The Wikipedia article on Death and the Penguin claims that the story is set in 1996 - 1997. However, when Viktor was in the Chief's office,
On the upper shelf lay a folder with several typed sheets on top. Without thinking, he reached for the topmost sheet, and recognized it at once as his obelisk for the director of Ferro-Concrete Reinforcements. In the top left-hand corner someone had written
with a bold, sweeping signature.
His growing astonishment proved a release from fear and trembling. Today was only February the third!
He found several more that were approved "for some date ahead", including one that was approved for that very day. This implies that the events in the book actually took place in 1998 - 1999. That being said, why does Wikipedia claim 1996 - 1997? Is it just wrong? Or is this a translation/edition difference?
Edit: To deepen the mystery, at the very end of the book is the line "December 1995 - February 1996". Did the translator forget to change the date? Or did he just fat-finger 1999?