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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  5,400 ratings  ·  303 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
Published June 4th 1992 by Arrow (first published July 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...more
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

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
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
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...more

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
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
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
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
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!!!!!
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
I read this book because I have a minimal knowledge of the history of Russia. I have questions. What forces brought tproduced a communist nation under the cruel and heavy hand of Joseph Stalin? What makes Russia what it is today? What distinct geographical and political forces are at work? What are connection does Russia have historical with the European nations as well as the Asian ones?

To answer those questions, I sought an historical novels. I was fortunate in finding this epic. While it hasn...more
Leído de la edición "de bolsillo" (si es que bolsillo alguno quepan las 1.300 páginas)de Punto de Lectura.
Es interesante para aquellos aficionados a la cultura, histora y folklore rusos, pues la novela tiene como transfondo la historia de Rusia desde sus orígenes hasta el fin de la Unión Soviética. Literariamente el interés de la novela radica mucho más en su transfondo histórico que en la historia de los personajes en sí, la que parece ser un mero pretexto. Esto se evidencia de manera más nítid...more
Formulaic in its repeated motifs, phrasing, characteristics of successive generations in the lines of families portrayed. That said, the sweep of the stories was grand enough to convey a feel for what "Russian" might mean, and how it came to be. The novel is satisfying in its grasp of complicated developments in the political life of Russia, and its clear rendering of some of the conflicts which left the Orthodox church and its Christian cousins disconnected. This ultimately resulted in the who...more
At long last, I can finally say I have read ALL of Edward Rutherfurd’s historical novels. Russka, was technically his second published novel, and it is a novel about Russia. As is typical of Rutherfurd historical fiction, we follow a couple of families from very early in the history of this area, in this case the book begins in the year 180 A.D. The author creates two fictional settlements, both named Russka, one of the south and one in the north. As the novel progresses, we see how the families...more
Thom Swennes
This book, first published in 1991, traces life over a nine hundred span on the Russian steppes. Beginning in 180 AD Edward Rutherfurd describes life is a desolate and wild country that in its mere vastness destines it to lag behind other European nations. Love, passion and greed drive and sustain generations to extraordinary feats or ignominious and humiliating defeats. The book creates a perfect match between history and drama. Although the place Russka is a factious location, it serves well a...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...
Sarum: The Novel of England London New York The Princes of Ireland (The Dublin Saga, #1) París

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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.” 12 likes
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