Synopses & Reviews
A devastating satire - of the worlds of mafia and media, of politics and penguins - in the tradition of the master of 20th century satire, Mikhail Bulgakov. Victor is depressed: his lover has dumped him, his short stories are too short and the light has gone off in his dingy apartment. His only companion is Misha, the penguin he rescued from Kiev's Zoo, when it couldn't feed the animals anymore. Misha is the silent witness to Victor's despair. Misha joins in his celebration - fish and vodka - when Victor's luck seems to turn: He is commissioned to write obituaries under the pen-name "A Group of Friends". The weird thing is that the editor wants him to select subjects who are still alive, the movers and the shakers of the new, post-Communist society. Pleased with Victor's work the editor sends him his friend, also called Misha, and from then onwards known as Misha non-penguin, who commissions Victor to write an obituary about one of his shady associates. After a job-well-done Misha non-penguin and Victor get drunk on vodka and Victor confesses that he is frustrated as an obituary writer: his subjects refuse to die. The next morning his most prominent one, a corrupt politician with Mafia ties and a mistress, is dead. The tide has turned.
"Kurkov demonstrates that nowadays one is allowed to tell fresh new stories in Russia again: intelligent and funny." (Thomas Grob, Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
About the Author
Andrey Kurkov was born in Leningrad in 1961. He lives now in the Ukraine. Has written novels, and children's books, and he works with European companies in the making of films, including of his own scripts.