Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Russka” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Russka
 
by
Edward Rutherfurd
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Russka

by
really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  9,142 Ratings  ·  497 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Russka, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Dani I'm currently reading it. It is not really thrilling to be honest.. I am somewhere in the XVII century, in 'The Cossack' story. What would you like to…moreI'm currently reading it. It is not really thrilling to be honest.. I am somewhere in the XVII century, in 'The Cossack' story. What would you like to know about it? Have you read it as well?(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Amalia Gavea
‘’The steppe was quiet that night. So was the forest. Softly the wind moved over the land.’’

Russia...Few countries are able to create such vivid images once you hear their names. Those of us who had the good fortune to visit that beautiful country will be able to understand the heart of this book even better. A land of antitheses, a land of classical and primitive beauty, a land created by blood, tears and religion, a land where every form of Art flourished, giving birth to Dostoevsky, Tolstoy
...more
Amber
Aug 13, 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
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.
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
Gary
Jun 10, 2016 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the richest historical tapestries written in the 20th century bringing Russian pre-revolutionary history to life like nothing since Tolstoy.I loved every minute of it and lived with the figures in the novel-wept ,rejoiced and feared for them.Saw the barbarism of the first settlements by nomadic people,the cruelty of Ivan the Terrible,the pompous hypocricy of the court of Catherine The Great and the confusion and despair of the 19th century and the excitement and fear of the pre-revolution ...more
Araceli Rotaeche
¡Hermosa novela!...¡sublime!....Nunca imaginé tanta riqueza, tanta cultura, tantos contrastes.
Me fascinó y disfruté mucho de este fantástico viaje por la historia y la geografía de la mágica Russka.
Me imagino en San Petesburgo, disfrutando del increíble espectáculo de sus noches blancas, tomando un rico té del tradicional samovar y escuchando la armoniosa melodía de la balalaika rusa....
¡Quiero disfrutar ese momento!
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
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
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
Irena
Oct 28, 2013 Irena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-audio-books
If you know nothing about Russia, this makes for a five star read, but if you do know about it and especially if you lived there, things get more complicated.

I wanted to give this book three stars -- "liked it", by goodreads' definition. I forgave the author stereotypic nonsense about "Turkish face" and concentrated on parts and sub-plots which were truly good. But nonsensical mistakes and unrealistic details in the last chapter of the book devoted to the Soviet and post Soviet times made it imp
...more
Marcin
Feb 28, 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
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
Andrew
May 24, 2012 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 09, 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
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. I recommend this book with little reservations.
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
Nov 02, 2011 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.
Janie
I picked this one during my Fall Reading Challenge, and after on-and-off reading over 18 weeks, I've finished. The 760 pages are not difficult, and skimming would just almost desecrate the text and dishonor its author. After I got to about 350 pages, I had to take a break; Rutherfurd's books are long and slow-going (not in a negative way, though), primarily because the scope is so broad (this one covers 1800 years). Plus, Rutherfurd has that gifted ability of description to transport the reader ...more
Karin Pearson
Jun 08, 2017 Karin Pearson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my! What a MASSIVE book this was! Spanning 1800 years, over 945pp and a solid 6 days of reading. So much detail and the telling of interwoven stories of multi-generations from A.D. 180 - early 90's. This was my first foray into Edward Rutherfurd and it won't be my last. Looking forward to reading his other books. There was so much to be told here and a challenging read for me. It certainly deserves another read in the future. Hard to fault and I absolutely loved it.
Felipe Salazar
Sep 19, 2016 Felipe Salazar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lo compré para entender un poco de la historia y cultura de Rusia antes de visitarla, y fue una agradable sorpresa. Pese a ser un mamotreto de 1000 páginas, de verdad no se hace para nada pesado sino todo lo contrario, las historias están contadas de forma muy amena y agradable, mezclando la "Historia" con mayúscula, con las pequeñas historias de quienes vivieron y sufrieron las transformaciones de Rusia. Quedé con gusto a poco porque casi no cubre la segunda mitad del siglo XX que daba para muc ...more
Abhishek
Sep 04, 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
Merry
Dec 13, 2010 Merry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love history and Russia
Shelves: 5-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
Vivienne
This was the longest book I've read, 945 pages. I started it because my step-mother said that she had read it and she learned more about the history of Russia through this book than one of the Great Courses that she took on Russia. I wanted to challenge myself with learning about a place and time I knew very little about. This historical fiction kept me going with the stories of the families that weaved through the history. I listened to it, read it on my own, and listened and read it at the sam ...more
Jill
Dec 04, 2011 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
Karen ⊰✿
It took me a while, but I finally got to the end!
This is a typical Rutherfurd book in that it spans many centuries following the same families. I am also fascinated with Russian history and I found the first part of the book very interesting.
For some reason this book didn't engage me as much as some of his others. I think it felt like there were just a ton of facts thrown at you almost as a list at points rather than exploring it as part of the story. I also thought that one of the more intere
...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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Generations of Winter
  • Poland
  • The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome, #2)
  • The White Russian
  • Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy
  • Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia
  • Time and Chance (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, #2)
  • The Flight Of The Romanovs: A Family Saga
  • Pride of Carthage
  • The Haj
  • Sashenka
  • Ice Road
  • Rasputin's Daughter
  • The Last Prince of Ireland
16204
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...

Share This Book



“as I said,I believe in fate.Things happen as they are meant to be.We just have to recognize our destiny.” 21 likes
“Gospodi Pomily: Lord have mercy.” 0 likes
More quotes…