The premise of this novel was a lot more promising than it turned out to be. The idea of arranging to have yourself assassinated because you are so sick of life, yet not able to commit suicide, is very appealing. And also very easy to relate to I think. Many of us have at one point or another given it a thought or two, perhaps not seriously, but fleetingly. Murdered, you will be of greater interest than you ever were in your life. Murdered, your memory will last forever.
Yet, for Tolya, things don't go according to plan. He decides he wants to live after all, after it is too late.
Sounds interesting right? Well, I'm afraid it was a little underwhelming. I would have liked to see Tolya die (after trying to escape death), and have people wonder what had happened to him. Perhaps bring in his wife (who had left him for another guy) and make her play a bigger role in the story. Instead, not only does Tolya successfully escape death, but he ends up with two relationships (when he had just gotten out of the biggest failed relationship), and finds himself dragged into the depths of depravity (think murder, bribery, thievery and so on).
Not what I expected going into it. It is quite a short story, and very easy to read, and there are many good thoughts and ideas in the book that I've found myself marking down. However, the storyline itself was quite disappointing, and could have been enhanced tremendously.
All in all, a quick read, and not bad with it being my first Kurkov book.