Read Russka by Edward Rutherfurd Anna Luisa Zazo Online


Dall'anno 180 al 1990, nella grande Russia dove non c'è confine per le pianure e le foreste, dove le paludi come i laghi e i fiumi si perdono oltre all'orizzonte, si intrecciano le sorti di sei famiglie. Nel bene e nel male. Sotto il giogo di crudeli invasori e nell'orgoglio di inebrianti conquiste. Dai mongoli agli zar, dalla rivoluzione al crollo del comunismo: i riverbeDall'anno 180 al 1990, nella grande Russia dove non c'è confine per le pianure e le foreste, dove le paludi come i laghi e i fiumi si perdono oltre all'orizzonte, si intrecciano le sorti di sei famiglie. Nel bene e nel male. Sotto il giogo di crudeli invasori e nell'orgoglio di inebrianti conquiste. Dai mongoli agli zar, dalla rivoluzione al crollo del comunismo: i riverberi della storia raggiungono il piccolo villaggio di Russka, coinvolgono i Bobrov e i Suvorin, i Romanov e gli Ivanov, i Karpenco e i Popov, generazione dopo generazione. Romanzo epico, romantico, avventuroso. E ancor di più. Edward Rutherfurd dà vita a una folla di personaggi indimenticabili sullo sfondo di un paese che da sempre è il crocevia tra Oriente e Occidente....

Title : Russka
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788804386216
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 966 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Russka Reviews

  • Amalia Gavea
    2019-04-28 05:18

    ‘’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, Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Gorgi, Nureyev, and the list is endless. I won’t deal with political issues, I couldn’t care less about politics in any country and any era. All I am able to say is that bringing the course of Russia through the centuries into life is a daunting task. And I can think of noone better to bring it to fruition than Edward Rutherfurd.Rutherfurd uses a small community named Russka and follows his familiar and fascinating technique. We follow the descendants of two families through time, starting from 180 AD all the way to the 90s, from the Roman times to the fall of the Iron Curtain. The characters are men and women that have their weaknesses and strengths, their hopes and fears, feelings that are mainly dependant on who has the absolute power over the troubled country at any given era. With the risk of sounding like an old, broken record to those who follow my reviews and have read my commentaries on Rutherfurd's books, I must say (for the millionth time) that he creates people that live right in front of our eyes. He inserts historical details which provide the necessary context for the interactions and the storylines, but he doesn't give a History lecture and, the most important, he doesn’t choose sides.He paints with words. His descriptions of battles, political machinations and daily life are equally exciting. He touches upon religious, political and philosophical matters in a simple, clear, confident manner. Each story-chapter is a small literary treasure, a necessary piece to the beautiful Russian tapestry he has created, but there are some that simple stand out.‘’All nature seemed at peace in the vast Russian silence.’’ ‘’Forest and Steppe’’ : The birth of Russia through the eyes of a young woman of mixed parentage. A tale set in 180 AD. ‘’The River’’ : A story of rivalry between brothers and the caress of good fortune set in the 11th century.‘’The Tatar’’ : A dark story set in the 13th century, during the terrible Tatar invasions. An unusual text by Rutherfurd who shows he isn't afraid to deal with bold- nay, shocking- storylines. A word of caution, though. It is not a chapter for readers who are sensitive in issues like incest and problematic sexual relationships.‘’Ivan’’ : We move on to the time Ivan Grozny- more commonly known as Ivan the Terrible- and the era in which Moscow becomes the heart and jewel of Russia. In this story, Rutherfurd has created a very interesting and tragic relationship between Boris and Elena, a young married couple who do everything they can to destroy one another.‘’You’re free, Cossack- free as a bird over the steppe. But I’m alone with nothing.’’ ‘’The Cossack’’ : Perhaps, the best moment in the book. A wonderful journey in the life of the Cossacks, during a tumultuous era in Russian history and the influence of Poland in the religious and political issues of the country.‘’Catherine’’ : We travel from Moscow to St. Petersburg, this glorious, mesmerizing city, and the Golden Age of Russia. The era when everything flourished under the reign of Catherine the Great.‘’The wolf is near, but on a cold, dark night, the Tsar is very far away indeed.’’We enter the years of doubt, the time when the oppression is doubly-felt among the lower classes and the cries for freedom and change start rising above the level of whispers.The French Revolution has planted a mighty seed all over Europe and the people begin to question everything they used to take for granted. However, revolutions are always double-edged swords and Rutherfurd writes about the darkest times in Russian History with sensitivity and objectivity.‘’Fathers and Sons’’ : Turgenev and Bakunin’s influence is very prominent on this chapter, leading us towards the final acts before the world explodes.The following chapters describe the bloody days of the Revolution, the Russian fight and contribution in stopping Hitler’s forces from advancing further,with the eventual defeat of the Nazi oppression, and the times of uncertainty following the fall of the Iron Curtain.Trying to trace the complex history of Russia while being completely objective, professional and respectful, is toiling work. Even writing a simple, unimportant review about this great country is tricky,because there are always the ones looking for a fight, trying to lure you into cheap political commentary. I have read many, many books that combine History and Fiction to narrate the tale of the beautiful country. None could come close to Edward Rutherfurd’s creation…‘’Russia: where the plain is endless.’’‘’Russia: where the east and west meet.’’

