Shelby *trains flying monkeys*'s Reviews > A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
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really liked it
bookshelves: read-2014, from-publisher, goodreads-choice

Upon starting this book I had heard of Chechnya. I couldn't point it out on a map though. Or even have told you what part of the world it was in.


This book takes you there. Not just in mind..but in spirit also. The author states he chose to write about this area after hearing about the death of journalist Anna Polikovskaya from her reporting she did from Chechnya. He read up on the non-fiction reports he could find from the area. I'm glad he did it. My eyes would have glazed over from the enormity of it.

The story begins with 8 year old Haava seeing her father taken by soldiers in the middle of the night. Even at that young age she knows that her father isn't returning. Akhmed her neighbors sweeps her up and runs because she is also a target. He hides her with a frustrated Russian Doctor named Sonja.
Sonja and Akhmed are amazing characters. They both come to life in the book. I'll remember Akhmed for a long time after finishing this. His humor in the face of such tragedy. He admits he is a horrible doctor with a wry sense.



The story takes place over 5 days..5 days that will stick with the reader long afterward. The author does use flashbacks so that you become entwined in these characters lives. For a first book this book is absolutely amazing.


I received an copy of this book from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.
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Quotes Shelby *trains flying monkeys* Liked

Anthony Marra
“Life: a constellation of vital phenomena—organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation.”
Anthony Marra, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena


Reading Progress

July 5, 2014 – Started Reading
July 5, 2014 – Shelved
July 5, 2014 –
17.0%
July 6, 2014 –
19.0% ""Wasn't it Ronald McDonald who told Gorbachev to tear down the wall?"\n "You're thinking of Ronald Reagan."\n "English names all sound the same."\n \n I love this book."
July 8, 2014 –
54.0%
July 9, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)

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message 1: by TL (new)

TL great review... it sounds interesting:)


message 2: by Shelby *trains flying monkeys* (last edited Jul 09, 2014 04:07PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shelby *trains flying monkeys* TL wrote: "great review... it sounds interesting:)"

It really was. I hated to see it end...and thanks :)


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

nice review shelby :)


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* Kat Stark wrote: "nice review shelby :)"

thanks :)


Ash Wednesday I love blogging for books! I like that you can't request a new book without having read/reviewed your last one (paranoid thought: or is it just me???). Easier to keep getting yourself overwhelmed :)


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* Ash Wednesday wrote: "I love blogging for books! I like that you can't request a new book without having read/reviewed your last one (paranoid thought: or is it just me???). Easier to keep getting yourself overwhelmed :)"

This was my first one from them. I'm excited :)


message 7: by TL (new)

TL Shelby *wants some flying monkeys* wrote: "TL wrote: "great review... it sounds interesting:)"

It really was. I hated to see it end...and thanks :)"


your welcome:)

what's 'blogging for books'?


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* TL wrote: "Shelby *wants some flying monkeys* wrote: "TL wrote: "great review... it sounds interesting:)"

It really was. I hated to see it end...and thanks :)"

your welcome:)

what's 'blogging for books'?"


A website that gives a copy of a book for review :)


message 9: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason Koivu Thanks for opening my eyes to this book with your solid review, Shelby!


message 10: by TL (new)

TL Shelby *wants some flying monkeys* wrote: "TL wrote: "Shelby *wants some flying monkeys* wrote: "TL wrote: "great review... it sounds interesting:)"

It really was. I hated to see it end...and thanks :)"

your welcome:)

what's 'blogging ..."


nice! what's their website?


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* Jason wrote: "Thanks for opening my eyes to this book with your solid review, Shelby!"

I think you will like it and thanks buddy!


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* TL wrote: "Shelby *wants some flying monkeys* wrote: "TL wrote: "Shelby *wants some flying monkeys* wrote: "TL wrote: "great review... it sounds interesting:)"

It really was. I hated to see it end...and th..."


I'm on my phone but I just Google it and it comes up :)


message 13: by TL (new)

TL okie dokie:)


message 14: by Caroline (new) - added it

Caroline Glad you enjoyed this, Shelby! Many of my friends gave this raves and said as you did: that it is very impressive for a debut novel. I could use some more education on Chechnya myself!


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* Caroline wrote: "Glad you enjoyed this, Shelby! Many of my friends gave this raves and said as you did: that it is very impressive for a debut novel. I could use some more education on Chechnya myself!"

I think you would adore this book :)


message 16: by Caroline (new) - added it

Caroline It's always ideal when a book educates as well as entertains.


Cheeky Cher Looking forward to this one. I have heard nothing but great things. Thanks for the review, and for including the photos and map, Shelby!


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* Cher wrote: "Looking forward to this one. I have heard nothing but great things. Thanks for the review, and for including the photos and map, Shelby!"

thanks :)


Barbara Rhine On dogs: Khassan, speaking to them--"No, I haven't been called for, but that's beside the poing. Are you sure you want to discuss etiquette? I have a lot to say about ass-sniffing as a way to say hello." p. 87 Not that much funny about this book, but this made me smile for sure.


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* Barbara wrote: "On dogs: Khassan, speaking to them--"No, I haven't been called for, but that's beside the poing. Are you sure you want to discuss etiquette? I have a lot to say about ass-sniffing as a way to sa..."

Me too! This author can write :)


Margitte Wonderful review, Diane. This was one of those books which kept me reading all through the night. I was hesitant to start reading it, but in the end just went for it, and it blew me away.


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