: 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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They circumnavigated the area. The muted voice of the people is epitomized by the succession of regimes that have refused to allow him to publish any of it except the segments up to the Middle Ages.

If you think you’re too much of a history dolt to enjoy this book, don’t let that stop you. Among the legion who are broken, there are still some who retain a measure of humor, dignity, and goodness that they share with other good souls.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

Jul 16, Brenda – Traveling Sister rated it really liked it. Also by Anthony Marra. I had high expectations of this book after seeing a few recommendations from friends here.

The title came from an old medical textbook Sonja owned. We highly recommend for everyone and especially for book clubs. He will seek refuge at the ;henomena hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded.

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

Sing it, Brother Anthony, sing it. See all books by Anthony Marra. View all 48 comments. Yes, this is more beautiful than brummagem.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra | : Books

The dishes no longer prepared or eaten. The writing was phhenomena. Weary and overburdened, she has no desire to take on additional risk and responsibility.

Sonja is a female surgeon of ethnic Russian origin who has taken over the running of the hospital in this bombed out city. I think some writers are equivalent of chocolatiers, making bonbon after truffle upon caramel. Anthony Marra drops the vitla into the midst of the second Chechen war and spends zero time on the background of the region, giving the reader very little to draw from.


The novel spans ten years, telling the story of three families who were neighbors in Eldar, as well as two sisters who lived in Volchansk. Some parts of the book are, in fact, that very thing. It’s always a tricky business, and an editor I know once described the dilemma this way: Want to Read saving…. View all 36 comments. Anthony Marra is one of those who deserves all the praise he’s receiving. Ron Charles fital said it all in his review of the book for the Washington Post.

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 mafra. View all 26 comments. Constellation immerses one in the East—at no time does one imagine oneself to be anywhere but in that place east of Europe and west of the Caspian.

The book begins with a sentence that forecasts both the horror and the whimsy ahead: There he request Sonja to take in Haava. There are three key characters — Akhmed, an incompetent doctor with a good heart…Sonja, a bone-weary surgeon who labors each day at a bombed-out hospital that serves as the only respite for those who have been injured…and Havaa, an eight-year-old girl who has already been forced to endure and lose too much.

It’s a very dense story—in order to give gravity to his narrative, Marra packs a great deal of Chechen history and details that seemed to run on for far too long. He slowly unfolds his story with a balanced sureness and subtlety rare in a first novel, with a rhythm that is ajthony and welcoming….

At the beginning of the book, as I was introduced to day-to-day life in Chechnya, I kept nervously referring to Wikipedia pages, thinking that if I understood the complex history of the region, and was fortified by details of the first and second Chechen wars and the role of Stalin at the root of all this, among other things, that I would be better prepared for what was to come.


I have to say I learnt next to nothing about the Chechen wars. His son Ramzan is a Russian informant and the one responsible for killing so many of his own village men. Jan 22, Violet wells rated it really liked it. I cannot think of many authors who are able to create a picture so vivid with so little words.

Still, this is not a story that I can say I enjoyed, although it always pulled me back to it until my heart became too heavy once again, and I was forced to put it down for a time.

But overall I felt the characters let this novel down a bit. As to the latter, it’s only as you keep reading that you realize how impressive that handling of time is, and how it reflects one of the themes. In A Constellation of Vital Phenomena they become not only “write-able,” but also highly, deeply readable. View all 5 comments.

His most recent art was putting up around his village large portraits on constellation of the disappeared, a touching act Marra bases on a real event. May 07, Minutes Buy. Read it Forward Read it first.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, review

Each chapter begins with the date highlighted on a timeline that runs from tojumping forward and backward, sometimes creating new mysteries, sometimes solving old ones. The story traces the character’s lives and the moral choices they have made in their struggle to survive. Although the author does infuse the story with humor, it is ironic humor, sad humor; humor that laughs at the stupidity of man. I found the frequent asides about the futures of the surviving characters rather irritating, and I think it does try to squeeze too many elements and too much research in to be entirely convincing, and there is quite a lot of writerly trickery.