A Matter of Death and Life, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


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?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780099461586



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Novella by a great Ukrainian writer whose starting to get his books translated into English. I read the first one, <i>Death And The Penguin</i>, last year and highly recommend it. Oddly, I saw the movie version of this book (<i>A Friend Of The Deceased</i>) years ago at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, and when I picked up this book, the story seemed familiar (depressed cuckold in Kiev doesn’t have the nerve to commit suicide, so he hires a contract killer to kill him. Then, life gets better and he changes his mind. Black comedy ensues). I double-checked, and yep, same guy. In fact, Kurkov wrote the screenplay for the film version. I recommend both (though be warned, the film version is pretty slow).