Readers Advisory: DEATH AND THE PENGUIN

NPR’s Fresh Air featured the novels of the “absurdist noir” Ukrainian writer, Andrey Kurkov yesterday, calling him the “most sheerly enjoyable of the new Russian authors” and his books, “short, sly page-turners.” Although the author is little-known in the US, he is “already a cult writer in Europe.” His works have not been available in the US until Melville House recently began publishing them under their International Crime imprint (Brooklyn-based Melville House got its own sly reference in the 4/15 premiere of HBO’s new series, The Girls).

The most recent title released here is The Case of the General’s Thumb, (reviewed in Shelf Awareness),”a sardonically amusing romp that’s well worth reading,” but the reviewer suggests starting with Kurkov’s 1996 novel Death and the Penguin. The book nearly cracked the Amazon  Top 100 list as a result, rising to #108 (from #479,549).

Excerpts are available on the book’s title pages on the Melville House site.

All the Melville House  editions of Kurkov’s book are available as eBooks via OverDrive.

Death and the Penguin (Melville International Crime)
Andrey Kurkov
Retail Price: $10.99
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Melville International Crime – (2011-06-07)
ISBN: 9781935554554

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The Case of the General’s Thumb (Melville International Crime)
Andrey Kurkov
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Melville International Crime – (2012-02-21)
ISBN: 9781612190600

Melville House offers a simple but frightening book trailer for Penguin Lost, the sequel to Death and the Penguin (both books feature a penguin that the main character adopts when the local zoo can no longer afford to keep it).

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