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Russka: The Novel of Russia Paperback – Mar 1 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (March 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345479351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345479358
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.1 x 5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Lezon on Dec 18 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Briefly, Russka is a novel that follows two families through the rich and dramatic history of one of the most powerful countries in the world today. I am currently on a Russian literature binge and bought this book to read after finishing War and Peace. Expecting a bland modern twist on War and Peace, I was delighted to find that this book explores not only the lives and emotions of the characters, but also the anthropological aspects of its history, including genetic characteristics, social class structure, and linguistics. (As a scholar of anthropology and archaeology I found this fascinating.) I suppose my one complaint would be that because this novel spans about one thousand years it makes it more difficult to follow the character lineage. (Although I do understand the author's intent.) I found myself referring to the family tree at the beginning of the book quite a bit. The trials and tribulations of the families in the novel are believable and interesting, and like War and Peace I found the characters realistic, yet I found the most rewarding aspect of the novel the fact that I have a new and better understanding of the Russian people. The origin of the features, the personality, the passion, the strength that are distinctly Russian has been revealed to me. Am I now closer to understanding Russia's strange, twisted social and political past and its wonderful people? Perhaps I am, but like all good books Russka left me with the hunger to learn more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By melanie rexroad on July 12 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rutherford's novels always take me to the time and place of each event. He vividly describes the landscape and the people in a way that most ordianry historians fail to do. Russka, by far, is the best I have read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elianna on June 28 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first picked up this book at the library when I was doing research on russian history. After looking at the number of pages, I quickly put it down. It was only after I finished my project that I decided that I would buy the book because I found russian history so fascinating. I was not dissapointed. Mr. Rutherfurd goes into such detail that you grow to love the characters, you grow to understand russian culture so much more. So many people are still clinging to the steriotypes of Communist Russia: if they could read this book, I am sure that they would understand our friends in the east. What I enjoyed the most about the book was the fact that it was also educational. I even learned things that I did not discover in my studies. But that doesn't mean that if you know nothing about Russia that you won't understand the book, far from that. Rutherfurd takes the time to explain what is happening, so the reader is never lost. I'd recommend this book to anyone. If a 17 year old can read it and enjoy it, anyone can.
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By Marianne Clayton on June 7 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loving this book----just as good as all his other novels------particularly enjoy the history and variety of characters. I always learn something interesting.
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By P. Halliday TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 10 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. I would appreciate a better map and a glossary of terms with a time line in the back of the book. The map and family tree at the beginning are not as helpful as they might be. The map should be modernized to a Google Maps type format to suit the modern eye. The Family tree that also serves as table of contents and time line is too small to read easily and takes too much time to locate and understand when information is needed to understand the story's continuity from chapter to chapter.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Edward Rutherford not only follows the historical development of Russia but infuses its history with the emotional lives of its characters both fictional and real. Each chapter is a story in itself yet all culminate in a profound understanding of Russian history and the hearts and minds of its people.
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By A Customer on April 27 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a history buff but not very familiar with Russian history. I found this a very engrossing book, much in the style of Michener's books. I was fascinated with the early portions of the book, beginning with the predecessors of the Golden Horde, continuing on through the era of Peter the Great. It shows the cruelty & magnificence of Mother Russia in her glory, touching on the plight of the serfs & the magnificence of the ruling class. It really piqued my interest in reading further on those eras in Russian history. My only criticism is that the book bogs down a bit as it reaches the late 1700s. The families become less interesting, & even their "contact" with Catherine the Great isn't particularly interesting. It gets confusing with the introduction of Marxists during the 1800s, although it probably reflects the confusion felt by those actually living through that period of time. There is virtually nothing about Communism after the fall of Nicholas, although most of us are familiar with the realities of that period. It would also make for a good sequel--following the families through that era (& WWII)!
But, it's a great read overall. I highly recommend it. And as I said, it made me a Russian history buff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mercyland Records on March 12 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As an Anglophile, I fell in love with Rutherfurd's 3 novels of England. I really wasn't sure about reading Russka, but I took a small risk based on the other books. Again, Rutherfurd engages the reader and holds one's attention for nearly 1000 pages. In the process, one is educated about a mysterious and complex land and its people. The only thing I want is more Rutherfurd!
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