A new masterpiece from the author of the cult classic Death and the Penguin
Andrey Kurkov was born in St Petersburg in 1961. Having graduated from the Kiev Foreign Languages Institute, he worked for some time as a journalist, did his military service as a prison warder in Odessa, then became a film cameraman, writer of screenplays and author of critically acclaimed and popular novels.
"Blackly surreal... Kurkov has an artisan's eye for quirky detail but dispatches it with terse Eastern pessimism. Here, he weaves a low-key epic in which a series of characters - a single mother, a sniffer-dog handler, a security guard, a politician, a man having an affair in his sleep, a widow, two cats and a plastinated corpse - become embroiled in a bizarre conspiracy involving a drug that sharpens people's sense of justice and a very dodgy milking operation. It sounds fanciful but Kurkov never gets too caught up in this world, describing it with a pragmatic economy and powerful clarity." -- Andrzej Lukowski Metro "A glorious, epic, eccentric and often hilarious satire, heavily tinged with Russian melancholy" -- Kate Saunders The Times "Set in post-Orange Revolution Kiev, Kurkov's narrative is a meditation on the uneasy dreams of a troubled cultural psyche." -- Laurence Scott Times Literary Supplement "Kurkov works in the tradition of Nikolai Gogol and Mikhail Bulgakov, blending folkloric characters, magical realism and political satire to reveal a society riddled with greed, stupidity and corruption." -- Marina Lewycka Financial Times "Kurkov's imagination kicks into high gear and turns Kiev into an absurdist playground. The result is a whimsical, skewed vision which can be, by turns, delightful and discomforting." Herald