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Picknick auf dem Eis

Death and the Penguin

Published by Diogenes as Picknick auf dem Eis
Original Title: Smert' postoronnego (Death and the Penguin)

Viktor is lonely. Abandoned by his last Muse, he lives alone except for his penguin Mischa. Viktor is desperate. Somehow, he has to earn enough to keep him in bread and Mischa in fish. But he is a daydreamer and an out-of-work short-story writer, and he has nothing to show for himself except a talent for language and a drawer full of unfinished manuscripts for a novel. He has a hard time of it in Kiev, haunt of the nouveau riche and the Mafia, where the only things that count are money and business acumen. One day, however, the editor-in-chief of a big newspaper offers Viktor a well-paid job as a free-lance collaborator: Viktor is to write obituaries on famous personalities – who are, by the way, not yet dead. Viktor asks no questions and gets down to work. He doesn't think anything of doing a job for an acquaintance of his boss on the side, and the acquaintance, who turns out to be a small-time rogue with a heart of gold, comes along quite often with a lucrative job. One day, Viktor pours his heart out to him over a glass of vodka: like all writers, he is anxious to see his work published, but the VIPs for whom he has written brilliant obituaries cling tenaciously to life… Some days later, however, Viktor opens the paper and finds his first obituary in print.


General Fiction
288 pages
1999

978-3-257-06204-5

World rights are handled by Diogenes
(except Russian and Ukrainian)

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»A brilliantly deadpan satire on corruption in post-communist Ukraine.«
Christopher Tayler / The Sunday Telegraph, London
»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
»A striking portrait of post-Soviet isolation … In this bleak moral landscape Kurkov manages to find ample refuge for his dark humour.«
New York Times, New York
»A black comedy of rare distinction, and the penguin is an invention of genius.«
The Spectator, London
»›Death and the Penguin‹ is the most professional work of literature to have been published here for years!«
Olga Busina / Kiev News

»Death and the Penguin comes across as an almost perfect little novel … fast-paced and witty and on the side of the angels.«

John Powers / NPR’s Fresh Air, Washington D.C.

»Death and the Penguin successfully balances the social awkwardness of Woody Allen, the absurd clashes of Jean-Luc Godard and the escalating paranoia of Franz Kafka.«

,

 

Vikas Turakias / The Cleveland Plain Dealer

»Misha, the most memorable character of his thriller Death and the Penguin, left web-footed prints all over my imagination.«

NPR, Washington D.C.

»I loved the f*ck out of it.«

,

Paul Constant / The Stranger, Seattle
»A brilliantly deadpan satire on corruption in post-communist Ukraine.«
Christopher Tayler / The Sunday Telegraph, London
»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
»A striking portrait of post-Soviet isolation … In this bleak moral landscape Kurkov manages to find ample refuge for his dark humour.«
New York Times, New York
»A black comedy of rare distinction, and the penguin is an invention of genius.«
The Spectator, London
»›Death and the Penguin‹ is the most professional work of literature to have been published here for years!«
Olga Busina / Kiev News

»Death and the Penguin comes across as an almost perfect little novel … fast-paced and witty and on the side of the angels.«

John Powers / NPR’s Fresh Air, Washington D.C.

»Death and the Penguin successfully balances the social awkwardness of Woody Allen, the absurd clashes of Jean-Luc Godard and the escalating paranoia of Franz Kafka.«

,

 

Vikas Turakias / The Cleveland Plain Dealer

»Misha, the most memorable character of his thriller Death and the Penguin, left web-footed prints all over my imagination.«

NPR, Washington D.C.

»I loved the f*ck out of it.«

,

Paul Constant / The Stranger, Seattle
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