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Extended Audio Sample The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories Audiobook, by Anthony Marra Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anthony Marra Narrator: Mark Bramhall, Beata Pozniak, Rustam Kasymov Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2015 ISBN: 9781101924716
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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.

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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Cobbled together as a sort of mixtape itself (with four stories under “Side A,” four under “Side B,” and a single-story intermission), Marra’s latest work is tender, touching, haunting at times and humorous at others—in short, a feat. Thomas Harlander, Los Angeles Magazine
  • The Tsar of Love and Techno is inventively structured, emotionally resonant, superbly rendered. Jane Ciabattari, BBC.com 
  • “The Tsar of Love and Techno is an intricately structured and powerful collection[and] showcases Marra’s wit and his gift for unforgettable details…The Tsar of Love and Techno is the work of an elegant and generous writer. Bookpage
  • Some books are love at first read, and this is one of them. Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, delivers his first collection of intimately tied stories (it kind of reads as a novel, actually), arranged into Side A and B and Intermission. With language as precise as a razor blade, Tsartakes us throughout Russia from 1937 to the present with a connected group of characters who, through their explosive escapades, demonstrate the peculiarities and nuances of life. It has everything: humor, action, suspense, drama — I'm going to go ahead and call it brilliant. Meredith Turits, Bustle.com
  • Marra, in between bursts of acidic humor, summons the terror, polluted landscapes, and diminished hopes of generations of Russians in a tragic and haunting collection. Booklist (starred)
  • With generosity of spirit and a surprising dash of humor, these artfully woven narratives coalesce into a majestic whole. Library Journal (starred)
  • Powerful…strikingly reimagines a nearly a century of changes in Russia. [T]he book’s brilliance and humor are laced with the somber feeling that the country is allergic to evolution.
    Kirkus Reviews (starred)
  • As in his acclaimed novel, Marra finds in Chechnya an inspiration for his uniquely funny, tragic, bizarre, and memorable fiction.
    Publishers Weekly (starred)
  • Love and betrayal reverberate through these nine deftly linked stories... With this collection, Marra has created a stunning portrait of a place and its indelible inhabitants. Dawn Raffel, More
  • We know we are in the realm of fiction, but Marra makes it all feel viscerally real. He has mined modern Russian history for all it is worth to create a masterful novel. Russian Life Magazine
  • Treat yourself to these wise works of art set in Siberia, the USSR, and the heart. Refinery29

  • Selected praise and accolades for Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena:
  • A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
    New York Times
     Bestseller  
    National Book Award Longlist Selection
    Washington Post Top 10 Book of the Year
    Washington Post Bestseller
    NPR Bestseller
    Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Winner

    An ALA Notable Book of the Year
    A #1 Indie Pick
  • Dazzling… with its multiple narratives and recurring characters it certainly recalls both Jennifer Egan's "A Visit From the Goon Squad" (a novel) and Elizabeth Strout's "Olive Kitteridge"(short stories). By the time you reach Marra's astonishing final story about Kolya, "The End set, a dateline tells us, in "Outer Space, Year Unknown
  • Like Nabokov, Marra is a writer for whom essential truths are found in detail… The nine interlocking stories grip from the off with their dry tone and meticulously realised worlds of totalitarian life and its aftermath. Characters appear, disappear and reappear throughout the collection, graceful as a troupe of dancers in the author’s assured hands.… His stories have subtle nods to the Russian greats (Chekhov’s gun, the lady with the lapdog) and more overt echoes of the writing of Kafka and Orwell in the tales of totalitarian living. The Irish Times
  • Private acts of dissidence (a smuggled mix tape, say) become heroic in Anthony Marra's era-spanning portrait of the USSR. Megan O'Grady, Vogue
  • An Amazon.com Best Book of the Year
    Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Books of the Year
    Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
    Library Journal Top 10 Book of the Year
    NBCC John Leonard Prize Winner 
  • Named one of the Best Books of the Year by: 
    New York Magazine * Chicago Tribune *  Kansas City Star * GQ * NPR * Christian Science Monitor * San Francisco Chronicle * Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • Brilliant. New York Times
  • A flash in the heavens that makes you look up and believe in miracles....Here, in fresh, graceful prose, is a profound story that dares to be as tender as it is ghastly, a story about desperate lives in a remote land that will quickly seem impossibly close and important....I haven’t been so overwhelmed by a novel in years. At the risk of raising your expectations too high, I have to say you simply must read this book. Ron Charles, Washington Post
  • Extraordinary....a 21st century War and Peace....Marra seems to derive his astral calm in the face of catastrophe directly from Tolstoy. Madison Smartt Bell, New York Times Book Review
  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is ambitious and intellectually restless....[Marra is] a lover not a fighter, a prose writer who resembles the Joseph Heller of Catch-22 and the Jonathan Safran Foer of Everything Is Illuminated. Dwight Garner, New York Times
  • “Over and over again, this is an examination of the ways in which many broken pieces come together to make a new whole. In exquisite imagery, Marra tends carefully to the twisted strands of grace and tragedy....Everything in A Constellation of Vital Phenomena...is dignified with a hoping, aching heartbeat. Ramona Ausubel, San Francisco Chronicle

