When Kolya moves into a new flat in Kiev, he discovers an annotated manuscript hidden inside a copy of War and Peace and decides to track down its author, even if it means digging up the grave of a Ukranian nationalist who died in mysterious circumstances.
An exhumation reveals that an item of great national importance is buried near a fort in Kazakstan so when, during his night shift as a security guard, Kolya is threatened with mysterious phone calls, he sets off on what turns out to be a very bizarre journey. Along the way he meets a host of unlikely characters including Bedouins, ex-KGB officers and a spirit-like companion in the form of a chameleon.
From the author of cult bestseller, Death and the Penguin.
Packs a lot of plot into this deadpan satire... Strange and tantalising
Flits between dark and light exploring the twilight zone between fantasy and reality
Kurkov is hugely talented, truly very funny
Kurkov's style is spare and effective, drawing us with deceptive ease into a dense, complex world full of wonderful characters
A rather beautiful dreamlike journey