  • Gary
    2019-05-19 02:08

    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-revolutionary era.But I was bitterly disapointed that Rutherford did not document the horrors of the Stalin period in more detail and did not cover the years of Russian history after World II.How wonderful an acount of the stalled reforms of Kruschev,the stagnation of the later Kruschev years and of the Brezhnev years.The Cold war and the invasions of Poland,Hungary,Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan ,the indocrination by the Communist party and the valour of the persecuted dissidents,through the eys of different Russian people would have been.The collapse of the Soviet union and the heroic stand by the people of Moscow against the failed 1991 Stalinist coup would have enriched and completed the account.

  • Cindy
    2019-04-27 02:26

    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.

  • Amber
    2019-04-27 08:25

    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 believe I let other books get in the way. This book is so great. I feel there was more history and character development in this one than in Sarum and I liked it better. There wasn't as much description of the land and the scenery as there was in Sarum. It didn't have that dragging feeling when things were described...kind of like Tolkiens writing patterns in LOTR. There was just enough for me to not disconnect the story. I enjoyed the family stories/connections and I loved reading about the history of Russia. I really had no clue on so many things. It's fascinating. I am so glad I finished reading this book. It's great and I would read it again as I have read Sarum a few times.

  • Walter
    2019-05-12 00:22

    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 story of a fictional town called Russka. Actually, it's the story of two fictional towns called Russka. One is in the black-earth area of Ukraine in the old Kievan Rus, the other is in the frozen north of Russia. The narrative begins in the pre-historic era prior to Kiev and spans the Kievan Rus, the Mongol period, the era of Ivan the Terrible and the Romanov period. It spends a very short chapter in the Soviet era, and then ends in the post Soviet era of Russia in the early 1990s. The novel gives some very interesting cultural and historical oddities about Russia through the century. But there is no cohesive story. For those of us who actually enjoy Russian novels with their profound characters and plot twists, this novel about Russia is so very much not like that. It is more like a historical caricature than a novel.While this novel does have its drawbacks, if you have an interest in the historical development of the Russian people, this book is interesting. You learn a lot about the various invaders of Russia, the way the Russian people lived at various times in its history and how the culture shifted due to all these influences. However, if you are looking for a good story, this book is not for you. Especially considering that it would take you over 900 pages of reading to come to that conclusion.

  • Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
    2019-05-23 04:14

    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 avoid short-story compilations religiously, so that's saying something. What's so excellent about these novellas, though, is the character development: in many cases we know these characters as well as if we'd read an entire novel about them. Rutherfurd doesn't fall into the trap of repeating characters over the generations; everybody's distinct, and many are quite memorable. The author is willing to take risks with the characters, featuring types who would rarely star in a full-length novel--perhaps because nobody is required to be "the hero." And the way the characters change and grow over the years is exceptional. Really, there's some outstanding stuff here; one that stands out is a character's descent into evil, possibly the best and most believable story of that type I've ever read. And the plots: maybe it's true that Rutherfurd "borrowed" ideas, because not only are the stories interesting, there's an almost mythological resonance to many of them. Some incredibly memorable scenes. And although the book is light on action despite Russia's numerous wars, at times it's still hard to put down. A word on the history: yes, Rutherfurd inserts mini-history lessons within the stories. To me this was helpful, as I wasn't familiar with much Russian history beforehand. The detail was fascinating and he never seemed to go overboard. But since others found this tedious, I'll add that the book seemed aimed toward readers who (a) have some interest in Russian history and (b) don't know a great deal about it already. If you majored in Russian studies on the one hand, or you're looking for a historical page-turner but couldn't care less about Russia on the other, this may not be the book for you. Finally, to clear up some factual matters. This book is said to "cover 1800 years of Russian history." Technically that's true, but after the first 42 pages (in paperback) set in 180, the narrative leaps on to the 11th century... and there are only 21 pages post-1920. (For the record, I think the first decision was a good call, since few authors can make prehistory compelling, but really, how can you write a 945-page book about Russian history and give the entire Soviet period only 6? Yeah, those final 15 are set in 1992.) In the first half the book, skipping hundreds of years between chapters is the norm, but in the second half, time slows down and we meet every generation of the families in question. So what keeps this from being a 5-star book? 1. I found the first chapter, and to a lesser extent the second, to be tedious, before Rutherfurd finally hit his stride in the 13th century. Then come hundreds of pages of excellence until... 2. The ending was weak; I didn't feel like I had a handle on the Revolution as on the earlier eras, and would have liked to read more about the 20th century. 3. Women are somewhat sidelined, serving as love interests, wives, and mothers to male characters--even when women take the spotlight, these roles define their lives and motivations. This seems to be due partly to historical gender roles and partly to Rutherfurd's lack of interest in other aspects of women's lives (also evident in the dearth of women: the family tree listing nearly every relevant fictional character in the book includes 55 named male characters, and only 20 females). Their personalities are diverse; I just would have liked to see someone have interests or goals in life in addition to men and marriage. (One gets close, until she gives up her love of music "for health reasons"--problems that are instantly cured upon her falling in love and having a son. Ugh.) 4. Any writer has personal tics that are bound to annoy you after awhile. Here, it's the overuse of rhetorical questions and the word "remarked" to tag lines of dialogue, plus the habit of stating things readers should be allowed to deduce on our own. For instance, we're told that one character is "shrewd," and everything he says is said "shrewdly"; also, Rutherfurd has a tendency to interpret events and make announcements like, "What happened next was her fault." This book both educated and entertained me; sadly, I've found Rutherfurd too misogynistic an author to continue reading his books, but otherwise they aren't bad.

  • Araceli Rotaeche
    2019-04-26 06:17

    ¡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
    2019-05-04 08:15

    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 a period of 1800+ years. The lives of two families are woven together through the entire novel. Each chapter covers a period of time, some following right on the heels of the previous chapter and others leaving gaps of decades or centuries; it's nice to have the family tree in the front of the book to refer to. Power shifts from family to family over the centuries; that they remain tied to one another for so long, and that they are largely unaware of those ties is an enjoyable aspect because the reader, of course, knows all about them.Re-telling history through individual stories is a particularly good choice for Russka and by weaving the families together the scope of the story stays manageable. The story of the country is told in how it affects our two families, their immediate circle and the towns of Russka. That the years from 1918 onward are condensed into a very small percentage of the book is a gift - we've been reading that history for decades, we know those stories. It's the fictional look at life in the 1700 previous years that draws you in and makes you pity Paul Bobrov, Sergei Romanov and Ludmilla Suvorin - our last generation of characters - for what they don't even know they've lost.There are wonderful things that stick out - women "swinging their sickles" in 180 (no, that's not missing a digit) and still at it in 1945; the amulet given to Kiy in the first chapter and its progress through the generations; most of all, the story of the firebird that survives the entire history of the country. Worthy of at least one thorough reading, as long as you're here for the story and not looking for history.- AnnaLovesBooks

