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Edward Rutherfurd
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  6,683 ratings  ·  350 reviews
RUSSKA is a mighty novel that spans 1,800 years of Russia's history, people, politics and culture from the ancient wandering tribes on the great Eurasian plain to the present day. The story follows the fortunes of five intertwined families: the noble Bobrovs, serf Romanovs, Cossack Karpenkos; the Suvorins - Old Believers, capitalists and patrons of the arts; and lastly the ...more
Published (first published 1991)
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I have been reading this one off and on for the last three months. I have been caught up in other books and so it has kept me away from reading this one. I plan to do so now. It has the same feel as Sarum, of course, but it is a little harder for me to get into. Perhaps because I don't know the history of Russia as well to be able to put myself into the book. I am 5 chapters into it and I get the feeling that I will like it soon. (my husband says I will)

Now that I have finished it I can't believ
I read this in 1992 when I was a very bored, unchallenged high school student. I got lost in the epic, sweeping tale and the history of the region. This book, above all other influences, is what propelled me to become an exchange student. Thanks to The Next Best Book Club in the thread, What books do you miss, for reminding me how much I wish I could recapture that complete absorption that happens when you read the right book at the right time.

For some reason, I've been craving some early Russian history lately. I heard many good things about Rutherfurd's "Sarum: The Novel of England" and this novel, "Russka" had very good reviews as well, so I gave it a try. Unfortunately, it just didn't scratch my itch.

I love to learn about history through well-written, mostly accurate, historic fiction like Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles or the novels of Ken Follett. I even enjoy straight-up history as long as it isn't too dry - for example an
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
Russia is a country far too infrequently written about by Western novelists, but with Russka, Edward Rutherfurd helps remedy that lack. This book is practically a class in Russian history (and fun besides). I wasn't sure about the format, which is best described as ten novellas and three short stories, following two families (and their offshoots) through hundreds of years. But it really works. The chapters flow logically, so I didn't feel at all disoriented jumping from one to another. And I avo ...more
I was a bit disappointed with this book. Perhaps some of the disappointment comes from the fact that this is a novel about Russia written by a non-Russian author. Although I think that the main source of my disappointment is the span of this novel. This novel literally stretches from 100 AD to 1990. With a span like that, it's hard to keep a consistent plot, and certainly the characters bear no relation to each other, other than the fact that they all live in the same place.

This novel is the sto
Like Edward Rutherfurd's other books, Russka focuses on one place, and tells its story through the centuries. His books are series of interconnected short stories, which are set in different eras of history. Characters in each story are often decendents of characters in earlier stories, so the books follow families down through history.

I've read and enjoyed all of Edward Rutherfurd's books, but I have to say that Russka isn't up to his usual standard. Russka is a fictional village in Russia, so
I loved Edward Rutherford's Sarum. I have tried to finish this book at least 3 times. I wanted to read it, I wanted to learn as much about Russian history as I had about English history.

Sorry, the graphic incest just made me sick every time. "Nuf said."
a collection of short stories. and a cohesive epic.
if you like history... it's worth it.
i knew very little of russian history until i read it and it's like a good meaty crash course.
M.G. Mason
So, onto the next mammoth book by Edward Rutherfurd who is known - perhaps uniquely - for creating a story around the history of a place and populating it with characters and their descendants as we move through history's most memorable events. This time, he has chosen to take on the geographically mighty Russia, telling its history from the second century AD through to 1990 and the end of Communism.

If you have read at least one of his works, you know what go expect. Each chapter is a set in a d
Anna Ligtenberg
ISBN 0804109729 - It's unavoidable that Rutherfurd be compared to Michener; their styles are similar, their books tend to be EPIC NOVELS and they both like one-word place-name titles. In a world without Michener, I'm especially glad there's Rutherfurd. Ignore the Russophiles; this book wasn't written for them. It is a novel, meant to entertain - dissecting it as if Rutherfurd had marketed it as a textbook is a ridiculous sort of snobbery.

Russka is set in two towns of the same name in Russia over

It took me thirteen days straight to finish this book but at the end it’s very satisfying because this book is worth the every effort and the time it demands.
Spanning across 1800 years, this book describes the fictional account of Russian history. The story commences from the time when Russia was no more than an unoccupied steppe half covered in snow, and covered the whole history of Russia up till the early 90’s .The story revolves around the bloodline of two families whose several generation’
Having read several other Rutherfurd historical fiction offerings it was only natural to feel the need to tackle Russka. I say tackle because it was 945 pages of sprawling history involving Russia. Although the author states in the very begining of the book that it is close to historical yet still fiction this book does give an amazingly informative assessment of the history of Russia from AD to present. I enjoyed this book and it was entertaining, however at times the characters did seem a bit ...more
As is so often the case with Edward Rutherfurd, his novels just have too many characters to follow. I am a lover of historical fiction, and I'm used to complicated family trees in these books, but when all of your characters have pretty much the same names from generation to generation, and more or less the same personalities, it can get pretty hard to follow after awhile, especially if you put the book down for a day or two and try to pick up where you left off later. I also find Rutherford's c ...more
Insightful. Strangly sad. Characters I loved and hated. Laced with universal human truths. Using a narrative which sweeps through centuries, it becomes easier to understand how communism was a logical next step when it happened. And the eventual chaos after the collapse of the USSR also becomes easier to understand. The Eastern persspective was enlightening for me. I'm saddened by man's inhumanity to man - and mindful that we all particpate in it, no matter what country or time or activity we ar ...more
Lara Maynard
Nobility and nobodies of Russka:

Edward Rutherford’s Russka is an ambitious novel, covering hundreds of years of Russian history through the stories of two fictional villages, and is sometimes a correspondingly ambitious read.

