From the New York Times bestselling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena—dazzling, poignant, and lyrical interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war, and the redemptive power of art.
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.@goodreads
How do I even begin to review this wonderful book. I'm going to try my best without giving too many spoilers
book moved me, touched my heart and made me sad on so many levels. The
tales the author weaves of these people and their lives, how they all
inter-connect is just beautiful. Beautifully sad....
FIRST STORY: THE LEOPARD
This is where the story begins. Roman Markin - Department of Party Propaganda and Agitation - Censors Paintings.
Roman wanted to be an artist, not an artist who censored art, but life is what it is...
had a brother Vaska, who went to prison for religious radicalism. Roman
visited Vaska's wife and son to tell the wife to get rid of anything
with Vaska's picture etc. He also told the son, Vladimir his father is
painted into the background. And if you can't figure that out, Roman
painted little pictures of his brother at different ages into the
paintings he had to censor.
Unfortunately, Roman was charged for
being involved with a dancer in connection with a polish spy ring. None
of this was true and it was horrible to read how they made him accept
this charge and the things they did to him.
SECOND STORY: GRANDDAUGHTERS
is the story of the granddaughters who are related to the..supposed..
Polish Spy. Galina takes after her grandmother and becomes a dancer and
later an actress.
falls in love with a boy named Kolya, they were to be married and have a
child. Things didn't happen the way they were intended. Kolya went to
war and never made it home.
THIRD STORY: THE GROZNY TOURIST BUREAU
is a limo driver turned head of The Grozny Tourist Bureau. He takes
people on a tour of the little museum of old paintings that survived a
bombing. Nadya is his girlfriend and she is blind. He is trying to find a
way to get a large amount of money to pay for her surgery to see again.
It seems like an impossible thing.
Galina and her rich husband
make an appearance at the little museum and Galina wants one of the
paintings. It's so very important to her, but I can't tell you why. I
just have to say when you do find out, it makes you cry... at least it
made me cry.
Ruslan didn't want to sell the painting, but with someone other persons sorrow, comes another persons happiness.....
FOUR STORY: A PRISONER OF THE CAUCASUS
story tells of what happened to Kolya and his partner when they were in
the military. It was so sad and so bittersweet. It is filled with
connections to everyone else.
INTERMISSION: THE TSAR OF LOVE AND TECHNO
tells the story of Alexi, who was Kolya's brother. He visits with
Galina for a bit and then it takes us back to when the boys were young.
Alexi tells of his father and how he had a science museum of strange
things. I will leave that to the imagination. It is a wonderful story as
FIRST STORY: WOLF OF WHITE FOREST
is the story of Vera. She tries to get her daughter in a marriage with
Kolya, but it just didn't happen. There were some shady things going on
that led to a death or so and Kolya leaving for war.
SECOND STORY: PALACE OF THE PEOPLE
story is about Vladimir, remember him? He was the little boy his uncle
came to see in the first story. This is about his life growing up.
THIRD STORY: A TEMPORARY EXHIBITION
tells the story of Nadya's surgery. Also Ruslan has become a deputy
minister. Nayda has a gallery she takes Vladimir and his son through. He
gets to see something so heartfelt and wonderful in his old age. This
really brought tears to my eyes!
THE END: OUTER SPACE
I have my own opinion on this one, but I'm not sure it's correct. I will leave that up others to decide and maybe tell me :)
book is so wonderfully told, I really wanted to tell you everything
about all of the stories, the way they connected, what happened to the
people, the horrible atrocities, but you need to read the book for
yourself if this is the kind of book you think you would like. I loved
*I would like to thank BLOGGING FOR BOOKS for giving me a print copy of this book for my .*