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Kurkov s works have now transcended the borders of the old USSR to such an extent that he must be a candidate for an upcoming Nobel Prize for Literature This novel is less well known than hisDeath and the Penguinbut is every bit as good, constituting a picaresque journey from his home town Kiev to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and the Russian republics of the Caucasus Dodgy dealings are very much to the fore as are magic realist fashionings.The author s lineage is clearly identifiab Kurkov s works have now transcended the borders of the old USSR to such an extent that he must be a candidate for an upcoming Nobel Prize for Literature This novel is less well known than hisDeath and the Penguinbut is every bit as good, constituting a picaresque journey from his home town Kiev to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and the Russian republics of the Caucasus Dodgy dealings are very much to the fore as are magic realist fashionings.The author s lineage is clearly identifiable with Gogol and Bulgakov especially major influences, but Kurkov s tale provides a modern twist it was particularly enjoyable to read the book having just returned from a short holiday in Ukraine and the delicate political relationship between that country and its former overlords is teasingly dealt with The result is a call for national traditions to be respected but for us all to get along nonetheless I have no idea how to review this rather bizarre novel, my first venture into Kurkov s writing, but I enjoyed it immensely and will readof the authors work, starting with thefamous Death and the Penguin A picaresque tale of adventure and travel, musings on nationalism and identify, espionage and drug running, truly a story with something for every taste, even romance Obviously,, reading the novel in translation, knowing very little about its undercurrents regarding Russia and Ukra I have no idea how to review this rather bizarre novel, my first venture into Kurkov s writing, but I enjoyed it immensely and will readof the authors work, starting with thefamous Death and the Penguin A picaresque tale of adventure and travel, musings on nationalism and identify, espionage and drug running, truly a story with something for every taste, even romance Obviously,, reading the novel in translation, knowing very little about its undercurrents regarding Russia and Ukraine, I am well aware I missed nuances and references I was grateful to be reading on my Kindle with easy access to looking up places and names unfamiliar to me, in Kazakhstan and various republics around the Caspian sea Reading world literature exposes just how limited are our horizons if we don t seek to explore beyond our cosy comfort zones I am grateful to translators who work hard to bring such books to the English speaking readership.Above all this book is funny, quirky and puzzling but in a good way, with droll, dry humour I like the writing style, light and chatty even when it goes into philosophical and spiritual realms Everything makes sense in the end I liked the characters, and their relationships I loved it A man finds an old manuscript and is inspired by its writers interest in deeper questions of life Together with some strange events at his job in baby food factory, this inspiration leads him to an adventure all the way to Kazakhstan It s full of mysterious people and surprising situations I loved Kurkov s Death and Penguin and liked The President s Last love This one was not that much for me It was funny only occasionally and I found its attitude towards women a bit problematic The phil A man finds an old manuscript and is inspired by its writers interest in deeper questions of life Together with some strange events at his job in baby food factory, this inspiration leads him to an adventure all the way to Kazakhstan It s full of mysterious people and surprising situations I loved Kurkov s Death and Penguin and liked The President s Last love This one was not that much for me It was funny only occasionally and I found its attitude towards women a bit problematic The philosophical start should have developedand given depth to the story What I did like about the book was how it dealt with the Soviet history and the national feelings of ex Soviet nationalities The Kazakhstan of this book was not the Kazakhstan I know but it made me miss the countries and friends who live there Die Hauptperson Kolja ger t in die haarstr ubendsten Abenteuer, die nur der postsowjetische Nicht Alltag bieten kann Ob er als Nachtw chter ein Drogenlager bewacht, auf einer schwimmenden Fischfabrik in den Armen einer russischen Matrone einen Sturm auf dem kaspischen Meer bersteht, nach einem Drogenrausch in der W ste von einem Kasachen gerettet und dessen Tochter geschenkt wird, und so weiter Nach dem Penguin Mischa schafft Kurkow wieder eine anr hrende Tiergestalt das Chamel on Petr Die Hauptperson Kolja ger t in die haarstr ubendsten Abenteuer, die nur der postsowjetische Nicht Alltag bieten kann Ob er als Nachtw chter ein Drogenlager bewacht, auf einer schwimmenden Fischfabrik in den Armen einer russischen Matrone einen Sturm auf dem kaspischen Meer bersteht, nach einem Drogenrausch in der W ste von einem Kasachen gerettet und dessen Tochter geschenkt wird, und so weiter Nach dem Penguin Mischa schafft Kurkow wieder eine anr hrende Tiergestalt das Chamel on Petrowitsch Leider liest es sich viel zu schnell The book is not super memorable or special but i was happy to read it I like kurkovs style of writing, melancholy cynical at times and gently funny and at times laugh out loud funny For sure it was different too. While it has flashes of the blackly bleak Eastern bloc comedy of Kurkov s other works it lacks the charm of the penguin novels As a result it was a little hard going and baggy at times and I struggled to muster the energy required to keep up with the intricacies of the plot and its many named characters I got the sense at times that it was presenting a grander allegory of the Ukrainian experience through that of Kolya, the main character However I lack the requisite understanding of the count While it has flashes of the blackly bleak Eastern bloc comedy of Kurkov s other works it lacks the charm of the penguin novels As a result it was a little hard going and baggy at times and I struggled to muster the energy required to keep up with the intricacies of the plot and its many named characters I got the sense at times that it was presenting a grander allegory of the Ukrainian experience through that of Kolya, the main character However I lack the requisite understanding of the country s recent past to say this for certain, or to appreciate this if it was Overall