Igor is confident his old Soviet policeman's uniform will be the best costume at the party. But he hasn't gone far before he realises something is wrong. The streets are unusually dark and empty, and the only person to emerge from the shadows runs away from him in terror. After a perplexing conversation with the terrified man, who turns out to be a wine smuggler, and on recovering from the resulting hangover, Igor comes to an unbelievable conclusion: he has found his way back to 1957 Kiev. And it isn't the innocent era his mother and her friends have so sentimentally described. As he travels between centuries, his life becomes more and more complicated. The unusual gardener who lives in his mother's shed keeps disappearing, his best friend has blackmailed the wrong people, and Igor has fallen in love with a married woman in a time before he was born. With his mother's disapproval at his absences growing, and his adventures in each time frame starting to catch up with him, Igor has to survive the past if he wants any kind of future.
"Kurkov is a master story teller, using a simple lean style for a narrative that reads like a fable or myth, rich in invention, brought to life by the deadpan depiction of local people and local events" The Bay, Swansea
Andrey Kurkov was born in St Petersburg in 1961. Having graduated from the Kiev Foreign Languages Institute, he worked for some time as a journalist, did his military service as a prison warder in Odessa, then became a writer of screenplays and author of critically acclaimed and popular novels, including the bestselling Death and the Penguin. Kurkov has long been a respected commentator on Ukraine for the world's media, notably in the UK, France, Germany and the States.