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E kinds of friends who cannot step on our toes Can ou stop looking at our feet to see that they are unstepped on Okay I admit that Viktor would chase me away I would leave the party I don t want to step on his feet and I would hate for anyone to think I wanted to step on their feet It was neat that Death and the Penguin made me feel like I could be there to do thatIt was really too bad about the boring mafia plot that took over towards the end There s a second book I m nervous about reading it What if it makes me too worried about Misha that I can t stand it I want to have hope that he ll get to swim in ice cold water and come back for a pat on the head if he wants it Fuck I did that review thing where I only thought about the interpersonal relationships again So the obits were pretty good and Viktor got a bit of an ego about them The obits are another way of trying to make amends for what they or someone else did Worrying In case something is too late They were about some pretty terrible people and he wrote about them in a humanistic way with some philosophy thrown in all better than I make it sound I m not a writer I was wondering how he would have written about some of the famous people who have recently died For example a certain dictator I bet he wouldn t have credited Steve Jobs with pixar either Or painted Christopher Hitchens as a saintI also liked a whole lot that the former USSR was this bizarre world Declaration of Purposes of the Patrons of Husbandry you couldn t figure out and so they don t try to That was pretty good for not attempting to explain away why they would want to have someone write obits for people they wanted dead Or give away penguins to civilians Or any of it It felt like the wall that Misha is always staring at He doesn t look at the wall really What is there to see It s there to lean towards and ignore Pretty perfect for whenou re trapped in some place that doesn t make sense and Die Reisenden you knowou don t belong there Misha staring at the wall is the image from the book that stands out in my mind the most I 35 starsA bizarre and troublesome novelThe plot is pure fantasy but it is this sense of the ridiculous that makes the details in the background of the novel all the striking Kurkov fills it with his lived experience of Kiev and it is such that by the end of the book Viktor and his penguin Misha feel normal than the real world In this society a man needing hospital treatment must bribe the ambulance drivers to get there and is offered life prolonging medicine from the doctor in exchange for his flat men disappear or are disappeared with little or no explanation there are gunshots in the street gangsters who cannot be refused and no sense of safety Viktor spends the majority of the novel as a passenger in his own life choices are made for him and his only flash of agency comes at the end when it becomes a case of life or deathI picked this up after listening to Kurkov on the BBC World Book Club He was interesting political informed funny His explanation of the book was interesting than the book itself The satire just wasn t uite sharp enough Plus the penguin was a much better character than anyone else and we are left wondering about his fate What kind of author does that I read Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov for my book group and came to it knowing nothing about it I really enjoyed the story of Viktor Zolotaryov a frustrated writer whose short stories are too short and uneventful to be published When a newspaper editor unexpectedly offers Viktor a job as an obituarist with reasonable pay and working from home he agrees His original style delights his editor Initially he has to select powerful figures from the Ukrainian elite and prepare their obituaries ready for their death and as the volume of obituaries increases Viktor realises that his obituaries seem to foreshadow the subject s death Death and the Penguin is a blackly comic critiue of post Soviet corruption in Ukraine and the inevitable bleakness is part of the novel s appeal Viktor This is not a typical Ukranian novel It is a hodgepodge socialist government intrigue living in an oppressed Ukranian society mystery all wrapped around the troubles of Misha the penguin Misha keeps the book from being too Orwell ish and bleak The characters are good Little Sonya brings some lightness to the story Nina adds some humanity Viktor represents the typical Ukrainian man fearful of his own government but et striving to survive The book reads uickly I was able to finish it in one afternoon The chapters are very shortThis is a good book for Around the Worlders4 star. Ee his work in print for the first time his pride swiftly turns to terror He and Misha have been drawn into a trap from which there appears to be no escap.
