Written by Andrey Kurkov
Translated by George Bird
Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Melville International Crime
ISBN: 978-1-935554-56-1 (1-935554-56-5)
Pub Date: September 27, 2011
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Penguin Lost finds Viktor Zolotaryov sneaking back into Kiev under an assumed identity to undertake a dangerous mission: He wants to find Misha, his penguin, whom he fears has fallen into the hands of the criminal mob looking for Viktor himself.
Guilt-ridden and determined to do what it takes, Viktor falls in with a Mafia boss who employs him in an election-rigging campaign, in return for introducing Viktor to other mobsters who can help him find Misha. And as Viktor goes from mobster to mobster, trying to survive in Kiev’s criminal underground, the evidence mounts that Misha may be someplace even worse: the zoo of a Chechen warlord.
What ensues is for Viktor both a quest and an odyssey of atonement, and for the reader, a stirring mix of the comic and the tragic, the heartbreaking and the inspiring.
"Kurkov writes short, sly, page-turners that specialize in what we might call absurdist noir."
—John Powers, NPR's Fresh Air
“Anyone who gave themselves the pleasure of reading Death and the Penguin should certainly treat themselves to this sequel. And if you missed it, never mind, read this one anyway: it’s delicious.”
“There is more magic in his realism than in a library of witches and wizards.”
—Scotland on Sunday
“Rich, authentic, and entertaining.”
—The New Statesman
Praise for Kurkov's Death and the Penguin
“A striking portrait of post-Soviet isolation.... In this bleak moral landscape Kurkov manages to find ample refuge for his dark humor.”
—The New York Times
“Delicious... when Viktor finally finds Misha it is as if Woody Allen had gone to meet Kurtz.”
“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 (London)
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 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.
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