Monday, November 23, 2015

read | The Tsar of Love and Techno

The Tsar of Love and Techno is a short story collection written by Anthony Marra. The stories take place in Russia, ranging from 1937 to 2013, so you see the evolution of the country. Kind of. This is one of those works that serves as a reminder that people aren't all that different from one another, despite varying circumstances. So if you're looking for a Russian historical novel, this isn't it. I was excited to read something set in Russia since I haven't done so often, with the pseudo-exception of Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy. But I never felt truly immersed in the setting, maybe because each story is during a different time period. I think it's important to approach this book while keeping in mind that it's a series of stories. The stories are pretty closely linked, involving overlapping characters and generations, so it was easy for me to forget that it wasn't a novel. I've read books with more disjointed perspectives, so calling this a short story collection almost feels like a matter of opinion.
I did enjoy my reading experience and I really liked how the author revealed different aspects of the characters through the different stories. The book is kind of set up with a mix tape theme, and the stories support that perfectly. They feed into each other and are complementary without being too similar. It's strange to say that this is the literary equivalent of a well-formed mix tape, but I think that's pretty much the best way to describe it. And you can't go wrong with this cover. It's gorgeous. I'm tempted to shelve it facing out so I can fully appreciate it a while longer.

3 out of 5 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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