The Bickford Fuse by Andrey Kurkov: a European Literature Network review

Bickford FuseI have a new review up at the European Literature Network this month: Andrey Kurkov’s The Bickford Fuse (translated from the Russian by Boris Dralyuk). It’s a journey through an absurd, askew version of the USSR under Khrushchev. We follow a shipwrecked sailor as he wanders the land through a series of strange encounters, all the while trailing the safety fuse with which he could blow it all up.

I enjoyed The Bickford Fuse, and the way it creates its own little world. Read my review to find out more.

Book details (Foyles affiliate link)

The Bickford Fuse (2009) by Andrey Kurkov, tr. Boris Dralyuk (2016), MacLehose Press paperback


  1. I am really enjoying a lot of Russian lit lately. I will definitely put this one on my TBR list.

  2. I loved Death and the Penguin and read the four or five novels which followed but I found either the quality varied or perhaps the tone remained too samey. I’ve not read Kurkov in a while now so perhaps I should give him another try.

    • The only other one I’ve read is The Milkman in the Night a few years ago. I recognised the same tone in this one, so perhaps you do need to leave it for a while. But the historical setting makes The Bickford Fuse feel a little different.

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