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Children of the Arbat

(Arbat Tetralogy #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  3,543 ratings  ·  103 reviews
On a street called the Arbat in Moscow's intellectual and artistic center in the 1930s, Sasha, one of a group of idealistic young communists, is sentenced to three years in Siberia for publishing a newspaper. Reissue.
Paperback, 737 pages
Published April 27th 1994 by Arrow Books Ltd (first published 1987)
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4.18  · 
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 ·  3,543 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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Mar 08, 2016 rated it liked it
“The night outside was freezing, the room was warm and cozy, the girls were wearing lisle stockings and high-heeled shoes. The planet was spinning on its relentless orbit, the stars in the universe were in permanent motion, they had vodka and port and white wine and roast goose, there was mustard sauce for the herring and store-bought ham, and they were seeing in 1934, just as they had seen in 1933, and would see in 1935 and ’36 and ’37 and many more years to come. They were young, with no thoug ...more
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in the early 1990s, and it had a huge impact on me. Once I finished it, I had to get my hands on the other two books in the trilogy. After I finished those, I had to get my hands on everything else by Rybakov (too bad I only took two semesters of Russian in college). After that, I had to find every other piece of Russian historical fiction in the greater Chicago area (though none quite matched up to this). Obviously I am obsessed, but this book is so well written, with character ...more

Description: On a street called the Arbat in Moscow's intellectual and artistic center in the 1930s, Sasha, one of a group of idealistic young communists, is sentenced to three years in Siberia for publishing a newspaper.

Opening: Between Nikolsky and Denezhny streets (today they are called Plotnikov and Vesnin) stood the biggest apartment block in the Arbat - three eight-storey buildings, one close behind the other, the front one glazed with a facade of white tiles.

It is the early '30s and we a
Suppressed by the Soviet Union for over twenty years, Anatoli Rybakov's Children of the Arbat is destined to rank with Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago as a classic of historical fiction. Set in 1934, Children of the Arbat presents a masterful and chilling psychological portrait of Stalin and details the beginning of its reign of terror and its impact on a generation - represented by a circle of young friends living in Moscow's intellectual and artistic centre, the Arbat.

Sasha Pankratov, a youn
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most prominent novels of the years of terror in the Soviet Russia. A must-read for those who are becoming interested in this particular period.
Gandi Munkhjargal
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Рыбаков Саша Панкратовоор дамжуулаад өөрийнхөө намтрыг биччихэв үү? Инженерээр сурч байгаад 3 жил Сибирьт цөлөгддөг, төгсгөл хэсэгт Панкратов дайнд оролцдог гээд бүгд Рыбаковын амьдралтай давхцаад байх юм. Сашаг дэндүү өндөр ёс суртахуунтай, хэт төгс дүр юм уу даа гэж хараад байсан өөрийнхөө талаар бичиж таараад тэгчхэв үү? Бас энэ Рыбаков гэдэг нөхөр Сталиныг үгүйсгээд байгаа хэрнээ Сталины нэрэмжит шагнал авчихсан байх юм.

...Барин тавьсаар 5 сар уншчихжээ. Саяхан л нэг влог үзээд 24 цаг ном у
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Viena no negaidītajām vasaras grāmatām, ko izroc vasarnīcas grāmatu plauktā un izdomā pārlasīt pēc n-tajiem gadiem. Savulaik tas bija perestroikas laika bestsellers, kas cilvēkiem palīdzēja atvērt acis uz staļinisma noziegumiem. Šobrīd man šķiet, ka romānam būtu nepieciešamas daudzas atsauces un komentāri, un tādi būtu nepieciešami ne tikai gados jauniem lasītājiem.
Romāna galvenais varonis ir students Saša, kuram 30.gadu sākumā piesien pretpadomju darbību institūtā un izsūta uz Sibīriju, viņa dr
Ksenia Anske
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m stunned. After reading this book. Stunned, and blown away, and sad. Growing up in Russia, as a little girl, I didn’t understand much about politics, and am only now discovering how Stalin’s regime came into being. This story is like the other side of the coin, the other The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov. Same time, two completely different stories. And yet they are the same. Told through the eyes of those who lived through The Russian Revolution, who believed into the bright proletariat f ...more
"Children of the Arbat" is in the long Russian tradition of critical (as distinct from socialist) realism. It deals with the teenage and young adult lives of a group of children who grow up in Moscow's Arbat district, beginning in 1934, when Stalin's paranoia was beginning to ripen into political terror.[return][return]The novel explores the lives of those exiled by the secret police, and those who reach varying levels of accommodation by a regime which is tightening its grip on Russian society. ...more
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If someone wants in Stalin's darkest thoughts to look
I recommend to read this brilliant, amazing book
It's hardly possible for reader to remain to be aloof, cool, calm, unmoved spectator
While learning how horrible and treacherous and sick was crazy mind of fearsome and yet so fearful dictator