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These non obituary obituaries he tends to puff up the life of the predeceased Mobsters are given a little style and grace maybe some kindnesses nobody knew about fiction but hey he is a writer These write ups end up being really good and wouldn t ou know it The people he has chosen to memorialize suddenly all start ending up deadToss in a new friend a lonely penguin adopted from the zoo during their financial crisis a kid a gal and uite a few funerals and ยอดบุรุษพลิกคดี เล่ม 1 you get humor But dark nearly depressive humor It s Ukrainian satireSomeone drew my attention to this review today and seeing that there is actually a seuel I decided to update this and to also get my hands on the new penguin tale Bad pun Sad and almost funny That means Im ready So glad I read it Another slim book or less a crime novel this is a translation of a Ukrainian book The main character who has adopted a penguin from the local zoo gets a job writing obituaries then learns that he is writing obituaries for people wh Death and the Penguin is a sweet and strange little book It won t admit it is sweet Don t call me sweet I m so sad Can tou see that I m sad It might say I m not sure how to review it without sounding like a weirdo I liked it a lot and almost loved it It was almost warm and it almost made me happy I almost belonged there It is bittersweet feeling like going to a funeral and looking around to see if anyone else showed up like that would make a difference If Hummer you were the sort to show up to other kids parties kidsou didn t know very well or at all just in case no one else showed up Why are there no black veiled women in the back What else is the measure of success Penguin reads like reading about strangers who With Baited Breath (Warhammer 40,000) you are worried for in case no one else is Kind of At least until I wore out my welcome like those kids parties This girl told me that she had her real party the next day and this was the one for me to go to I began to feel a bit like that Why can t I just say it dragged a bit like a normal person Or it is an obituary Did Ashton Kutcher tweet about it or did he delegate to his missus I m not crazy Viktor s job is writing obits He also goes to funerals Not crazy Viktor is a forty somethingear old writer living in post soviet Ukraine Okay Viktor reminded me of my ex boyfriend in some not too comfortable ways it was eerie Right down to the pissing and moaning about how it wasn t sunny one day as if that was something anyone else had control over He s a writer too and he whines a whole lot about not having time to write when he doesn t write much when he does have time Like it is anyone else s fault or ou are stopping them from writing Viktor whines about having to have a day job to pay the bills Okay I may be projecting the high level of douchiness onto Viktor He was not as bad as my ex boyfriend But still I didn t warm to Viktor at all because of this similarity Don t they know that everyone has to work and it isn t always something that makes us feel fulfilled Suck it up Vik It was a weird place to want to tell Viktor that he was lucky to have a job and have food to put on the table when I had the feeling it was meant to be a situation for the reader to sympathize with him He was sad He was afraid to feel happy for what he had I started to worry about the other people in his life in case he wasn t appreciating them There s only so much ou can do if he s willfully blind The Alcohol Experiment you knowShould I spoil the plot There s mafia reasons behind the obits and missing bodies I didn t care as much about this stuff I didn t care at all about the forced penguin performances at funerals except to want to cry for Misha when he collapses after all of those funerals in the rain Viktor should have stood up for him Misha was a penguin in the zoo until he was a penguin in Viktor s apartment I love Misha so much I worried about him I felt like I knew how he felt He stared at the wall I wanted to listen for his foot falls I wanted to keep him company Viktor was a tool whining about his sunny days Misha was too hot It was pretty brilliant the way that Kurkov wrote the worry here Viktor was alone and Misha was alone They had each other to notice they were there at least on good days Yet there had to be a push pull for Misha belonged in the cold and Viktor wanted the warmth They weren t of a kind They really are the terminal whiners dream couple Who doou want to be with when Menggairahkan Perjalanan Halaqah you can t stand to declareourself When Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian you don t know whatou want I admire Kurkov for writing this so well Viktor and Misha have other friends of a kind in their lives Th. Aries for a newspaper He longs to see his work published et the subjects of his obituaries continue to cling to life But when he opens the newspaper to
