Death, a penguin, and a miniaturist. Although, no miniature penguins. But luckily, no dead ones, either.

I was beginning to feel like there were two things everyone else in the western world had done, except me. Read ‘The Miniaturist’, and seen ‘E.T.’

I don’t have a copy of ‘E.T.’ about the place, so there is some excuse for that, but I have had a copy ‘The Miniaturist’ on my shelf for about a year, and I don’t know if it’s all the hype or what, but I’ve just not felt compelled to read it. I had a few days off work last week with a bug, and fancied something easy to read, and so finally got round to it.

I did enjoy it, although I wasn’t entirely convinced by the actual miniaturist character, and her methods and motivations, but I was convinced that I wanted gingerbread. And marzipan. I am highly suggestible, I can’t watch a cooking program without eating something, and this book had the same effect.

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‘Death and the Penguin’ was the other book I read while dizzy and groggy, and I loved it (although it didn’t end quite how I wanted it to) and Viktor is always drinking. I found myself constantly heading to the kettle, as he drinks a lot of tea, coffee, vodka, all kinds of alcohol. I was awake that night due to all the extra tea. And I want a pet penguin. It’s a strange and original book, one of my favourite elements being that the penguin is called Misha, and a man comes along also called Misha, and after that he is referred to Misha-non-penguin, which shows Misha the penguin’s superioroty. The only thing I didn’t like was there was no reference to poo. I’ve been near penguins, and they are well known for their poop-projecting abilities. And the large emperor ones make seagulls look like sparrows.  Is Misha trained? Can penguins use a litter tray? Or did he go out on the balcony of the apartment? I need to know.

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Kurkov with a little penguin. But I want a big one, like Misha. One as tall as a four-year-old child, and better behaved.

Kurkov with a little penguin. But I want a big one, like Misha. One as tall as a four-year-old child, and better behaved.

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