Russka

Russka

3.8 28
by Edward Rutherfurd, David Case
     
 

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Part Two Of Two Parts

The author of the phenomenally successful SARUM and LONDON turns to an even larger subject: Russia. Spanning eighteen hundred years of its history, people, politics, and culture, Edward Rutherfurd's grand saga encompasses all the fascinating contradictions of Russia itself. Exotic, proud, parochial, these contrasting qualities define the

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Overview

Part Two Of Two Parts

The author of the phenomenally successful SARUM and LONDON turns to an even larger subject: Russia. Spanning eighteen hundred years of its history, people, politics, and culture, Edward Rutherfurd's grand saga encompasses all the fascinating contradictions of Russia itself. Exotic, proud, parochial, these contrasting qualities define the immense territory that lies half in Europe, half in Asia -- a crossroad of culture. Told as the story of four families, Russka transforms the history of a singular nation into a great and compelling human drama.

"Rutherfurd personifies history." (New York Daily News)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rutherfurd weaves an expansive tapestry of Russian lore in this sprawling, occasionally soap-operatic historical novel--a seven-week PW bestseller and a Literary Guild selection in cloth--which vividly explores the historical influences on the modern Russian psyche. (Dec.)
Library Journal
In his newest novel, Rutherfurd does for Russia what his last novel, Sarum ( LJ 9/15/87), did for England. Focusing on a small farming community in the Russian heartland between the Dnieper and the Don at the edge of the steppes, he traces its growth through its inhabitants from the first Tatar raid on the Slavs through the Cossacks, aristocrats, and an emigre's recent return. These interconnected lives present a vast panoramic portrait of Russia and its history. However, abundance of historic detail, fascinating though it is, intrudes and overwhelms. Transitions from intertwined stories of succeeding generations are abrupt and the reader longs for more character and plot development. Recommended for devotees of James Michener and Sarum . Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/91.-- Cynthia Johnson Whealler, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.
Kirkus Reviews
A well-written, episodic, dense, at times infuriatingly complex historical saga of Russia by the author of the similarly massive Sarum, which tries—often quite successfully—to re-create the evolution of a mysterious and backward nation riddled with war, political confusion, and religious upheaval. Crammed with exhaustive and obviously well-researched historical, geographical, and cultural detail, this epic novel traces Russia's quest for freedom and identity from A.D. 180 to the present. The primary storyline that finally emerges depicts three rival families who have ties in the quintessential village of Russka: the Bobrovs, gentried noblemen who ultimately lose their precious land to the very serfs they once owned; the cunning Suvorins who amass great wealth as merchants and industrialists; and their distant relations the Romanovs, peasant farmers-cum- revolutionaries. Through the intricacies of marriage, accidents of birth, and other twists and turns of fate, the ancestors and descendants of these proud people move from one century to the next, turning up as warring Alans, barbarous Tatars, bloodthirsty Cossacks, and eventually the more familiar Socialists, Bolsheviks, and Marxists. Rutherfurd's immense canvas allows a fictional cast in the hundreds to populate the same world as Genghis Khan, Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great, Tolstoy, Voltaire, Pushkin, Lenin, Stalin, Shevchenko, Rasputin, etc., as they grapple with catastrophic events—such as ritual self-immolation, torture by knouting, cholera, and the pogroms. Despite the preponderance of names that repeat themselves from one generation to the next (the plot is littered with very old or very young Arinasand Maryushkas, for example)—a circumstance that may befuddle the casual reader—Rutherfurd's opus extraordinaire may captivate readers of the genre as well as serious history buffs. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for October)

From the Publisher
“Impressive . . . Rutherfurd has indeed embraced all of Russia.”
–The Washington Post Book World

RUSSKA SUCCEEDS WHERE [OTHER BOOKS] OF TRENDY SOVIET-WATCHING HAVE FAILED. . . . Rutherfurd can take his place among an elite cadre of chroniclers such as Harold Lamb, Maurice Hindus and Henri Troyat.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“FAST-MOVING . . . Rutherfurd believes in adding color and adventure to facts that are exhaustively researched, making history palatable if not delicious.”
–Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“SPRAWLING . . . Rutherfurd’s close observation of Russia’s religious and ethnic diversity gives this epic a distinctive flavor.”
Publishers Weekly

“RUTHERFURD LITERALLY PERSONIFIES HISTORY.”
–New York Daily News

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780736641661
Publisher:
Books on Tape, Inc.
Publication date:
05/01/1998
Edition description:
Unabridged, 13 Cassettes

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