a decent read, but far from Kurkov s best Not much about the blurb on the back prepares us for the wonder of the book between the covers a strangely annotated copy of a notebook hidden inside a copy of War and Peace left behind when Kolya buys an apartment from an old couple who are emigrating leads to a mysterious robbery, threatening phone calls and the promise of national treasure However, Kolya lives in Kiev, and the treasure is buried near a no longer existing one time Russian fort in Kazakhstan Threatened by who knows whom, fo Not much about the blurb on the back prepares us for the wonder of the book between the covers a strangely annotated copy of a notebook hidden inside a copy of War and Peace left behind when Kolya buys an apartment from an old couple who are emigrating leads to a mysterious robbery, threatening phone calls and the promise of national treasure However, Kolya lives in Kiev, and the treasure is buried near a no longer existing one time Russian fort in Kazakhstan Threatened by who knows whom, followed in the street, watched by the unidentified late night phone callers or maybe by someone else, Kolya a Russian heads off in search the Ukrainian national treasure in the Kazakh sands It is all slightly mysterious,than a little absurd, and with a strange feeling of The 39 Steps meets On the Road with a hint of Robert Louis Stevenson but this is Andrey Kurkov and none of these is anywhere near what we have in our hands There is danger in not taking satire seriously, especially when it comes from such a potent tradition as Ukrainian satire yes, that I have labelled this Russian fiction may be problematic, except that it was written in Russian, not Ukrainian this is, after all, the home of Gogol, whose short stories in particular make fun of power and in doing so make it public and weaker This is Kurkov s 6th novel translated into English, and although it is not his most absurd or humorous or pointed, it is, I think, perhaps his sharpest Whereas Death and the Penguin and Penguin Lost and, to an extent The Case of the General s Thumb verge on the surreal, The President s Last Love isobvious in its political contempt as if satire is not enough for bad times, and the brilliant A Matter of Life and Death poignant in its absurdity and desperation, this novel returns to harsh, sharp uncompromising attacks of General s Thumb but with anuanced sense of the dangers of the new nationalism In his quest for the national treasure Kolya finds himself in league with the Ukrainian state, with rabid nationalists, with corrupt officials, married, left wandering in the desert to be saved by a camel, smuggling dirt and countless other slightly through to utterly ridiculous situations all the while fleeing the threats made during his job a watchman in the baby food warehouse As with other Kurkov novels, characters mutate and few are who or what they seem to be, allegiances and alliances shift and we are left with a form of resolution in this case, a tight one but sure of neither what it means nor quite how it came about Where I adore Kurkov in this sense of tight ending is that amid all the absurdity there is no sense of deus ex machina the ending is right, it fits and yet it hammers home the central point of the satire of the state and its politics.Kurkov s style is superb he is spare, sparse and droll, but draws us into a rich and complex tale with fascinating characters that, for all his sparseness, are rounded and sophisticated He is a writer very much in the tradition of Gogol, of Jann Kross the great Estonian , of Dostoyevsky writers whose tightly crafted, multi layered fiction carries satire that flays its social and political targets but about which they can do little In this case, the targets are both the corrupt Ukrainian state and the ultra and puritanical nationalism that emerged as its principle opponent the book was first published in 2000 as Ukraine struggled with its post Soviet existence and lurched towards its own colour revolution, the orange clad nationalist lite overthrow of Victor Yanukovich in 2004 5.And even without all the knowledge we need to get its barbs I am sure I get only a few of them it is a funny, engaging and slightly ridiculous story about a guy travelling from Kiev the Kazakhstan and back it is, after all, rich and sophisticated in its multi layering And, as always, he gives us really good women characters in this case, most especially Gulya quite brilliant Description When Kolya moves into a new flat in Kiev, he finds a book hidden within a volume of War and Peace His investigations take him to a graveyard, andspecifically to the coffin of a Ukrainian nationalist who died in mysterious circumstances and was buried with a sealed letter and a manuscript.Armed only with three cases of baby milk, which have unexpected hallucinogenic properties, he sets off on what turns out to be a very bizarre journey, meeting a host of unlikely charactersDescription When Kolya moves into a new flat in Kiev, he finds a book hidden within a volume of War and Peace His investigations take him to a graveyard, andspecifically to the coffin of a Ukrainian nationalist who died in mysterious circumstances and was buried with a sealed letter and a manuscript.Armed only with three cases of baby milk, which have unexpected hallucinogenic properties, he sets off on what turns out to be a very bizarre journey, meeting a host of unlikely characters along the way including a spirit like companion in the form of a chameleon.Paperback discarded from Inverclyde LibrariesTranslated from the Russian by Andrew BromfieldOpening Early in the spring of 1997 I sold my two room flat on the edge of town and bought myself a single room flat right in the centre of Kiev, beside St Sophia s Cathedral St SophiaAs Fionnuala piquantly puts it No cure for Kurkov love, onlyKurkov Ukraine Diaries Dispatches from Kiev review an invaluable guide to the present crisis17 Aug 2014 Andrey Kurkov, the author of Death and the Penguin, is ideally placed to guide us through the Ukrainian revolution as it unfolds, writes Oliver Bullough, author of.3.5 Death and the Penguin4 Penguin Lost3.5 A Matter of Life and Death3.5 The Case Of The General s ThumbTR The Good Angel of DeathWL Ukraine Diaries {DOWNLOAD E-PUB} õ Le Caméléon â Le h ros Nikola , qui retrouve un chef d oeuvre de la litt rature ukrainienne trangement annot L auteur de ces annotations Il g t au fond d un cercueil, la carte d un tr sor ses c t s Le tr sor Il se trouverait dans un fort du d sert kazakh o un cam l on a pris ses quartiers Le ressort de l histoire Les nationalismes, encore et toujours La morale de l histoire, au del du plaisir des lecteurs Fi des nationalismes hommes et cam l ons de tous les pays, unissez vous , ,,,,, ,