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Archive: Other Books > The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra 5 Stars and a Heart (If we still do hearts)

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message 1: by Regina Lindsey (new)

Regina Lindsey | 1005 comments Written as a series of nine short stories that are loosely connected, the reader is introduced to a remarkable cast of characters who are complex and all intersect in some way. At the center of each story is an unremarkable piece of art that depicts a peaceful landscape but in reality has a haunting story of its own. In the opening story an artistic censor has had to abandon his dreams of an artist to work for "the state" in 1930's Russia as a censor of offensive work. After his brother, a priest, is executed the censor rebels by adding his brother into artwork at various stages of his life until he, too, becomes accused of being a collaborator against the state.

I absolutely adored Constellation of Vital Phenomenon. When I love an author's first book as I did that one I'm often to rush into a follow up read; all too often the second book is a disappointment. This could not be further from the truth with The Tsar of Love and Techno, and I don't normally like short stories (the fact that the stories are interconnected may help some here). I LOVED this book! In fact, in may be the better of the two books, even though I personally prefer CVP. I suspect that's because CVP was much more heavily historical than Tsar. I would classify Tsar a novel set in a historical setting versus true historical fiction. But, the stories are so well written and the characters are so well drawn. You start out despising some of the characters, but as the stories progress you develop some sympathy for some of them. You may still not like them but you feel you understand them better. The other thing that sets this work apart from the former is there is some really nice subtle humor and wit. If found myself laughing a great deal with this work.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. For those who have trouble with difficult war time settings and for that reason has shied away from CVP pick this one up to get a taste of Marra's writing. Marra is just one of those authors every avid reader needs in his/her library.

I suspect Marra is going to join Hosseini, Russell, and de Bernières as my favorite authors. One more book and he qualifies!


message 2: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6647 comments Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! I can't get enough of Marra.


message 3: by Regina Lindsey (new)

Regina Lindsey | 1005 comments Booknblues wrote: "Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! I can't get enough of Marra."

I've been in a real reading slump with building the house, the move, and a recent health scare with Tracy. I NEEDED that read!


message 4: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments So great!


message 5: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6647 comments Regina wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! I can't get enough of Marra."

I've been in a real reading slump with building the house, the move, and a recent health scare with Tracy. I NEEDED ..."


I hope everything is working out for you, Regina. I've missed seeing you at Goodreads.


message 6: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Pope (jenjunum) | 902 comments I loved this too. I'm listening to CVP right now. I agree, I like Tsar better. Funnier. And more character driven. I do like them both though. I just really love Marra.


message 7: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments So happy to have you back. Glad Tracy is doing better. The house looks gorgeous.


message 8: by Regina Lindsey (new)

Regina Lindsey | 1005 comments Thanks, Linda. We had a real scare with him.


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