I just loved this book. It is marketed as ‘Stories’, but they are all interconnected through recurring characters and objects. Each story is self-contained and yet cumulative. The settings span Leningrad in 1937 , a labour camp in Kirovsk at the same time and Kirovsk sixty years later, Grozny in in 2003, in the midst of the Chechen Wars and St Petersburg in 2001, 2011 and 2013. I enjoyed each story, and soon learned not to be disappointed at the end of one story, because the next one would be just as good too. With the exception, perhaps, of the last story which just seemed silly, although in a book using this narrative structure, there has to be some way of definitively finishing it, I suppose.
And so, a great whacking five out of five for me. I only wish that I could have the pleasure of reading it again for the first time!
For my full review see https://residentjudge.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/the-tsar-of-love-and-techno-by-anthony-marra
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