The Tsar Of Love And Techno: Stories

The Tsar Of Love And Techno: Stories

Paperback | October 6, 2015

byAnthony Marra

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From the author of National Book Award longlist selection and New York Times bestseller A Constellation of Vital Phenomena come these dazzling, poignant and lyrical interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war and the redemptive power of art.
     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.

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The Tsar Of Love And Techno: Stories

Paperback | October 6, 2015
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$15.18 online $24.95 (save 39%)

From the Publisher

From the author of National Book Award longlist selection and New York Times bestseller A Constellation of Vital Phenomena come these dazzling, poignant and lyrical interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war and the redemptive power of art.     This stunning, exquisitely written collection introduces a cast of remark...

ANTHONY MARRA is the author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (2013), which won the National Book Critics Circle's inaugural John Leonard Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and appeared on over twenty year-end lists. Marra's novel was a National Book Award longlist selection as wel...

other books by Anthony Marra

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Paperback|May 7 2013

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De tsaar van liefde en techno
De tsaar van liefde en techno

Kobo ebook|Aug 31 2016

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see all books by Anthony Marra
Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.3 × 5.7 × 0.9 inPublished:October 6, 2015Publisher:Random House Of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307362655

ISBN - 13:9780307362650

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Customer Reviews of The Tsar Of Love And Techno: Stories

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning Sophomore Novel <b>This is a fairly long review, so, the tl;dr: run to your local shop/library and check out Marra’s excellent sophomore novel. I loved it!</b> The mixtape is as sacred a token as you are likely to find among music fans. Being handed a disc with artists and songs you’ve never heard is akin to being introduced to a new world. Part of the fun in crafting and receiving music in an increasingly obsolete reflective disc is that you never really know what to expect. A bass-booming hip-hop banger could just as easily give way to a serene jazz number as an experimental rock track. A properly crafted mixtape takes the listener on a ride through a diverse soundscape but on reflection and repeat listens, you can hear the through-line that ties the project together. Anthony Marra’s latest novel, <i>The Tsar of Love and Techno</i>, is an appropriately similar experience to that of a first spin of a new disc. Billed as a short story collection, this is really a series of stories that vary in tone, character, and plot, but contain enough connective tissue to rightly be called a novel. Some stories end softly, others with a resounding crash, and I was never quite sure what to expect from the next story. There was a section that felt like punk rock, another that seemed like it should be backed by sorowful orchestral arrangements, and –of course—techno. I went into this novel having only read Marra’s previous effort, <i>A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon</i>, which I found to be quite good. This short story collection/novel shares its setting with its predecessor with some notable exceptions (<i>Constellation</i> was entirely set in Chechnya, while <i>Tsar</i> is a tour throughout Russia and beyond). My recommendation with this book is to experience it like a mixtape: go in with as little knowledge as possible and enjoy the ride. Marra’s vivid writing conjured the dreary settings of this novel in my mind’s eye. Location and time play a key roles here in both story and theme, and Marra is able to draw forth 1937's Russia just as well as modern-day. This is firmly literary fiction, and is laden with metaphor and rock-solid prose. I read this book at a slower pace than I normally would. It wasn’t because of the difficulty of the novel or a busy personal schedule; rather, it was that I wanted to give myself some time to digest each story and dig in to Marra’s writing. I thought that the variety of styles and storylines that Marra employed are all executed with only the smallest blips (the middle does sag a bit, but only slightly, and only for a short time). In fact, Marra’s skill and structure reminded me of another of my favorite authors. <i>The Tsar of Love & Techno</i>’s structure bears a familial resemblance to some of David Mitchell’s writing. We have the interlocking stories, the varied perspectives, and multiplicity of writing styles. Mitchell’s famed <i>Cloud Atlas</i>’ disparate stories seem tenuously linked at the novel’s onset only to reassemble like a matryoshka doll by the novel’s end: each piece fitting nicely into the other. By comparison, Marra’s <i>The Tsar of Love and Techno</i> is like unfolding a complex origami. While the stories all have their own identity, they are all identifiably part of a single work –a single sheet, if you will—and identifying those connections, however minor, excited me. Marra also handles a diverse cast: in both personality and gender. I was somewhat taken aback at how well Marra was able to get into the heads of both male and female characters, leaving neither sex underserviced or unbelievable. While it isn’t a prerequisite for a good novel to have an equal representation of the sexes, I believe it helps to expand the readership. One of the reasons I like to read is to appreciate perspectives that are not my own, and this book is highly recommendable in that sense alone! I don’t put much stock in the whole “chick lit/guy lit” classification. What I do believe is that there are certain novels that have almost universal appeal and this is one of them. Also, <b>THAT COVER</b>. The font, cassette tape, colouring, and unspooling tape, reminded me of an album cover. I’m pretty astonished that Marra didn’t manage to snag the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with this book (I’ve yet to touch <i>The Sympathizer</i>, so I'll reserve judgement until then). However, Marra just seems to get better with each subsequent collection, so it is almost inevitable that he'll take home some heavy duty rewards in the future. Regardless of its award-status, it is one of the best books I’ve read this year and has jumped Marra up to my personal “buy-on-site” shortlist. Of course, like any good mixtape, this is a book that deserves to be experienced all over again.
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's not short stories. It's one big story broken into scenes. And it's astounding. I'm now an Anthony Marra fan for life. Not only are his books emotionally manipulative and draining - in a good way! - but he knows how to set a book in Russia. Or at least in the Russian literary milieu most Westerners picture. It's a country who's literature paints the most crushing pictures of society and war and suffering. But is also a literature that celebrates the dignity and genius and wonder of the individual who shines out of all that darkness. No wonder Russia and environs have produced so many brilliant artists. But back to Marra. He's captured this spirit, and in this book traces it through decades and intertwined families who rise above totalitarianism, and communism, and poverty to become examples of everything that is great about humanity. It's an example of love and family. And how they endure.
Date published: 2015-08-09

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Editorial Reviews

FINALIST 2016 – National Book Critics Circle Award for FictionPraise for Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena:"Approaches something like the gauzy beauty of Ondaatje's prose." Maclean's"Extraordinary...A 21st-century War and Peace." New York Times Book Review"Amazing...brilliant...one of the most accomplished and affecting books I've read in a very long time." Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings, for NPR"Haunting in its depiction of what people will do to each other, as well as how far they will go to help each other." Chatelaine