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'Kurkov is hugely talented. Truly very funny' -Time Out

Marital troubles?

Sick of life?

Suicide the answer?

Why not get yourself a contract killer?

Nothing easier, provided you communicate only by phone and box number. You give him your photograph, specify when and where to find you, then sit back and prepare to die.

Murdered, you will be of greater interest than ever you were in life. More to him than met the eye will be the judgment. A mysterious killing lives long in the popular memory.

Our hero meticulously plans his own demise, except for one detail: what if he suddenly decides he wants to live?


Kurkov's eye for the absurdities of Ukrainian life is as sharp as ever

Sunday Telegraph

A perfectly balanced read

Scotland on Sunday

A brilliant black comedy

Evening Standard

Excellent... Blackly comic. Remarkable

New York Times

Kurkov conjures up both Gogol and Dostoevsky... Genuinely original


Kurkov is a fine satirist and a real, blackly comic find


Kurkov's writing is highly addictive


There's a pleasing conceit at the dark heart of this novella


A dark humorous book that delivers Kurkov's best

Good Book Guide

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    May 1, 2006


    112 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    November 17, 2016

    Vintage Digital

    112 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Andrey Kurkov

Ukraine Diaries
The Gardener from Ochakov
The Milkman in the Night
The Good Angel of Death
The President's Last Love
Penguin Lost
The Case Of The General's Thumb
Death And The Penguin


Fool Me Once
Private Delhi
Make Me
The Girl on the Train
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Bone Collection
The Snowman
The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Digital Fortress
The 7th Function of Language
Best Laid Plans
A Gentleman in Moscow
The Heart's Invisible Furies
Swing Time
The Accordionist
The Narrow Road to the Deep North