  • Irena
    2019-04-30 05:27

    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 impossible for me to give it more than two stars -- "it was OK" (A few examples: 1)"how nice, for the first time there will be no military parade on May day" -- there has never been a military parade on May day (May 1st). The military parade was on the Victory day on May 9th and it has never been cancelled. 2) An undernourished child of a relatively well to do and well educated couple in Moscow -- come on, save this for Hollywood films about commies. 3)People in Moscow in 1990s worrying about bad quality of food because of Chernobyl -- absolute nonsense. 4)A third generation Russian emigrant speaking beautiful Russian WITHOUT an accent.) This sprawling fictional novel stuffs more than a thousand years of Russian history into a bit less than thousand pages, fast-forwarding after the October revolution and so devoting only two or three sentences to the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). There are enough well written plots here for five excellent books, but because of the gigantic goal the end result is gigantic but imperfect. A side note: If you decide to use a Russian word, and your Russian is rudimentary or non-existent, ask a native speaker to check your usage, not just look it up in the dictionary, unless you want a comic effect.

  • Clarice
    2019-05-18 02:18

    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 anything by Robert K. Massie. But this offering by Rutherfurd is strangely somewhere in between and yet neither.Based on the reviews I read, I was somewhat prepared for the beginning chapters to be slow-paced, but after reading the sample I thought I would enjoy them nonetheless. The early stories had more of a feeling of folk tales or fables - which seems an appropriate way to present a period prior to written history. Rutherfurd managed to insert bits of historic facts and excessive geographic details into the fable-like narratives. Sometimes this worked, but more often it was tedious and (especially with the interminable descriptions of the rivers) didn’t always blend seamlessly into the story.I was looking for a perspective that told the story of the common person during the events that shaped history. I like the concept of watching the famous or infamous historical figures from an outsider’s point of view. I enjoy reading about how major historic events affect the people who have no influence or power but must live with the consequences. But, the stories told in Russka seemed TOO far removed from the significant historic events, and there are huge sections of time that are just skipped over. I finally got to the Ivan the Terrible chapter - which most reviewers agreed was when the story finally picked up and made the previous chapters worth plodding though. Sadly, I was still not feeling it. I’m putting this one aside for now.

