To date, Anthony Marra’s The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories is the best story collection I have read. I loved reading (and being surprised by) the interconnected stories and characters in the collection. Since the stories revolved around the same characters, I felt like I got to know them more with each story I read. Even with my limited exposure to Russian history, there was just something about the way Marra writes that made me connect with each character and story. (My favorite character was Kolya, and my favorite story was that of Roman Markin.)
The progression through time added color to the collection, too. Had the stories focused only on one time period, the stories in the collection would have become boring or redundant by the third story. Instead, Marra entertained us with answers to “what happened next?” and “why was this important?” with each story, for which I am very grateful. He didn’t have to; after all, short stories stand on their own.
Suffice to say I am a fan of Anthony Marra. I read A Constellation of Vital Phenomena after stumbling upon it at my local indie bookstore a few years ago, and I was captivated by his writing. I purchased The Tsar of Love and Techno shortly after I read A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I look forward to seeing more of his works in bookstores (or, rather, at my local bookstore) and, of course, reading them myself.