“Both a pleasure and a testament to life in Ukraine, before” The Times
“Ukraine’s greatest living novelist” New European
“A Ukrainian Murakami” Guardian
A hugely entertaining romp through the beautiful city of Lviv, by the author of Death and the Penguin and Grey Bees, now reporting widely on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, his home country.
Strange things are afoot in the cosmopolitan city of Lviv, western Ukraine. Seagulls are circling and the air smells salty, though Lviv is a long way from the sea . . .
A ragtag group gathers round a mysterious grave in Lychakiv Cemetery – among them an ex-KGB officer and an ageing hippy he used to spy on. Before long, Captain Ryabtsev and Alik Olisevych are teaming up to discover the source of the “anomalies”.
Meanwhile, Taras — who makes a living driving kidney-stone patients over cobblestones in his ancient Opel Vectra – is courting Darka, who works nights at a bureau de change despite being allergic to money.
The young lovers don’t know it, but their fate depends on two lonely old men, relics of another era, who will stop at nothing to save their city.
Shot through with Kurkov’s unique brand of black humour and vodka-fuelled magic realism, Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv is an affectionate portrait one the world’s most intriguing cities.
Translated from the Russian by Reuben Woolley