  • M.G. Mason
    2019-05-13 07:59

    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 different time period; familiarity is exercised through the descendants of those in the previous chapters so continuity is maintained through the ongoing feuds, marriages, business partnerships etc. Of the work I have read, this approach is no better demonstrated than in Sarum. For me it remains his best work.Early part has a different feel - not about events but how Russia appears as the world changes around them. Rarely do we see specific events, they arw referred to as external agencies. This was the approach he took in The Forest and I don't feel it worked there. It works a little better here and the novel feels stronger for it. Russia is, after all, a large place and there is only so much that we can cover. The New Forest in comparison is tiny so there would/should have been greater scope to develop this.Reading the 11th century chapter, I felt my heart begin to sink. Here was all the problems that made me almost give up on London. We follow the journey of one young boy as he grows up seeking to enter into a religious life. Unfortunately, too much time passes in too short a chapter (though the chapter is not long) and I didn't feel emotionally engaged enough. Nor are those characters are particularly likeable. As a lover of the medieval period, this should have been one of the most enjoyable sections for me. It wasn't.I was pleased to feel more engaged with the story of Yanka in 1246. A difficult section to read due to the unpleasant relationship she has with her father after her brother is taken and her mother killed by Tatars. But she is soon swept off to Novgorod for a life she always wanted... but it isn't a bed of roses. It was fascinating to see this high medieval world looked in Russia instead of the much-covered western Europe and crusades into the Holy Land.The story really opens up in the story of Ivan (1552) and this, arguably, is where the story of Russka truly begins. Ivan the Terrible was the first Tsar of Russia who turned it into an empire worthy of the name. This then, for obvious reasons, is one of the longest chapters at around 120 pages of this 1000 page book. For such a pivotal point in Russian history, it is not a great chapter and I would have preferred to see some of these events rather than merely having characters discuss them (my major complaint about The Forest).The next few chapters are largely about religious strife between their Polish Catholic rivals and Orthodox Russians. There is no greater discussion of this than in The Cossack before we move onto Peter (The Great). After this we move onto Catherine and as with London, this is where the book really takes off.The 19th century was arguably the most pivotal period in Russian history. A century before the revolution, anti-aristocracy feelings were growing as the up and coming middle classes looked to successful empires westward. Napoleon sought to conquer Russia, the Crimean War and the beginnings of Communist thought. Rutherfurd deals with these chapters quite well but it is not a particularly interesting read. I find that he makes a habit of this sometimes, creating a mundane story set in what should one of the most interesting periods of the history of the place he covers.We also see the end of the empire and the first stirrings of revolutionary thought from the 1870s. This is interesting and adds context to the final 150 or so pages even if again, it isn't particularly fascinating as a story. What is clear is that revolution had a few false starts in this period, various uprisings within Ukraine and Russia from various factions that were suppressed or petered out and finally find success in the fateful 1916.And finally to the incident filled 20th century and of course, it is rife with political discussion, on clashes between the Bolshevik and Menshevik before we move onto beyond the revolution and the beginning of the Soviet state. We even get to experience trench warfare as Germany attacks Russia in 1914. It is interesting to see the transition of the family lines right through the period though the Cold War is barely covered as we hope from WWI to WWII and then immediately to 1990 in the space of 30 pages. Rarely does Rutherfurd allow wider events to take over the storytelling. Again, I did not like this element of The Forest but it worked much better here, possibly because he is using the method so late on in the book when the families are established.Overall, the majority of this book was too middle of the road, too plodding to be truly enjoyable or to truly absorb yourself into the prose. It is better as educational fiction; few people in the west have a level of understanding of Russian history that is deserving of its colourful past and that is the strength of this book. There could have been a little more in the way of experiencing events that made Russian history.See more book reviews, discussions and fiction writing at my blog

  • Lisa - (Aussie Girl)
    2019-05-25 05:26

    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 huge historical events as the Mongol Invasion, the rise of the Cossacks or even the colourful reigns of Ivan the Terrible, Peter The Great and Catherine the Great at all. The most compelling section was towards the end detailing the fall of the Tsar and the Russian Revolution through the eyes of a Bolshevik and one of the lesser nobility in which Rutherfurd's trademark strengths shone through. Not one of his greatest works in my opinion but still an interesting account of the history of one of the most vast and culturally diverse countries of the world. ★★★☆ (3.5 stars)

  • Andrew
    2019-05-21 05:59

    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 in this book Edward Rutherfurd tells the story of Russia. I didn't know a lot about Russian history, so was keen to learn a bit more here. I guess I achieved that goal, but on the whole, I didn't enjoy the book as much as, say, "London", "Dublin" or "Sarum". It's just speculation on my part, but I wonder if that might be because Edward Rutherfurd himself didn't know as much about Russia as he did about the settings of his other books? I won't be put off by this book though, and am looking forward to reading his new one, New York.

  • Daniel
    2019-05-04 06:29

    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 importantes de la revolución de 1917 y la implementación de la teoría comunista.Russka es un amplio catálogo de hechos, personajes y lugares históricos de la bella Rusia para investigar. Mismos que nos permitirán entender su pasado y, de alguna manera, también nos permitirá explicar los hechos que se están desarrollando en nuestro presente…

  • Felipe Salazar
    2019-05-02 05:18

    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 mucho más: la "Gran Guerra Patria", la KGB, el declive y caída de la URSS... pero en general un muy buen libro y entrega una visión bastante completa. Absolutamente recomendado para los interesados en Rusia. Ahora a buscar los otros libros del mismo autor: Nueva York y Londres prometen.

