Death and the Penguin

Death and the Penguin

Book - 2001
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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.

Publisher: Brooklyn, N.Y. : Melville House, c2001.
ISBN: 9781935554554
Branch Call Number: FICTION KUR
Characteristics: 227 p. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Bird, George


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May 15, 2010

And the funerals involving Misha became more frequent, regardless of the rain, as if there had been a rise in the death-rate among those whose friends and relatives could not imagine a funeral without a penguin.

May 15, 2010

"How did he die?" Viktor asked.
"Fell from a sixth-floor window - was cleaning it for some reason, apparently, though it wasn't his. And at night."


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Jun 04, 2014

Unusual writing style (of course translated, so difficult to know what it would have been like in the original) and a curious tale altogether. I noticed there's a sequel but I'm not sure I'll bother. I did enjoy this, but I can't take too much of books with a flat affect - I need to be able to feel with the characters more deeply.

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