Saturday, 11 April 2009

The President's Last Love - Andrey Kurkov

Read: June 2007

Ukrainian President Sergey Bunin wakes from heart transplant surgery to find his country careering absurdly out of control: an oligarch is threatening to cut the nation’s electricity supply, giant Vatican recognised miracle potatoes are sprouting in the east and, to make matters worse, a crazed widow is demanding visitation rights to her deceased husband’s heart. It is just another day in the life of a president. But Bunin hates this life; all he wants is to go ice swimming with his friends. The question arises: how did he ever become president?

The President’s Last Love
chronicles Bunin’s dubious rise up the political ladder, from catering college and failed romance to tragedy and the birth of a political career. But as he lives and loves it becomes apparent that there are some things beyond even the power of spin to remedy. The heart, you see, is not a potato. Kurkov is a wonderful writer, humane and hilarious, and this may be even better than Death and the Penguin. Read it; you are in for a treat.

8 out of 10

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