This is a thick book with narratives that span geography and generations. Tales of grudges, loves, loyalties, and the dynamics between landlords and serfs and within families make the novel a series of largely engaging history lessons. However, the flow is occasionally awkw
Len Mason
Read this book while living in Russia. It gave me a much better understanding of the culture and people. When I returned to the states years later, I wanted to reread it but I had forgotten the title and author! Just yesterday, I saw it in a display at our local library. I am very happy to re-read this masterpiece after all these years.
Jaime Contreras
Like James Michener, Edward Rutherford packs a lot into his historical fiction books.. This book spans Russian history from the 1st century through the late-20th century. He does spend quite a bit of time on certain periods and glosses over others. This is not as good as Sarum but better than most historical novels of this kind.
Thought this book was worth a second try...boy, was I right!!!! I'm glad that I don't remember books well after I've read them. It's been 10 years since I read this's all brand-new for me! I do remember some of the characters and story lines, but it's wonderful to re-read this book. Love Rutherfurd!!!!!
Sep 23, 2008 Gregory rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Peace Corps Ukraine
Recommended to Gregory by: James Mosher
While it reads like a grocery store bought romance, it gives a great summary of Ukrainian and Russian history, avoiding overly fleshing out the lives of the Tzars. Enjoyable, but perhaps that's because I've been half the places in the book.
I think I enjoyed this book far more than I did when I first read it in 1991. Makes me want to read all of Rutherfurd's books again. But, I have so many new books to read. Guess I'll plan a reread of Rutherfurd after I retire!!!
What a book! Russian history is fascinating, and I am amazed how Edward Rutherfurd was able to put it all in a very readable and enjoyable novel. This is a book to read again to capture the many historic details. I loved this book!
I've been trying to get a hold of Rutherfurd's books and desperately pushing my way through some of them. He's a pretty famous name, but sometimes his writing is almost painful to read. This is the best one I have read.
I'm a fan of Russian history, so I really enjoyed this. It was pretty engaging and invented some interesting characters and scenarios over the years. The author clearly does his research.
I have read all of Rutherford's books--Sarum is my favorite! If you love historical fiction and James Michener-type books, this is your author!
Lisa Smith
Want to know more about Russia today, the politics, the people? Read this great novel that covers 1800 years of Russian history.
This book is long, and dense, but it doesn't drag. It took me well over a year to finish, reading a few pages here and there, but I stuck with it which must mean something. It uses lots of short stories following multiple generations of a few families to tell the history of Russia. I walked away with a better sense of how events in Russia affected and were perceived by Russians. It's not a textbook on Russian history so I left with a kind of sense of events and key figures rather than a mastery ...more
It took me longer than I thought to realize that the book was too long and, really, boring as a Russian stepp..
It is my first Rutherfurd book and the subject was really of me interest, but it seems the historic and the romance does not match…also it could be very nice if, after that huge research, he could write more about everyday life of the people.
Sometimes I think he missed the opportunity to make it more interesting adding pictoresque facts such: the title Czar was a Russian short for Caesa
I just finished this book as the Sochi Olympics are coming to a close and was grateful to gain rich insights into Russian history. I had never understood before the connection between the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches. After reading this and the biographies of Peter and Catherine the Great and the last Nicholas Romanov, I wonder, including the present, what kind of government is best suited to this vast land and its peoples. The author includes many points to ponder on this subject. Back t ...more
Russia's history is turbulent and violent one. This novelization is a good way to learn about it.
Lillian Shuff
Amazing! Epic, Passionate and accurate. Rutherfurd's style is poetic and simple. Pure storytelling mixed with history at it's best. As a lover of Russian history I was especially thrilled by his attention to detail and his dedication to facts. I was surprised by how well he evoked Russian culture and captured the feel of the past, as well as anyone for today's era can gauge it. Lastly I was deeply and repeatedly moved by the compassion with which he told of his characters pain, mistakes and triu ...more
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Francis Edward Wintle, best known under his pen name Edward Rutherfurd, was born in the cathedral city of Salisbury. Educated locally, and at the universities of Cambridge, and Stanford, California, he worked in political research, bookselling and publishing. After numerous attempts to write books and plays, he finally abandoned his career in the book trade in 1983, and returned to his childhood h ...more
More about Edward Rutherfurd...
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“as I said,I believe in fate.Things happen as they are meant to be.We just have to recognize our destiny.” 16 likes
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