How can a literary novel involve a character who is a penguin living in an apartment building with a down-and-out writer and yet never become overly postmodern or surreal? Because sometimes a penguin is just a penguin, which is the case in these two wonderfully charming, yet bleak novels. There is a warning though, that comes with this sophisticated book. By the time you've finished it you will desperately want a pet penguin, which would be very expensive.
slyswann More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely charming. It definitely made me laugh out loud in restaurants. There are moments when the reader is aware that it's a tranlation, but that only lends to it's charm. The plot was interesting enough to keep me reading and Kurkov's wit is balanced by the darkness of the subject matter. I've already bought it as a gift once and I'm here today to purchase it again. This book joins "Everything is Illuminated" as one of the most delightful books I've read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In one of his more recent books, Death and the Penguin, author Andrey Kurkov tells about an ordinary writer named Viktor Zolotaryov in post-soviet Ukraine who has a not-so-ordinary pet. This creature called Misha, is a penguin who fell into the hands of Viktor when the local zoo could not feed it and is, for the time being, Viktor¿s only companion. Soon enough Viktor¿s normal life is snatched away when he takes the job of writing obituaries for a local newspaper and works under the shady chief of the company. The strange thing about these obituaries though, is that he writes them before the subject has even died. Nevertheless, Viktor continues to write the obituaries and soon becomes entangled in a web of mystery when he finds himself writing about famous people who die soon after the obituary is completed. Along the way he takes on the responsibility of caring for a stranger¿s child and becomes involved in a relationship with her nanny. Viktor¿s life seems to being going well until he realizes the power of his obituaries. Eventually he and his penguin are ensnared in a conspiracy with hit men, in which there is no way out. At first this book seems like a good mystery about a man and his penguin, pitted against the bad guys. But half way through, the book loses its appeal. It even becomes bizarre, largely due to his relationship with Nina the nanny. The conclusion is very depressing and confusing and leaves you unsatisfied, wanting to know what happens next. I was also disappointed by the extreme personality change Viktor goes through at the very end of the book which does not match up with his character. Overall I would stay away from this book unless you are looking for a dark and sometimes confusing mystery that will leave you asking questions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best I've read in years. The characters are extremely well developed and easy to relate to. The plot is full of twists and turns, which at first are so funny I laughed out loud, but later become so moving I wanted to cry. This book is great for anyone that loves animals, a good mystery, or knows what it's like to feel lonely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In true Russian form, this novel is bleak in nearly every way. It has every element you would expect from a Russian novel, including isolation and a long winter. It also has a penguin, and that brings a levity which must be experienced. It also has one of the best endings I've ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unusual story and a bit depressing. Still it was curiously interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is as paranoid as most and usual angst of always terrible things behind everything but has more humor than usual if dark the penguin is of course what makes it different few alternate pets in novels stand out crispen does well with them and once in a while the series of crouching buzzard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AaronChristopher More than 1 year ago
Death and the Penguin is perfect for a lazy, rainy day. Its not too long, and it keeps the pace moving along at a consistent rate. Misha, the penguin, is what makes the book simply because he's so unexpected. Kurkov's story is definitly dark in its setting, but his quiet, dry humor, while not evoking any belly-laughs, will sure to elicit some chortles for sure. Definitely worth a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago