A wonderfully inventive and slyly constructed novel, horrifying, horribly funny, and disgracefully entertaining. John Banville
Christopher Wilson’s biting Soviet satire, narrated with perfect pitch by a mordantly funny 12-year-old. The Bookseller
Christopher Wilson reimagines Stalin’s final days in power
through the eyes of Yuri, a brain-damaged boy who becomes the dictator’s food
taster. The result is a witty, tender, entertaining and sinister satire.
Ayobami Adebayo. Observer Books of The
Engrossing and very moving. Anita Sethi, The Guardian
This strange and brilliant novel... James Walton, Spectator
The quirky child narrator makes my heart sink faster
than almost anything... Because, literally, on page two he uses the
adorable word 'misfortunities'. Ah, because he is a child with
mental-impairment... Please give me less "blah, blah, here I am knowing
an adorable word".. Natalie Haynes, Saturday Review, Radio 4
Christopher Wilson’s The Zoo rather unluckily,
played the death of Stalin for dark laughs just a couple of months
before Armando Iannucci’s highly publicised film did much the same —
although, if anything, the book was both funnier and even more
hair-raising. James Walton, Spectator Books of the Year
Shockingly funny. Claire Allfree, Daily Mail
Reads like Vonnegut meets Catch 22. Wildly original... Rabeea Saleem,Welsh Arts Review The Zoo is exquisite. A biting satire that broke my heart. Nathan Filer
I absolutely loved it! So nimble and acute, by turns briskly hilarious and deeply humane… The Vonnegut comparisons are justified. Stephen Kelman
The energy and originality of Christopher Wilson’s imagination is at
its most striking in this fascinating novel. It’s narrator and central
character, is so engaging that it’s impossible to put the book down. Diana Athill
Original and fresh,
cynical and innocent, amusing and horrific, cruel and humane, plausible
and unbelievable... brilliantly written and resolutely unsentimental.
It’s funny and poignant and a wonderful book. Nicholas Searle
Five things Yuri Zipit has learnt:
- That being the official food-taster for the Great Leader of the Motherland requires him to drink more vodka than his 12-year-old frame can handle.
- That you do not have to be an Elephantologist to see that the Great Leader is dying.
- That Yuri’s father is somewhere here in the Dacha.
- That it's a crime to love your family more than you love Socialism, the Party or the Republic.
- That some people were born to be disinvented.
But there’s something his comrades have yet to learn from Yuri: that being a brain-damaged child doesn’t make him a fool.