#72 — The Tsar of Love and Techno

The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Anthony Marra and Adam Johnson must be kindred spirits. They share a fascination for oppressive regimes and the moral dilemmas forced onto citizens living under its rule (Marra’s Stalinist Russia to Johnson’s North Korea/East Germany)
  • The strange details in the book are what makes this book memorable for me — a forest made out of plastic trees, a lake created to collect industrial waste that people in the community swim around in, an art school graduate turned censor whose entire job is airbrushing photos covering up Stalin’s acne scars or covering up declared enemies of the state
  • The stories jump around in time as do the central characters; however, each story gives you enough of a sense of who everybody is, so the end product isn’t as confusing as it could be