To celebrate #NationalBookLoversDay, we asked our fantastic followers to vote for their favourite Russian Novels and Novellas. Thank you everyone for your contributions, your votes have been counted and independently verified and we are pleased to announce that our Top 10 Russian Novels and Novellas are as follows...
10. What Is To Be Done.
What Is to Be Done is an 1863 novel by Russian philosopher Nikolai Chernyshevsky. Written as a response to Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, it advocates small socialist cooperatives based on the Russian peasant commune as the basis of the future for the Russian nation. A bit of a rogue choice here at number ten, What Is To Be Done has not been free of criticism as a novel, but it's influence on the development of Russian thought makes it crucial to an understanding of the Revolution.
9. The Overcoat
“We all emerged from Gogol’s Overcoat”, a quote often wrongly attributed to Dostoevsky, neatly sums up the 19th century view of this novella as the starting point for a distinctive style of Russian literature, dominated by social pity. The Overcoat is Gogol's first appearance in our countdown, but not his last.
Oblomov is the second novel by Ivan Goncharov and what could be considered as the fullest incarnation of the Russian Superfluous Man. We hope @Wouldbe_Wannabe makes a speedy recovery, if he is indeed suffering from this terrible affliction!
We all have insecurities, for Gogol, it was his Nose. Find out more about the author with our interactive timeline here
6. The Hunting Sketches
Turgenev's collection of short stories is an interesting addition to our list at Number 6. The series documents rural Russian life, with a particular focus on the serf/master relationship that was going to be changed forever after the Emancipation of the Serfs in 1861.
5. A Hero of our Time
Although the Romantic genre developed later in Russia than elsewhere, Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time is a fine example of the literary style, making beautiful use of the exotic setting and Byronic Hero. Well worth a read...
4. Crime and Punishment
A list of Russian books wouldn't be complete without a bit of Dostoevsky. His most famous novel, Crime and Punishment, follows the internal anguish of it's protagonist Raskolnikov, as he makes plans to kill a money lender for the cash. The authors descriptions of the stifling and squalid St Petersburg are unforgettable.
3. The Master and Margarita
Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita is a often considered to be the greatest piece of Soviet satire. Although the controversial theme means it is not taught in schools in Russia, it is much loved by many at home and abroad.
2. Evgeny Onegin
Ah, finally some Pushkin. His novel in verse was first published in serial between 1825-1832. The hero is often considered to be the original incarnation of the superfluous man. Find out more with Jimmy Chen's brilliant article here.
1. War and Peace
At Number 1, you probably guessed it, War and Peace. What can we say that hasn't been said before? Instead we will let our followers speak for us!
"It has everything - love, philosophy, history, tragedy" - @BHSKSC
"It's full of life" - @arussianaffair
"It's epic"- @viclou92
Well said guys.