Tag: Author: Anthony Marra


Review: The Tsar of Love and Techno

Posted 9 December, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

The Tsar of Love and Techno
By: Anthony Marra
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

This stunning, exquisitely written collection introduces a cast of remarkable characters whose lives intersect in ways both life-affirming and heartbreaking. A 1930s Soviet censor painstakingly corrects offending photographs, deep underneath Leningrad, bewitched by the image of a disgraced prima ballerina. A chorus of women recount their stories and those of their grandmothers, former gulag prisoners who settled their Siberian mining town. Two pairs of brothers share a fierce, protective love. Young men across the former USSR face violence at home and in the military. And great sacrifices are made in the name of an oil landscape unremarkable except for the almost incomprehensibly peaceful past it depicts. In stunning prose, with rich character portraits and a sense of history reverberating into the present, The Tsar of Love and Techno is a captivating work from one of our greatest new talents.

I read Anthony Marra’s first novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (review), two years ago and absolutely loved it; it was one of my favourite books read that year. I had no idea he was coming out with this story collection until early this year when fellow bloggers were talking about it so I was pretty excited about it. I was fortunate to have been approved an eARC of this book by the publishers through NetGalley for review. This book was published on 06 October 2015.

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Review: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Posted 2 May, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
By: Anthony Marra
Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of the publisher & GoodReads First Reads programme

In the final days of December 2004, in a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa hides in the woods when her father is abducted by Russian forces. Fearing for her life, she flees with their neighbor Akhmed–a failed physician–to the bombed-out hospital, where Sonja, the one remaining doctor, treats a steady stream of wounded rebels and refugees and mourns her missing sister. Over the course of five dramatic days, Akhmed and Sonja reach back into their pasts to unravel the intricate mystery of coincidence, betrayal, and forgiveness that unexpectedly binds them and decides their fate.

With The English Patient‘s dramatic sweep and The Tiger’s Wife‘s expert sense of place, Marra gives us a searing debut about the transcendent power of love in wartime, and how it can cause us to become greater than we ever thought possible.

I first heard about this book through the GoodReads First Reads programme where I won a copy. The premise sounded very interesting–I haven’t read any books set in Chechnya beyond what I learned in history classes, which makes this book especially interesting–and it’s already catching some buzz. It will be available for purchase on May 7th.

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