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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  9,721 Ratings  ·  534 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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Shawn Yes, I liked it. I was really into anything Russian for a few months and I picked it up then.
What I liked about it besides the subject was how it…more
Yes, I liked it. I was really into anything Russian for a few months and I picked it up then.
What I liked about it besides the subject was how it kinda drew you into the characters so you cheered for the peasant guy who was trying to make it big by discovering ways to make money like through bees. The coolest thing was finding the work of the generations being reflected into the next generation, so you'd see the larger points of history develop and see a "liberal" main character have a child who turns extraordinarily conservative, you see the reaction to Peter the Great, Ivan the terrible.
It's historical fiction so it does make you want to check which parts are accurate and which aren't but it doesn't make a huge mystery out of it and you can mostly see which parts are true. I learned a lot that I didn't know happened during the feudal age.

I think if you're looking for something that gives you a wide perspective of what was happening throughout Russian history then you should pick up this book. It does some set-up throughout the start of the book that makes more sense why he did it later down the road, so it gets more interesting. (less)
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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
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Aug 13, 2008 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
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
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
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!
Anna Ligtenberg
Oct 15, 2012 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
Oct 28, 2013 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

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
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
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
May 24, 2012 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
May 09, 2015 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
Felipe Salazar
Sep 19, 2016 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
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 28, 2015 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
Apr 01, 2011 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
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.
Jun 01, 2012 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."
Nov 02, 2011 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!
Jun 21, 2007 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.
Anmeldt af Mia Cecilie Petersen på

Om bogen:

Året er 180. Det første sted vi hører om er den lille boplads Russka. Hurtigt bliver vi introduceret for nogle af de tidligste medlemmer af de to familier, vi kommer til at følge resten af bogen; Bobrov og Romanov/Suvorin.
Efterhånden opdager vi, at der er ikke bare en, men to bopladser i Ruslands tidlige år, der hedder Russka. På trods af, den første vi møder ligger i syden, er det den nordlige vi
Che faticaccia. Non perché sia un romanzo lungo, non perché sia un romanzo storico, no, niente di tutto ciò. Il romanzo scorre e l'ho letto abbastanza in fretta, ma solo perché non vedevo l'ora di togliermelo dai piedi e il non aver provato simpatia o interesse per i personaggi ha fatto il resto.
Russka è un libro molto ambizioso: Edward Rutherfurd cerca di ripercorrere la storia russa dal 180 d.C. al 1990, intrecciando realtà e finzione. E' vero che essere ambiziosi premia, ma non credo sia ques
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Long book! Russka takes about 200 pages to really get the story rolling, however it is full of adventure and adversity that keeps the pages turning. I completed this book in 6 months because I had a hard time sticking to it at first. Once, I got into it I enjoyed the read. By the time the end came, I was begging for it to over. I enjoyed following the four families and I found myself cheering for them and hoping that their story turned at well. However, with the history of Russia being it what i ...more
Karin Pearson
Jun 08, 2017 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.
Princess of Ireland asnt the best book either but it didnt bore me to tears like this one. Theres just no characterization in the short stories and I'm not learning enough to offset the boring characters.
I'll still give The Forest a shot but this one is not for me
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable epic saga about Russia. I particularly enjoyed how the author tried to look at the history of Russia through the eyes of serfs, petty nobles, Ukrainians, and Jews. The book was written in 1992 and so the hopeful uplifting ending just made me want to cry.
May 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-lit
Russka is a dull and tedious novel that is only made worse by its length of 950+ pages. The only silver linings to this dark cloud are some interesting insights into Russian history.
Steve Shilstone
Although covering 1800 years in 950 pages causes some threads to whip by before one properly settles in, the history lessons learned are well worth while.
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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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“as I said,I believe in fate.Things happen as they are meant to be.We just have to recognize our destiny.” 24 likes
“—Dicen —explicó el boyardo de Vladímir— que Alejandro ha dejado instrucciones a su familia para que le den Moscú cuando sea mayor. —¡Moscú! ¡Esa ciudad miserable! —No es gran cosa —convino el otro—, aunque no está mal situada.” 0 likes
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