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Penguin Lost (Melville International Crime) [Kindle Edition]

Andrey Kurkov , George Bird
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Penguin Lost finds Viktor Zolotaryov sneaking back into Kiev under an assumed identity to undertake a dangerous mission: He wants to find Misha, his penguin, whom he fears has fallen into the hands of the criminal mob looking for Viktor himself.

Guilt-ridden and determined to do what it takes, Viktor falls in with a Mafia boss who employs him in an election-rigging campaign, in return for introducing Viktor to other mobsters who can help him find Misha. And as Viktor goes from mobster to mobster, trying to survive in Kiev’s criminal underground, the evidence mounts that Misha may be someplace even worse: the zoo of a Chechen warlord.

What ensues is for Viktor both a quest and an odyssey of atonement, and for the reader, a stirring mix of the comic and the tragic, the heartbreaking and the inspiring.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


Praise For The Penguins

“A striking portrait of post-Soviet isolation.... In this bleak moral landscape Kurkov manages to find ample refuge for his dark humor.”

The New York Times

“Delicious... when Viktor finally finds Misha it is as if Woody Allen had gone to meet Kurtz.”         

The Spectator

“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 (of London)

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

In this sequel to the acclaimed Death and the Penguin, Viktor searches for Misha in what for him is both a quest and an odyssey of atonement; for the reader, it is a rich, topical and black humouredly illuminating experience.

Product Details

  • File Size: 382 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1935554565
  • Publisher: Melville International Crime; Reprint edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #550,711 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another satirical masterpiece from Kurkov July 8, 2011
By Nicki J
I must say that I enjoyed this second book even more than the first.

Twists and turns abound as Viktor races to locate the penguin he left behind; the penguin whose place on the boat to Antarctica he stole. Along the way he finds himself embroiled in a political campaign and even cremating corpses, in a story that retains the wonderful satire of the first book, but is definitely more action-packed.

This second offering by Kurkov moves at a faster pace than the first and introduces a few new characters as well as old friends. I loved some of the new characters, especially the aspiring Deputy who gave the opportunity for some wonderful political satire.

This novel is a must for anyone who read and enjoyed the first book and who longs to know if Misha will ever make it to Antarctica!

I received this book as a free e-book ARC from NetGalley.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Amazing Kurkov November 18, 2005
After reading the marvelous Death and the Penguin, I almost decided not to read this, fearing it was a lesser sequel. I was extremely pleased however, to find that this novel is, in many way, even better. A highly recommended four star novel - I reserve five stars for literary masterpieces only.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A man, a penguin, and fate November 24, 2011
When we last saw Viktor Zolotaryov (at the end of Death and the Penguin), he was fleeing the crime syndicate that threatened his life, leaving Misha, his penguin, in an animal hospital in Kiev. Now on an island near Antarctica, Viktor is offered the opportunity to adopt a new identity. Returning to Kiev, the melancholy with which he was afflicted in Death and the Penguin is replaced, at least temporarily, with "a cheerful touch of mystery," largely the result of a happy encounter with a part-time prostitute named Svetlana. Still, the murder of his former editor reminds him that "every story must end at a full stop, and none bolder or more final than that of death."

Viktor's search for Misha brings him back into contact with some shady characters. Even worse, he becomes a political consultant, a job that gives Andrey Kurkov the chance to lampoon politicians, their image makers, empty promises, and hypocrisy. Fans of cynicism will find much to love in this novel, but so will fans of humanity. The tender relationship that Viktor established with a little girl, Sonya, in Death and the Penguin continues in Penguin Lost, but Viktor's time in Kiev is limited. Soon he is off to Moscow, on three missions: one for the man whose identity he borrowed; one for his political employer; and most importantly, one of his own -- his search for Misha. Viktor will do almost anything to recover Misha, but does that include traveling to Chechnya?

The Russia and Ukraine that Kurkov describes are full of problems and (as one of the characters advises us) woefully short of individuals who are capable of solving them.
Read more ›
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Sequel October 10, 2006
While not as breathtaking as Kurkov's orginal "Death and the Penguin", this sequel was still highly amusing and captivating. After Viktor abandons his pet penguin to save himself at the end of the last novel, "Penguin Lost" picks up with Viktor trying to make ammends for his earlier actions. A great book, but you should read "Death and the Penguin" first, if you want to follow the plot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Viktor and Misha are back! April 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Viktor Alekseyevich Zolotaryov, after his last-minute escape in "Death and the Penguin", makes his way back to a changed Kiev to look after the loved ones he left behind: penguin Misha and Sonya, the little girl he's unofficially adopted. To save Sonya, he becomes the chief propagandist for a rising politician; to save Misha, he travels to war-torn Chechnya and is sold into slavery.
As in "Death and the Penguin", Kurkov allows some flights of fancy to creep into a narrative that's generally very realistic; he's more concerned with describing character, atmosphere and society than with plot - which suits me just fine. Unfortunately, just as in the first book, the ending feels a bit rushed and disjointed from the rest of the story; I got the impression that Kurkov compressed things to meet a certain page count or a deadline - otherwise I'd have given "Penguin Lost" five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Penguin Lost November 13, 2013
By djd
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The story drags a bit compared to the first one. But I pushed through to see what happens next. Russians tend to be depressing in their stories, this is still worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Penguin Lost August 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A wonderful sequel to Death and the Penguin. Draws the reader into the events surrounding the demise of the former Soviet Union and the vacuum that was left as a result. Loved the characters! Lifelike, real and totally believable. The human essence captured! A book I shall read again and again with as much enjoyment as at the first.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kafka meets noir whodunit August 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lovely, surreal read. Unique. You can get the plot details elsewhere. A man and his penguin and a mystery in Ukraine.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars very good!
Yhis is the first time,Ive read this unususal book ,I consider it very interesting,it absoved me cfompletely For me ,a different tipe of book,not the usual espionage or suspense... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Maria T. Casuso Gutierrez
4.0 out of 5 stars Penguin loved....
Andrey Kurkov transports the reader to Ukraine, immersing the reader into the life of Viktor. We watch as Viktor tries to do develop a sense of morality in an immoral world. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Suzanne Mirts
5.0 out of 5 stars Brrrrr....good day to read a book!!
I heard about this author on NPR radio and have read 2 of the "penguin" books. I really enjoyed them and would recommend them. I would read more from the same author, also.
Published on June 29, 2012 by Adrienne G. Sacco
2.0 out of 5 stars clunky translation
When I read "Death and the Penguin", I found myself carried along by the prose, even when nothing much was happening. Read more
Published on December 28, 2011 by Ms. Roberta Taussig
4.0 out of 5 stars A sequel, and a more mature piece of work
This is very much a sequel to Death and the Penguin, Andrey Kurkov's first novel, and if you have not already read that you would do well to do so before reading Penguin Lost. Read more
Published on November 24, 2011 by Lost John
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and funny and sad!
If you're wondering what happened to penguin Misha, hold on to your seat... it's quite a ride. Kurkov is a master at the fine line between humor and horror.
Published on November 16, 2011 by Book Babe
5.0 out of 5 stars Black humor apotheosis
In this volume we follow the most recent adventures of Viktor the writer and Misha the penguin, whom we've first met in Death and the Penguin. Read more
Published on September 27, 2011 by Lakis Fourouklas
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