Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov
It is now 2012 and only a year since American readers have gotten an English translation of Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov, a darkly comic tale published in Russian in 1996. Melville House has added it to its growing Melville International Crime Series, paperbacks that give us affordable literary fiction.
Back to Victor and the penguin, whose name is Misha. Both are lonely guys. The impoverished Kiev Zoo gave away most of its animals to anyone who would take them, so Victor took Misha to his apartment where they are lonely together until four-year-old Sonya joins them while her father goes underground. They become an odd sort of family, decorating a Christmas tree and hiding from the gangsters that Victor has unwittingly crossed.
Death and the Penguin is a great read for anyone who enjoys offbeat humor and a totally unfamiliar menacing setting.
Kurkov, Andrey. Death and the Penguin. Melville House, 2011. 228p. ISBN 9781935554554.