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Russka  By  cover art

Russka

By: Edward Rutherfurd
Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
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Publisher's Summary

Russka is the story of four families who are divided by ethnicity but united in shaping the destiny of Russia. From a single riverside village situated at one of the country’s geographic crossroads, Russia’s Slav peasant origins are influenced by the Greco-Iranian, Khazar, Jewish, and Mongol invasions. Unified by this one place, the many cultures blend to form a rich and varied tapestry.

Rutherfurd’s grand saga is as multifaceted as Russia itself: harsh yet exotic, proud yet fearful of enemies, steeped in ancient superstitions but always seeking to shape the emerging world. Peter the Great, Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great, and Lenin all play their roles in creating and destroying the land and its people.

In Russka, Edward Rutherfurd has transformed the epic history of a great civilization into a human story of flesh and blood.

©1991 Edward Rutherfurd (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“Rutherfurd literally personifies history.” ( New York Daily News)
“Impressive…Rutherfurd has indeed embraced all of Russia.” ( 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)

What listeners say about Russka

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Historical Novel

I was so very glad to discover you had added Russka to you Edward Rutherford's books. He is a truly wonderful writer, whose's books are exhaustively researched and very accurate, yet full of characters that make a wonderful novel - Wonderful!

I only wish you'd release his other works "The Forest". "London", etc in a unabridged format. Abridging these novels is almost a sin.

Wonderful book worth both the time and credit!

20 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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History, Intrigue...Rutherford

Would you listen to Russka again? Why?

I would listen again. All the details and all the time covered is worth hearing again.

Any additional comments?

As with the other Rutherford books, this fantastic weaving of history and fiction makes listening a joy and learning effortless.

16 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not Rutherfurd's Best,but very good!

I am a huge fan of Rutherfurd, I love big books and history. I did listen to Russka twice back to back to firmly implant the family names in my mind, and I found I enjoyed it more the second time around. The book gave me a little different view of Russian history than I had. All I can say is, it has to be good to listen to it twice. I found the narration of Wanda McCaddon very good as well. I had enjoyed her in Sarum.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Understanding Russia

This story follows the Russian/Ukraine people from approximately 100 AD to the present. It's an ambitious task and was well done. Despite the hundreds of characters the story flowed well although in they all intertwined in the end sometimes I felt a story line had been left "hanging". The book does an excellent job of going thru the various politics that have an impact on today's global struggles. I found myself "googling" places and looking at Maps to get an idea of "where" things were happening. Over all an excellent read.

12 people found this helpful

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  • M
  • 07-22-13

Sweeping

If you could sum up Russka in three words, what would they be?

Thorough, Sweeping, Surprising

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I began to find the relationships and outcomes somewhat predictable. Although I love historical fiction -- it's the only way for me to put the facts into a context -- I'm disappointed by pat outcomes and unlikely coincidences. I would have liked a little more time with fewer characters.

What about Wanda McCaddon’s performance did you like?

The delivery was clear and her shift between voices was adept. I never felt lost in a conversation.

Any additional comments?

I love this kind of giant, challenging novel. I'm always sorry when they approach the present and I know I will be leaving it all behind.

10 people found this helpful

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Excellent read/listen

I chose to listen to this book in preparation for my 3-week trip to Russia. My prior understanding of Russia had been picked up from Dr. Zhivago and remembering the Cold War when Krushchev was their leader. Rutherfurd has done an excellent job of putting Russian history into story form. In fact, after the trip, I listened to the book a second time because now I can put some things in perspective with what I had experienced when I was there. What a great learning experience!

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Underwhelming

Wow, compared to New York this one was really tough to get thru, I guess it was one of his early books, Saram was Ed R. hometown(Salisbury) so that explains why it being his first book was good as it was filled detailed facts although poorly written the narrator was good. Russka’s narrator was subpar and the story except for the the 20th century section seems to lack any detail. Of course the 20th century had detail as this requires no research. I felt Ed R. does not like or respect Russians based on the characters in the novel.
I do like long audio books and Russka certainly is not a complete waste of time, reading Paris now, which has far better writing and narration.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another Success

Would you consider the audio edition of Russka to be better than the print version?

Didn't read the print version

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the continuity. This was an epic tale.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, my reaction was pretty even

Any additional comments?

This was a great story

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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This book is long in coming

If you could sum up Russka in three words, what would they be?

I waited for this book to come out on Audible for a long time. I read it back in the 90s, and this audio version does not disappoint. I love the mingling of different narratives throughout the history of Russia. It truly helps the reader understand how a Russian mentality is different from our own Western mentality.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This book is too long to listen to in one sitting. It has different narratives spanning the entire history of Russia, so it is easily broken up into smaller (but still very substantial) parts.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not what I expected

I thought this would be a history of Russia, but it's just an old novel. If you're looking for history, try the Great Courses course.

3 people found this helpful