Death and the Penguin Death and the Penguin

Death and the Penguin

    • $20.99

    • $20.99

Publisher Description

A penguin is all that stands between one man and murder by the mafia

Sit back and enjoy this darkly comic full-cast adaptation of Andrey Kurkov’s bestselling novel set in mid-90s Ukraine, plus a bonus interview with the author.
Viktor Alekseyevich Zolotaryov is an aspiring writer in Ukraine, with only his pet king penguin, Misha, for company. After Viktor gets a job writing obituaries for a local newspaper, he soon finds that his articles are being used as a hit list by some unknown organisation. Feeling as lost and unhappy as his penguin, Viktor’s life takes a complicated turn when he takes in Sonya, the young daughter of an old friend, and hires Nina to be her nanny. Can Viktor protect everyone and keep himself (and his penguin) alive, or is he destined to become the subject of the paper’s latest obituary?
A blend of Gogol’s absurdist humour and Kafka’s alienation, this tragi-comedy is set in the wild west atmosphere of a newly independent Ukraine following the collapse of the Soviet Union. At its heart, this is a story about surviving and enduring in perilous times.
Starring Tom Basden (After Life) as aspiring writer Viktor, and BAFTA winner Jason Watkins (The Crown) as the mysterious Lyosha.
This release also includes an episode of BBC Radio’s World Book Club, in which Kurkov discusses his darkly funny tale with Harriett Gilbert. Recorded live in his native Ukraine, at the historic Mikhail Bulgakov Museum in Kiev, he responds to listeners' questions from around the world.
Andrey Kurkov is a Ukrainian author who writes in Russian. He has written 19 novels and is a respected commentator on Ukraine, regularly appearing on Radio 4 with his ‘Letters from Ukraine’ series. Death and the Penguin is Kurkov's most famous work, translated into more than 30 languages.
©2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
Death and the Penguin
Written by Andrey Kurkov
Translated by George Bird
Adapted by Hattie Naylor
Directed by Gemma Jenkins
Viktor - Tom Basden
Lyosha - Jason Watkins
Igor - David Hounslow
Sonya - Blythe Arbery
Nina - Chloë Sommer
Misha-non-Penguin - Roger Ringrose
Sergey - Tom Kiteley
Natasha - Fiona Skinner
Dr Pidpaly - Joanna Monro
First Broadcast BBC Radio 4, 14 January 2023
World Book Club: Andrey Kurkov - Death and the Penguin
Presented by Harriett Gilbert
First Broadcast BBC World Service, 5 September 2015

Tom Basden
hr min
11 April
BBC Audio