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  1. #1
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    what's your fave russian novel?

    i've never read a russian novel, and i feel culturally incomplete because of it. i'd like to read one...but which one is the best? opinions please!

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  3. #2
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    there isn't a "best" Russian novel any more than there is a "best" American or British novel... i think when people think of "classic" Russian literature they think of Crime and Punishment, Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, and probably War and Peace. i've only read Crime and Punishment of those.

    I like the short stories of Turgenev, Chekhov, and Gogol better, but it's been a while since i read any of those either.

  4. #3
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    There is so much Russian literature, over such a long period, with so many different styles - choosing one would only limit your mind, not expand it.

    A sampling:
    Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment
    Gogol: Dead Souls
    Turgenev: Fathers and Sons
    Solzhenitsyn: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
    Nabokov: Pale Fire, Lolita
    Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
    Babel: The Red Cavalry

    For more:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Russian_novelists

  5. #4
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    I really enjoyed August 1914, although I now cannot remember who the author was (maybe Solzhenitsyn?). And even though it's often held up as the ultimate long, unreadable book, I also really liked War and Peace. But like others have said, there's no "best". I would start with something short and if you like it, work your way up to some of the longer novels. A lot of the famous Russian authors have some good stories, you might want to try a few of those and get a feel for which authors you prefer.

  6. #5
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    okay, i get it, there are a lot...maybe i should have asked - which on is your favourite??

  7. #6
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    My favorite is definitely One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. I've read a lot of Solzhenitsyn's other work but I think One Day is the most accessible.

    When I was an undergrad, I took 20th Century Russian Literature for fun and we read a lot of short stories too. The one that has still stuck with me is "Kolyma Streetcar" by Elena Glinka, you can actually read it online (it's short) here but it's violent. I also liked Isaac Babel's stories. I've also been meaning to read Master and Margarita but haven't gotten around to that yet

  8. #7
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    "Quiet Flows the Don" is good--it's about the Don Cossacks. Damn, I can't remember the author right now. Google, here I come!
    Dostoyevsky's "Notes from the Underground" is interesting.


 

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