  • Janie
    2019-05-07 08:06

    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 right into the midst of the story. Sometimes he'll regress into his description of a character or a place, giving the reader a store of background information, and this description can go on for several pages before he brings you back. In so doing, you have a much deeper understanding and bigger picture he intends to impart. These books are not literal page-turners for me because I do not fly through books. These are books to savor. I’ll read a chunk and stop at a natural point in the story, usually at the end of one of the long chapters, lay it aside to read something else, then pick it back up again. Russka is so long and dense and covers so many years with so many people that it is easier to dip in and out with it. The map and the family tree at the beginning are invaluable. So if you read this or any of his others, don't overlook the family tree especially.A few quotes I marked that I particularly liked, either for what it said or how it was said:But, she smiled, it seems to me he has a warm heart.Guilt makes a proud man dangerous."It was early in the morning, three days after he arrived there, that Ivanushka came out of the fort soon after the sun had risen above the trees, and sat on a bare stone gazing across the landscape to the south. How silent it was. The sky above was pale blue, so crystalline that one might, it seemed to Ivanushka, have soared unimpeded into the clear air and touched the edge of heaven. The snowy landscape extended as far as the eye could see, the darker lines of the trees stretching until they seemed to become one with the snow of the endless steppe beyond. The edges of the river had recently begun to melt. Everything was melting. Only a little at a time, softly, so that you could scarcely hear it; yet inexorably. The more one listened, the more one became aware of the faint popping, the whispering of the whole countryside melting. And as the sun acted upon the snow and ice, so, Ivanushka could almost feel, were underground forces similarly at work. The whole gigantic continent -- the world itself as far as he knew -- was softly melting, snow, earth and air, an eternal process caught, for a moment, in this shining stasis. And everything, it suddenly appeared to Ivanushka, everything was necessary. The rich black earth -- so rich that the peasants scarcely needed to plow it; the fortress with its stout wooden walls; the subterranean world where the monks like Father Luke had chosen to live, and certainly to die: why it should be so was beyond him, but it was all necessary. And so, I see, was the winding path of my own confused life, he thought. That, too, was necessary. Father Luke had perhaps seen it all, years ago, when he had said that each moral finds his own way to God. How soft the world was, how shining. How he loved, not only his wife, but all things. Even myself, unworthy that I am -- I can even loved myself -- because I, too, am part of this Creation, he pondered; this being, he perceived, his Epiphany.From dawn each day the boats traveled, until their shadows grew so long that they joined each vessel with the one behind so that, instead of resembling a procession of dark swans in the distance, they seemed to turn into snakes, inching forward on waters turned to fire by the western sunset ahead. While on the bank, the last red light from the huge sky eerily caught the stands of bare larch and birch so that it appeared as if whole armies with massed lances were waiting by the riverbank to greet them.The answer to Russia's problems lies here, in Russia. . . . The church is the key. If Russia's guiding force is not religion, then her people will be listless. We can have Western laws, independent judges, perhaps even parliaments -- but only if they grow gradually out of a spiritual renewal. That has to come first.

  • Marcin
    2019-04-30 08:10

    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 among those I know it was a good idea to actually try it. Am I happy of finishing it? Yes. Would I tell everyone I know to try it? No. I'd only point a few towards this book, those few who are in love with eastern european culture, who adore long family/love/history sagas and who could withstand this brick heavy (when printed on paper) tome with a smile on their face... Certainly it was not written to everyone's taste, and I can say that for sure I would not even try to read it again. Yes, I do love world history and stories rooted in important moments or turning points but this book simply had nothing to actually grab me for a longer while at a time - books by Sienkiewicz and even Żeromski are far more interesting ;) The characters here seem to be closer to some romantic Harlequin brand novellas' personae than to many other more adventure oriented stories... The story unfolds somewhat slowly, after all it does so over such a huge time span that other writers would have probably divided it into three or four different books. Sure, if that's what you like in a book you'd find it pretty interesting, but if you're more into suspense, adventure, detective stories or thrillers (or even fantasy sagas) this is certainly not for you...