Anhedonia noun an h d n ny n inability to experience pleasure in normally pleasurable actsThere are characters who live and breathe and make even a crappy novel a wonderful experience And then there are some ou just want to slap Meet Viktor He takes pleasure in wellnothing He has sex mainly because it s offered not because he desires it feels no emotion for the woman in his bed and is completely unmoved by the charming little girl he gets stuck caring for Misha his pet penguin suffers from the same lack of enjoyment of life though it is later revealed that he is ill not just unhappy Viktor is determined to keep the penguin alive at all costs Demonica yet even their relationship seems controlled by duty rather than affection The ending hints of unfinished business and I understand there is a seuel I m curious b Don t get me wrong I love penguins I think they re awesome and secretly I think I d like one as a pet one day But when this book was recommended for my book club I was a bit wary really A story about a guy and his penguin Sigh I don t read satires very well normally so I expected this to be one of those sorts of situations where I missed all the humor However I do do surrealism pretty well and I also do Eastern European literature exceptionally well Okay so penguins surrealism and Eastern European Take that satireThis is a pretty strange little mystery novel all the while feeling actually sort of normal throughout I don t want to discuss the story itself for fear of spoiling anything this is a book that is best read going into it without knowing much about it I think It s fun that way watching the story unravel and getting to know Viktor and his pet penguin MishaKurkov wrote a seuel to this Penguin Lost which I can see myself going on to readETA After some reflection I ve decided that surrealist isn t the appropriate word for this book Absurd would fit the bill nicely The story is absurd in the best possible way Death and the Penguin is one of those books which shouldn t work but somehow it does It s a novel which address serious themes of death loneliness and the casually oppressive nature of post Soviet society in Ukraine andet it does so with humour And a penguinThe story of Viktor a struggling writer who gets a job writing obituaries for people while they are alive who then strangely start dying off is enjoyable and written in such a way that it seems perfectly logical rather than as unbelieveable as it should Andrey Kurkov s deadpan narrative style works perfectly in this book It is impossible not to laugh at the very serious way in which Viktor takes his penguin to go swimming in the frozen river but wraps him up in a towel when he emerges so that he doesn t get cold Eually amusing is the thought of someone going into hiding and taking a penguin not exactly inconspicuous with him In a novel in which most relationships are simply based on the characters wanting something out of each other for their own personal benefit the peculiar bond between Viktor and Misha the penguin stands out and is oddly touching I expected the penguin to be responsible for a lot of the humour in the book but not for the emotion as well 35 starsThere s a reason why satire isn t among the most popular literary genres It has to be extremely well written and Buckley and Wilberta you need to be open to that type of humor for it to work But ifou do like that sort of thing and if the author is someone ou can trust to be funny without being too offensive ou re probably in for a great reading experience When the Kiev zoo suffers et another budget cut they start look Ukrainian satire isn t something I d typically read but it s good to broaden one s horizons I think that this book must resonate with those who lived in the post Soviet world although the loneliness relieved only by a buddy named Sergey and a large depressed penguin named Misha was really well written The humor was witty and dark the story uirky and ou had to enjoy architecture called Stalin baroue Our hero is a depressive sort who cannot get published for his short stories but instead is hired to write pre obituaries for various hoi polloi just in case said notables should suddenly drop dead and the editor be left scrambling for a high uality write up of the deceased s contributions to the world Our guy is charged with pondering who might reuire a flowery written send off but also might be at risk for departing for the hereafter Let s see who is most likely to die and therefor get my work published terribly disliked politicians elderly artists mob bossesWhen he is writing. 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 obitu.
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Andrei Kurkov Russian writer of Ukrainian origin Kurkov was born in small town of Budogoszcz Russia on April 23 1961 When Kurkov was young his family moved to Kyiv Ukraine In 1983 Kurkov graduated Kyiv Pedagogical Academy of Foreign Languages and later also completed a Japanese translation training Kurkov's most famous novels are 'Smert pingvina' 1996 translated into English in 2001 un