bookshelves: books-about-books-and-book-shops, one-penny-wonder, paper-read, slavic, amusing, translation, gangsters, zoology, ukraine, kiev, lifestyles-deathstyles, autumn-2013Read from November 21 to 28, 2013 Strapline: In today's Ukraine, allbookshelves: books-about-books-and-book-shops, one-penny-wonder, paper-read, slavic, amusing, translation, gangsters, zoology, ukraine, kiev, lifestyles-deathstyles, autumn-2013 Read from November 21 to 28, 2013
Strapline: In today's Ukraine, all that stands between one man and murder by the Mafia is a penguin.
Translated from the Russian by George Bird.
Dedication: For the Sharps, in gratitude
A Militia major is driving along when he sees a militiaman standing with a penguin. "Take him to the zoo," he orders. Some time later the same major is driving along when he sees the militiaman still with the penguin. "What have you been doing?" he asks. "I said take him to the zoo." "We've been to the zoo, Comrade Major," says the militiaman, "and the circus. And now we're going to the pictures."
Opening: First, a stone landed a metre from Viktor's foot. He glanced back. Two louts stood grinning, one of whom stooped, picked up another from a section of broken cobble, and bowled it at him skittler-fashion.
The local zoo closes down bit by bit so they advertise for any member of the public to come around and take away a pet. Our protagonist Viktor, the obituary writer, chooses a King Penguin called Misha.
Misha is a depressed penguin.
Victors new friend introduces himself as Misha, so our Viktor mentally dubs him Misha-not-a-penguin.