  • Theresa
    2019-05-10 07:16

    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 are involved in. It left me wondering how it is that humans have such an ability to create both incredible beauty and indescribable hell.Thought proking.

  • Jaime Contreras
    2019-05-01 01:04

    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
    2019-04-24 05:59

    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
    2019-05-02 07:28

    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
    2019-05-16 07:17

    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.

    2019-04-27 07:02

    Anmeldt af Mia Cecilie Petersen på 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 primært stifter bekendtskab.I løbet af 1005 sider suser vi gennem 1800 år af Ruslands historie. Efter at have læst bogen har man følelsen af at kunne den russiske zarrække til perfektion, ligesom man er blevet klogere på, hvordan Sankt Petersborg blev grundlagt og gjort til hovedstad, ligesom vi følger Moskvas løbende udvikling fra en by, ingen troede på, ville udvikle sig meget med den placering Moskva nu engang har, til dens nuværende position som hovedstad.'Russka' er ikke bare storslået - den er STOR. Man bliver revet med på et eventyr, som kun få andre forfattere formår at skabe. Rusland er ikke bare en stor øde slette; Rusland er et land i en rivende udvikling, og ting som kommunisme og autokrater betyder meget. De to familier vi følger, har stor indflydelse på hinanden.Russka er ikke en faglitterær bog, det er blot noget af det mest lærerige skønlitteratur, der findes. Russka er opdigtet; ligeså er Bobrov og Romanov/Suvorin, men det hindrer ikke Edward Rutherfurd i at komme ind på Tolstoj, diverse zarer, der faktisk har regeret, zarina Katharina, Picasso og Matisse. Og selvom det er skønlitteratur føler man på intet tidspunkt, at det man læser, er skønlitteratur. Det er primært den vestlige del af Rusland vi hører om - og ved hjælp af gode markeringer for årsskift kan vi sagtens følge den samme mand fra han er lille dreng til han ligger på sit dødsleje.Afslutningen på bogen er noget af det eneste, der foregår udenfor Russka og Rusland; det foregår i USA, og alligevel formår Rutherfurd, som med alle de andre kapitler, at blande Russka ind i det. Russka er den røde tråd, og den er nem at følge! En anden fin detalje er mådenm hvorpå to familier til sidst flettes sammen på. Jeg er vild med det! [MENTION=6443]evaluciareviews[/MENTION] anmeldte tidligere Edward Rutherfurds roman 'Dublin' og var svært tilfreds - og hun brugte udtrykket 'at være en flue på væggen'. Jeg kan ikke selv sige det bedre, og jeg vil heller ikke forsøge på det, for det er ganske enkelt det man er, når man læser hans romaner. Man kunne ligeså godt have været en landsbyboer i Russka, for det hele er så levende beskrevet!Selvom de 1005 sider, der består af kapitler, som i gennemsnit har 100 sider pr stk., kan virke uoverskuelige, kommer man hurtigt ind i en rytme, hvor man læser et kapitel af gangen, lægger bogen fra sig kortvarigt, mens man summer op hvad man egentlig har læst, for derefter at læse videre. Det er faktisk ikke speciel tung læsning; det er lige tilpas.Jeg blev forundret over, da jeg skulle skrive anmeldelsen, hvor klart de første kapitler stadig stod for mit blik. Jeg havde været nervøs for ikke at kunne huske de første 200-300 sider, idet man får så mange indtryk i løbet af de sidste 700 eller 800 sider, at man kan være i tvivl om, om man virkelig har plads nok inde i hovedet til mere handling - men det har man, for igen gør sammenhængskraften i bogen, at det er relativt enkelt at følge med.Jeg håber at de sidste af Rutherfurds værker bliver udgivet - i hvert fald skal jeg have fat i et eksemplar, hvis 'Skoven' pludselig kommer i en dansk udgave, der er til at få fat i! Jeg synes i hvert fald at ventetiden for at få fat i Russka var uendelig siden jeg i februar eller marts hørte, at denne ville udkomme ... Den originale er trods alt skrevet i 1991!!God læsning!

