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Russka

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3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,952 Ratings  ·  414 Reviews
In this vast and gorgeous tapestry of a novel, serf and master, Cossack and tsar, priest and Jew are brought together in a family saga which unrolls through centuries of history to reveal that most impenetrable and mysterious of lands - Russia. Through the life of a little town east of Moscow in the Russian heartland, Edward Rutherfurd creates a sweeping family saga from t ...more
Paperback, 1024 pages
Published June 4th 1992 by Arrow (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Amber
Oct 21, 2008 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Walter
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
...more
Cindy
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.
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
Clarice

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
...more
Lisa - (Aussie Girl)
I am a big fan of Edward Rutherfurd's huge historical epics spanning the history of a place by linking it through the generations of several families.

In Russka, it spans some nearly 2000 years through a sprawling country filled with different peoples and cultures. A rich tapestry of source material for his epic novel you would imagine. But somehow maybe because of the length of time or in the stories of the people he chose to tell, I did not connect to the characters and their parts in such hug
...more
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
...more
Andrew
May 24, 2012 Andrew rated it it was ok
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
...more
Daniel
Aug 30, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Winston Churchill decía que Rusia era “un acertijo envuelto en un misterio dentro de un enigma”.

Excelente novela, por medio de la cual se nos narra la saga de dos familias, que viven los acontecimientos históricos más importantes de este hermoso país; y que conviven con las figuras que moldearon la idiosincrasia del pueblo ruso: desde el tiránico y desequilibrado Iván “El Terrible, pasando por el zar que introdujo la cultura occidental a Rusia, Pedro “El Grande”, hasta llegar a las figuras más i
...more
Jaime Contreras
Jun 15, 2015 Jaime Contreras rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. His characters are fleshed out and represent their respective eras. The dialog is spirited and flowing. This is not as good as Sarum but better than most historical novels of this kind.
Amy
Jun 01, 2012 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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."
Debbie
Mar 19, 2012 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Kylos
Jun 21, 2007 Kylos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Merry
Jan 01, 2016 Merry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love history and Russia
Shelves: russia
This book covers 1800 years of Russian history which explains the close to 1000 pages…whew, I am exhausted! I feel I just ran a marathon…and now I am contemplating this author’s book on the history of England, Sarum: The Novel of England! I have lost my mind, it is another 900+ page book. What do I enjoy about this type of book? I am able to see the country in its entirety so that when I do read a good historical fiction I can place the story and get the concept more clearly - since I enjoy hist ...more
Marcin
Mar 04, 2015 Marcin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves extensive novellas, long family histories and eastern european cultures
Shelves: world, dramae
Might be great for someone who loves epic (in time span) stories with deep roots in history, for someone who adores mostly russian but other eastern europeans' culture as well, who finds pleasure in reading really long books so (s)he could take a single book for a few days/weeks long journey... For me it was just another slightly boring book - there are many more intriguing and better known out there (eg. those kids were to read during school year) but since this one was not that well known amon ...more
Anna Ligtenberg
Oct 15, 2012 Anna Ligtenberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 6-stars
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
...more
Abhishek
Sep 17, 2012 Abhishek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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’
...more
Debbie
Apr 25, 2011 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Melinda
In typical Rutherfurd fashion, each chapter covered a period of Russian history and chronicled four families from the 900's through the 1930's. This is my second Rutherford novel and I must admit I didn't like it as much as "London". Once again I enjoyed how the author interweaved history with fictional characters and inserted mini history lessons throughout and I was immersed in the characters. However, after 1800 I thought the story dragged a bit and got slightly ponderous. The ending seemed a ...more
Jill
Dec 24, 2012 Jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Theresa
Apr 01, 2011 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Caryl
I have been reading this book off and on for quite some time. The last third of the book had me captivated as I learned considerably more about a country that I knew little about and yet I have a German/Russian connection. This is the second Rutherford book I have read, The Forest being the first. I plan on reading Paris next. I realize how much I did not know about Russia and its history and it has motivated me to do a little more reading about the artists of the early part of the 20th century ...more
Zorka Zamfirova
Nov 25, 2015 Zorka Zamfirova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prelepo.
Duff Young
Being of Russian heritage, I'm glad I read this book, and I learned a lot from it. But it was not easy! At 930 pages, the book is long, and while I typically prefer long books, the early years in Russka were not easy to get through (the book covers about 1,700 years). The narrative is very well-written and very descriptive, but in the early years there was too much description with little action or dialog. OK if you like that, but I prefer more action and dialog. Once the book got into the 1800s ...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
...more
Elizabeth Sulzby
I just used a relative date for this book which I read quite some time ago but shortly after the 1992 publication date. This book covers Russian history across 1,800 years, going century by century and describing people during each era. I found the book extremely interesting and have found that I refer to it and think about it often.

I am currently listening to Rutherford's book, Paris: A Novel, via audiotape.
Len Mason
Mar 02, 2012 Len Mason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Cheri
Oct 30, 2011 Cheri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 book...it'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!!!!!
Gregory
Sep 23, 2008 Gregory rated it liked it  ·  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.
Cheri
Oct 30, 2011 Cheri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!!
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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
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