Saturday, March 12, 2016
Review: The Tsar of Love and Techno
Roman Markin is the protagonist of the first story. He is an artist who paints away the faces of people who are no longer in favor of the government. He is struck by a picture of a beautiful ballerina. In the second story, Galina, the granddaughter of that very dancer, is crowned in a local beauty pageant. We later follow Galina's first love as he has his heart broken and searches for peace and purpose.
While the events of this book are often heartbreaking, there is a sense of wry humor throughout. In "The Grozny Tourist Bureau," we meet a man who is charged with making a tourism service for the city of Grozny in the metaphorical and actual rubble of years of war. Throughout each story, there is a sense that the future is a very uncertain thing. We might as well chuckle at the absurdity of it all.
The Tsar of Love and Techno is just as wonderful as Marra's debut novel. The characters are compelling and the writing is equally likely to sweep you off your feet or feel like an emotional punch to the gut. As I sit here writing this review, I find myself itching to read it again. Mr. Marra is quickly becoming one of the authors whose books I will read, buy, and love each and every time.
The Tsar of Love and Techno
By Anthony Marra
Hogarth October 2015
Read via Netgalley