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Summary

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 the baffling contradictions of Russia's culture and her peoples - bleak yet exotic, brutal but romantic, land of ritual yet riddled with superstitious fears.

From Russia's dawn and the cruel Tatar invasions to Ivan the Terrible and the wild Cossacks, from Peter, Catherine and the days of War and Peace to the drama of the Revolution and the extraordinary events of today - here is Russia's story in a spellbinding novel - history recreated with breathtaking detail and passion.

©1991 Edward Rutherford (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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What listeners say about Russka

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Rambling epic

This is a good and engaging listen. Roger Davies is an accomplished narrator, bringing a light touch to the characterisation. The story itself is episodic, pinned to a historiography which is sufficient to add context but not burdensome in detail. As it rambles along through the centuries it provides enough entertainment to keep one engaged, but occasionally slips into cliche and predictability. As with other texts I have experienced by Rutherfurd, the final sections seem rushed and superficial

4 people found this helpful

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A curate’s egg

Inevitably, a book of this length and encompassing so many stories will vary in its ability to hold ones interest. I enjoyed some parts felt meh about others but no part really caught my attention enough to read the other books by the same author.

4 people found this helpful

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Pretty boring actually.

Yes, I did struggle to finish this tedious tale because there was not a single moment when it gripped me or aroused an iota of interest in the vanilla characterisations of the peasants and their 'betters'. The whole was brightened occasionally by a couple of sentences containing facts about Russian history which the author might possibly have lifted from Wikipedia, but which I knew beforehand, anyway.

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant!

Had previously read the book and this really brings it to life.

Well narrated by Roger Davis.

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Edward Rutherfurd

Absolutely brilliant story written by a total and utter master story teller. Talk about bringing history to life, you couldn’t help but be transformed into a different time through each absorbing chapter. Roger Davis becomes your friend as you unwind and listen to his dulcet tones tell you the most magnificent story of a despotic regime that changes its name but rarely it’s character. Loved it!

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Educational, engaging and yet poetic

A lovely long book. Beautifully written and read. I would recommend this for those who like a long listen and who are interested in Russian history.

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Epic

Not sure if I bit off more than I could comfortably chew... Better critics than I can give more worthy evaluation, I will probably play it again over the winter and see if I find more continuity of storylines and feel more relationship with characters. Undoubtedly, well presented!

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Fantastic

A wide and expansive story from the dawn of Russia to the end of the Soviet Union. It portrays a nation in so much colour. it's well read and I would highly recommend it.

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  • G. Kinzer
  • 15-08-20

Beautifully Brings Russian History to Life

I thoroughly enjoyed the way Edward Rutherfurd wove the characters into a storyline spanning nearly 2000 years. The major historical events are iwoven through the lives of ordinary people in a way that adds color to the events and illustrates the effects on the people. I look forward to listening to other works by this author. Don't let the size (length) of this book stop you. The story is entertaining and keeps you involved in it... much like a mini series. Excellent narration too.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Jayne
  • 10-11-21

Excellent

I always enjoy this author's expertise at weaving history and fiction together to make the facts come alive. Narration was easy to understand while still giving a Russian flavor to the dialogue. I especially enjoyed seeing history from the perspective of both nobles and peasants. Highly recommend!

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  • M. Cain
  • 01-09-21

A good story

Russka was a very helpful and informative take on Russian history over many centuries and helped explain some of the inherent mistrust Russians developed of the west. However, the story drags at times and it was a little difficult to picture Russian scenes with such an English narrator. The narrator was excellent, but many times I felt I was hearing a history of some part of London rather than Russia.

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  • Mingran M.
  • 26-06-21

Great Story!

It is a very good book and helps me review the history of Russia through the family story. The narrator is also excellent who vividly described people and scenes. By listening to the book of Russka I have learned something new about Russian history.