  • American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Prize for Fiction, 2015
    National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in Fiction
    Kirkus Reviews
     Best Fiction Books of 2015

  • “[E]xtraordinary… Each story is a gem in itself. But the book is greater than its parts, an almost unbearably moving exploration of the importance of love, the pull of family, the uses and misuses of history, and the need to reclaim the past by understanding who you really are and what really happened…He starts this miracle of a book by showing us how a system can erase the past, the truth, even its citizens. He ends by demonstrating, through his courageous, flawed, deeply human characters, how individual people can restore the things that have been taken away. And if you’ve been worrying that you’ve lost your faith in the emotionally transformative power of fiction – Mr. Marra will restore that, too.
    Sarah Lyall, The New York Times
     
  • Remarkable…Marra is a gifted writer with the energy and the ambition to explore the lives of characters whose experiences and whose psyches might seem, until we read his work, so distant from our own. Reading his work is like watching the restoration — the reappearance, on the page — of those whom history has erased. Francine Prose, Washington Post
  • This book will burn itself into your heart. It’s a collection of interlocking short stories that stand alone but also fit together, piece by delicate piece, to form an astonishing whole whose artfulness becomes increasingly clear as it goes on. The Tsar of Love and Techno swoops around in time and place, beginning in Stalinist Russia and ending somewhere in outer space in the near future. It’s funny, moving and beautiful, the perfect thing to read.  New York Times
  • Audacious… [an] ambitious and fearless [book], one that offers so much to enjoy and admire...Marra’s far-ranging, risky and explicitly political book marks him as a writer with an original, even singular sensibility. New York Times Book Review
  • Genius...what makes this (dare I say) masterpiece so stunning is Marra’s clear love for his subject and insistence on infusing beauty into even the darkest places…It’s nothing short of extraordinary. San Francisco Chronicle
  • Powerful…[an] ingenious book. Wall Street Journal
  • Marra’s nine stories, cunningly set out like strewn mosaic tiles that keep self-rearranging until they cohere into a complex, cathartic whole, demand to be read in order...Marra here emerges with an oxygenizing wisdom and an arsenal of wit as inexhaustible as it is unlikely. Boston Globe
  • “As in his acclaimed novel, Marra finds in Chechnya an inspiration for his uniquely funny, tragic, bizarre, and memorable fiction.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Powerful…strikingly reimagines nearly a century of changes in Russia. [T]he book’s brilliance and humor are laced with the somber feeling that the country is allergic to evolution.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “The collection feel[s] more like a multifaceted novel than a set of stories. A portrait of a country touched by loss, The Tsar of Love and Techno is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.”

    BuzzFeed.com

  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick of Awesome New Books You Need to Read This Fall
  • An Indie Next List Pick for October 2015
  • A Washington Post Best Audiobook of 2015
  • A 2015 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015
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About the Author
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 long list selection as well as a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and France’s Prix Medicis. He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where he teaches as the Jones Lecturer in Fiction. He has lived and studied in Eastern Europe, and now resides in Oakland, California. Visit http://anthonymarra.net/
About the Narrator

Mark Bramhall has won eighteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been a finalist for the Audiobook Publishers Association’s prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has been named by Publishers Weekly and AudioFile magazine among their “Best Voices of the Year” in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is also an award-winning actor whose acting credits include off-Broadway, regional, and many Los Angeles venues as well as television, animation, and feature films. He has taught and directed at the American Academy of Dramatic Art.