  • Jess
    2019-05-15 06:16

    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 questo il caso, visto che si è riusciti nella difficile impresa di rendere la storia russa tediosa. C'è troppa carne al fuoco e ci sono troppi personaggi, si comincia a tener traccia di chi è chi solo a partire da metà romanzo, ma non mi è piaciuto il lavoro fatto da Rutherfurd e, fatta eccezione per un paio, mi sono risultati tutti abbastanza irritanti e noiosi, senza traccia di carisma. La cosa che molto probabilmente mi è andata meno giù è la storia dell'incesto, che dura più o meno una decina di pagine e in alcuni punti diventa anche disgustosamente grafica. Oltre ad essere disturbante di suo, è stato un plot twist inutile, messo lì per semplice e banale shock value e solo per questo meriterebbe una stellina. Se gliene do due è perché, in fondo, sono buona e anche molto, ma molto contenta di aver finalmente finito questo libro, che non vedo l'ora di affidare alle amorevoli cure di un negozietto dell'usato e di farlo sparire dalla mia libreria. Da oggi in poi, il bollino dorato che la Mondadori usa per indicare i best seller, sarà per me sinonimo di "se è un libro di un autore contemporaneo, rifletti e stanne alla larga". Non posso però chiudere senza qualche cenno alla traduzione e al testo in sé. La versione italiana risente molto della traslitterazione ballerina: ci sono personaggi il cui nome cambia grafia anche nel giro di qualche paragrafo e altri traslitterati alla 'ndo cojo cojo (passatemi l'espressione romana, ci sta). Si tratta di un romanzo tradotto dall'inglese, che non usa la traslitterazione scientifica, ma prestare più attenzione e/o consultare uno slavista era chiedere troppo? Anche la sintassi lascia alquanto a desiderare. Perché ci sono frasi brevi che cominciano così. Ma in italiano si potrebbero allungare unendole. E la congiunzione avversativa, salvo alcuni casi, è davvero brutta da vedere a inizio frase. L'unica cosa di cui non incolpo la traduzione è il fastidioso alternarsi di nomi russi e italiani, suppongo che nomi come Pietro, Daniele e Stefano siano lì perché nel testo originale c'è il loro equivalente in inglese, ma è davvero brutto da vedere. Passi per i nomi di personaggi storici, ma quelli di finzione avrebbero potuto almeno avere dei nomi in russo.

  • Dana
    2019-05-20 03:21

    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 it is, I found I was nervous 75% of the book. The ending I will say, I could live with. When I closed the book upon finishing it, I was afraid of Russia and decided that this wasn’t a country I would want to visit.

  • Karin Pearson
    2019-04-26 01:06

    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.

  • Cara
    2019-05-02 03:18

    DNFPrincess 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

  • Tony
    2019-05-05 04:18

    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
    2019-04-29 05:06

    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.

  • Abhishek
    2019-05-09 02:17

    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’s experience through the times of Russia nearly compiles whole of the book.The author has laid more emphasis on the medieval period of Russian history encompassing and describing in great details the times of Ivan the terrible, Peter the great and Catherine .Also the author has gone into great detail to describe the rule of various tsar in terms of society , religion , military Etc. . All the important events in Russia’s history are incorporated in the story along with the actual outcomes and due to the author's eloquence it’s very easy to incorporate. It was rather interesting to read about the advent of the revolution which destroyed the rule of the tsar. The involvement of important personalities like Lenin and Stalin stir up the interest in the story and although there is not much but their role in the revolution are impeccably described.All in all hats off to Edward Rutherfurd for pulling off such a marvelous work