1. Memorable 5
2. Social Relevance 5
3. Informative 5
4. Originality 5
5. Thought Provoking 5
6. Expressiveness 5
7. Entertaining 5
8. Visualization 1
9. Sparks Emotion 5
10. Life Changing (Pivotal, crucial, determin
Apr 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a hard book to read because the translation and editing was bad. I loved the parts about the "children" of Arbat and wish the book focused more on them instead of spending so much time internalizing Stalin's thinking. The parts about Stalin tended to drag out and I found myself skimming through them. I always heard that this was a very powerful book but I don't know if it was the translation or the writing itself but through out most of the book I could not really connect and feel for t ...more
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am still under the spell of this engaging novel about young adults living on the Arbat in the 1930s and being caught up in the purges. However, it is not only about that topic, but about humans living, loving, fighting, and working. Interestingly, it also gets inside the head of Stalin, which is kind of an icky place to visit.
Looking forward to reading the second one.
Mar 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: russia
There are few great novels to read about people and life in Soviet Russia. This is one of them. It's the story of the lives of a group of young Moscow intellectuals/ artists...during the beginning of Stalin's reign of terror....
Kaju Janowski
Would make much more an impact if I'd read it in my school days. It reminded me of the "Adventures of Werner Holt" - book showing the reality of the young when faced with times of political upheaval. The history of the two books is different, but the idea the same: gullibility of the young, innocent minds; inevitability of individualism in times of unanimous political revolution. Scary as shit
Tatyana Naumova
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
В далеком 2004 году, оказывается, смотрела сериал вместе с мамой, которая большой фанат Рыбакова, из сериала помнила только про домашние способы аборта. В целом поразительно, что впервые, кажется, интересней читать про линию партии, а не про "мир".
Также благодаря чтению приятно скоротала поездку от Тверской до Домодедовской: суровый бородатый мужчина скосился в мою книжку и фыркнул, я недоуменно возрилась, а он - "Время каникул, а Панкратов недоволен". Внезапный собеседник читал Шаламова, тут уж
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A breathtaking and fascinating book, set in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, the height of Stalinist suppression. Very informative, very moving, it follows a group of young students - who were also Komsomol members - their belief in their country and the fact that they were "building socialism", and the inevitable disillusionment. The Arbat area in Moscow is known as being the bohemian, intellectual quarter (kind of like the Quartier Latin in Paris). A must for anyone interested in historical fict ...more
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascynująca opowieść o stosunkowo mało znanym, przejściowym okresie w historii ZSRR, kiedy to Stalin już rządzi, ale jeszcze nie tak na 100%, ludzie już trafiają na Syberię za "pierogi leniwe", ale jeszcze niedowierzają, że to się dzieje naprawdę, kiedy wchodzące w dorosłość, tytułowe dzieci Arbatu jeszcze mają marzenia, plany i z optymizmem patrzą w przyszłość.
Zwykle w tego typu literaturze fabuła przypomina równię pochyłą - tu tego, ku mojej wielkiej uldze, nie ma. Jest codzienność, codzienne
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russa
Questo è un romanzo simbolo dell'era di Gorbachov, scritto nel 1965 ma pubblicato una ventina d'anni dopo, in cui si torna negli '30 e si matura una nuova consapevolezza. Rybakov, nonostante sia stato "al confino" e abbia vissuto negli Stati Uniti, non è un dissidente, ma forse si definirebbe come qualche suo personaggio, un "vecchio bolscevico", dove questa espressione prende un' accezione positiva, una persona cioè, che "ha a cuore l'uguaglianza, pensa al popolo, al lavoro e non al proprio pot ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Десять років минуло після того, як я вперше прочитала цю книгу, і тоді це, напевно, було моє знайомство із темою сталінських репресій в художній літературі. Потім вже були Багряний, Юрченко, Солженіцин, Антоненко-Давидович, Вайсберг та інші автори та дослідники. Але цю першу книгу я згадувала всі десять років, тому що вона глибоко мене вразила тоді, і майже так само захопила і тепер. Автор прагнув охопити доволі великий 'пласт історії' та долі багатьох персонажів, і йому це чудово вдалося, жоден ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Children of the Arbat was a sensation when it first became available to Soviet readers in 1987. A landmark text of glasnost, it was written between 1966 and 1983 but had been suppressed as anti-Stalinist and was therefore distributed only via very risky underground means known in the USSR as samizdat. But during the Perestroika era the novel was released in serial form in newspapers and its sequels 1935 and Other Years (1989), Fear (1990) and Dust & Ashes (1994) became available too. Childre ...more
Javier de la Peña Ontanaya
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Una novela histórica con mayúsculas. Mezcla varias historias paralelas (incluso, mejor que historias sería más apropiado hablar de "destinos"), de un grupo de personas de un mismo ambiente junto con episodios novelizados de la biografía de Stalin, sus relaciones con otros políticos y su lado más humano (si es que lo tenía). Es de suponer que las "manías" y los detalles de la personalidad de Stalin son verídicos, lo que confiere una gran originalidad a la novela. Quizá los personajes sea lo menos ...more
Sep 14, 2013 rated it liked it
В биографии Рыбакова значатся слова : "автор анти-Сталинской тетралогии". Анти-сталинской, только среди повального возвышения вождя во все время существования СССР. На самом деле книга скорее не анти-сталинская, а более правдиво освещяющая реальное положение дел в начале его правления. Там нет активной оппозиционной пропаганды, но присутствует так называемая изнанка тоталитарного режима- все о чем знали, но боялись говорить: доносы среди узкого круга друзей, до абсурности нелепые и тяжелые наказ ...more
Юля Вандзак
В книзі гарно описані часи коли при владі був Сталін. Гноблення особистості відображено автором в ролі Саші Панкратові. В книзі як на мою думку нівкого із дітей доля не склалася успішно, всі боялися не тільки щось сказати, подумати. Можна багто на цю тему писати, впринципі в мене в голові не вкладується як за те що кухар в меню назвав борщ "Щи ленивые" вислали в Сибір.....
Якщо чесно із книг на таку тематику більше сподобалась "Сад Гетсиманський" Багряного, цим твором я більше жила і переживала р
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Напевно, головний твір часів перебудови в СРСР. У романі описано важку атмосферу доносів, переслідувань у 30-роки минулого століття, всесильність та безжальність каральних органів, трагічну долю чесних молодих людей того часу. Тепер відомо, що автор писав роман десятиліттями і лишу суспільні зміни дали можливість опублікувати його.
Miles Kelly
Mar 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
An immense work which gives an absorbing picture of life in the Soviet Union in the 1930's. A number of prominent historical characters feature, including Stalin, but the story is of a group of young people from the Arbat district of Moscow as the country is about to be engulfed in the Purges and the show trials.
Ganbat Ganbaatar
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Нийт 3 боть байдгаас нэгдүгээр ботийг нь л уншсан. Сталины дэглэм, 1930-аад оны Оросын тухай Саша Панкратовын амьдарлаар төлөөлүүлэн гаргадаг, маш сонирхолтой ном. Нэрт орчуулагч Орхунт Ц.Гомбосүрэн гуай Монгол ном шиг л сайн буулгасан.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The book to read, if you are Russian and if you want to understand your great and grand parents.
The book to read to see what made Stalins period such. The book to understand how people fight or not with their destiny.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A truly beautiful book. It conveys the human condition at so many levels, and in so many ways. From a despotic, 'total' ruler of hundreds of millions, to the 'ordinary', hard working, generally well meaning and kind people, who are increasingly forced to live within the tightening boundaries of his own self-sustaining vision.
Most of all, this book is exceptionally 'human', packed with the details, worries, thoughts and asides of 'real people'. As such, it gives one an intimately truthful sense
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I finished this feeling frustrated--so many plot lines left hanging. Then I discovered--with both consternation and delight--that it is the first volume of a tetralogy. Looks as if I will spend the next few months in the company of Stalin!

