: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel (): Anthony Marra: Books. : A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel (Audible Audio Edition): Anthony Marra, Colette Whitaker, Random House Audio: Books. by Anthony Marra (Hogarth) A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Marra is a brisk and able storyteller, and he moves deftly between a.

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It takes some patience but in the end, it was really worth it as it all comes brilliantly together and things become clear just how extraordinary this story really is. No wonder 13 out of 15 of my GR friends rendered 4 or 5 stars for this debut novel. I admire Marra so much for trying and often succeeding that I have to forgive him for flying too close to the sun sometimes.

Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. It was a device that called attention to itself, and risked breaking the spell.

Havaa ran into the w This beautiful and haunting novel is one of my favorite books of We wear clothes and speak, and create civilizations, and believe we are more than wolves. Lovely taken one at a time; urpsome in bulk. At the risk of raising your expectations too high, I have to say you simply must read this book.

The muted voice of the people marrq epitomized by the succession of regimes that have refused to allow him off publish any of it except the segments up to the Middle Ages. Incredibly sad and with very few bright spots, it was the culmination of the varying storylines that brought things full circle and made the arduous trek feel worthwhile.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, review

The horror of stories about war is, for me, only partially touched by the battles and the soldiers and the wounds they inflict on themselves and each other. Anthony Marra’s writing is something to behold, muscular and evocative, bold and infinitely delicate pheonmena the same time.

His writing is incredibly dense —which meant, I was aware of each word on every page—making this somewhat of a taxing experience.


They circumnavigated the area.

Book Review: ‘A Constellation of Vital Phenomena’ By Anthony Marra| A Broken Landscape : NPR

View all 55 comments. Marra does not sacrifice substance to achieve style and his book is as emotionally rewarding as it is intellectually impressive.

In my reading of it, I could only think of it antohny also being an indictment against the dangerous territory the U. The prose was just excellent. Constellwtion creates a specific and riveting world around his characters, expertly revealing the unexpected connections among them…. But inside us there is a word we cannot pronounce and that is phejomena we are. It is an intense read of a too-recent war-torn Chechnya, from a perspective not quite the same as what we were hearing in American news.

I loved this book and msrra not want it to end. This surely undermines whatever he was trying to do by setting the novel in modern Chechnya in the first place. Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. As a web is no more than holes woven together, they were bonded by what was no longer there. We see unexploded bombs lying in the street covered with toilet bowls,a clown crying in a basement during an aerial assault,a soldier insisting his prisoners wear seat belts on their way to a death camp.

Father and son are at odds with one another and have not spoken in months and it is through Ramzen and his actions that the story that Mr Marra tells is set in motion. The fact that I phnomena my own feelings about it meant that he made me think, which I should count as a good thing. Characters are where Marra shines the most – he has a way of creating precise and concise characters with just a sentence and a half.

This was how a loved one disappeared. Jun 12, Melissa rated it liked it Shelves: But then it all started coming together, and — wow oh wow. If you think you’re too much of a history dolt to enjoy this book, don’t let that stop you.

All of the characters are closely tied together in ways that Marra takes his time revealing, even as he beautifully renders the way we long to connect and the lengths we will go to endure. I challenge you to forget this book, and your first up-close glimpse of that place called Chechnya.


The technique creates tension in the reader that merely hints at thank goodness for us the tension felt in the daily lives of these characters, who are not participants in the wars, but villagers and a few remaining city-dwellers trying to survive as best they can.

I have a few small quibbles, the first being the over reliance on coincidence after coincidence. Where did he get the knowledge from which he created this book, and how did he come to know it?

So do you learn much about the two Chechen Wars?

I wanted to know more about ‘why’ Natashia left? As this story begins, Russian soldiers have been busy invading villages, accusing people of having rebel sympathies, aiding the rebels. This is an extraordinary piece of work, especially for a newcomer.

From A Debut Writer, A Polished, Passionate, Must-Read Book

The author does use flashbacks so that you become entwined in these characters lives. I’ll remember Ny for a long time after finishing this. There were so many images and scenes that are left imprinted on my brain and heart that at times I felt as if I was watching a film by Tarkovsky, where the physical world melts continuously and effortlessly into bigger existential questions.

For a first book this book is absolutely amazing. I’m glad he did it. Drugs for the hospital are only available via a black market. The story begins with 8 year old Haava seeing her father taken by constellatjon in the middle of the night. Almost everyone is a hero in this tale.