This novel is a selection for two challenges, Annie's What's in a Name challenge and the Russian Reading challenge. I wanted to read it because it is set in Ukraine, specifically Kiev. The fact that it was written in Russian caused a bit of a fuss in the newly sovereign Ukraine. Language has always been a hot topic in literature; just like Ireland and England, Russia and Ukraine have struggled with the politicization of language. Why the Ukrainian Kurkov chooses to write in Russian is a topic I am sure dissertations could be written on; however, they won't be written by me!
"Think what you like. But bear in mind this: the moment you are told what the point of your work is, you're dead...the full story is what you get told only if and when your work, and with it your existence, are no longer required."