The book is in the mode of the great a 19th century social novels. The action all takes place in 1934 and alternates between political history and the stories of a group of school friends in Moscow from different backgrounds and social classes. Rybatov uses the
Brigitte Alouqua
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moi qui aime faire de nouvelles découvertes, en voici une avec cette réédition d’une saga Russe.

J’avais déjà entendu parler de l’auteur, mais sans plus, je n’ai jamais essayé de connaître mieux son univers. Babelio m’en a donné l’occasion lors d’une masse critique.

Avec ce livre, nous sommes plongés dans le Moscou des années 30, plus précisément dans un quartier, celui de l’Arbat. Nous suivons un groupe d’amis âgé d’une vingtaine d’années.

Mais attention à ne pas vois perdre car, oui nous suivons
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Amazing Character of Stalin portraing ! 1 19 Aug 09, 2009 06:17AM  

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Anatoly Naumovich Rybakov (Russian: Анатолий Наумович Рыбаков; January 14, 1911 – December 23, 1998) was a Soviet and Russian writer, the author of the anti-Stalinist Children of the Arbat tetralogy, novel Heavy Sand, and many popular children books including Adventures of Krosh, Dirk, Bronze Bird, etc. One of the last of his works was his memoir The Novel of Memoirs (Роман-Воспоминание) telling a ...more

Other books in the series

Arbat Tetralogy (4 books)
  • 1935 en volgende jaren
  • Страх (Дети Арбата #2)
  • Dust and Ashes (Arbat tetralogy, #4)
“You could kill a man, but you could never break him.” 13 likes
“Death solves all problems — no man, no problem.” 11 likes
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