24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A disappointing and unnecessary sequel.,
This review is from: Penguin Lost (Paperback)
Firstly, this book will make very little sense if you have not read 'Death and the Penguin', which introduced Viktor and Misha, the penguin who he adopted when the Kiev zoo closed down. The first book is quite brilliant, especially for the maudlin character of Misha, who suffers from depression and is integral to the plot set in post-Soviet Ukraine. A typical Kurkov joke is to describe another human character as 'Misha-non-Penguin' to distinguish him from the penguin.
'Penguin Lost' suffers for the absence of Misha- the plot is disjointed and jumps from one idea to the next - within 3 pages of the start, a coincidental meeting to cause Viktor to leave Antartica and provides him a reason to go to Moscow. Similarly convenient events occur to take the plot through the corruption of post-Soviet politics and the war in Chechenya.
Whereas the first book was effortless and full of mordant humour, the second seems forced, as if written to order. I very much wanted to enjoy this book, but regret that it is an average novel on its own merit and a sad and unnecessary sequel.