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10 Russian books you must read once in life!


Russian literature is one of the richest and most advanced of humanity, developed to its peak in the nineteenth century with great writers such as Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Gogol, Sholokhov, or Maxim Gorky. Although undergoing historical changes, Russian-Soviet literature always leaves a deep imprint in the hearts of readers. For many people, their souls are not only nourished by the national culture but also imbued with the human nature of Russian culture.

Time has proven that the pages of fervent patriotism, the desire for freedom, and deep humanity always have lasting vitality. Russia is not far away, but very close to the hearts of readers. The pages not only give us knowledge, history, culture but also messages, meaningful stories, humanities, valuable lessons that each individual has to experience and summarize in life. 

And in the literary forest of Russia, there are 10 books you must read once in your life. We will go learn about these 10 books through the article below.

1. The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov – Dostoevsky’s last work, is the greatest masterpiece he left behind after more than forty years of hard work in literature. With his genius pen, Dostoevsky reflected the social chaos of Russia in the second half of the 19th century through the disintegration and tragedies of the Karamazovs, along with the “search for meaning to exist”. “In the people of Russia’s past, present and future generations, of immeasurable suffering, and the paths that can help lead to social harmony.

The Brother Karamazov

For most people, reading Dostoevsky is about marching through the brief history of the most common tragedies of humanity, of climbing to the heights of thought, and sometimes, penetrating the deepest layers of your inner self. The man who was before him rarely had that bright light. Therefore, whether it is a mental adventure of youth or a moment of contemplation while reading a book and looking back on a seasoned life, I think this book will bring us some more or less some aftertaste.

2. And Quiet Flows the Don

And Quiet Flows the Don is the greatest novel by Russian writer Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov. For this work, Sholokhov was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1965.

And Quiet Flows the Don

The peaceful East River describes a ten-year historical period from 1912 to 1922 in a wide geographical range: the western front of Russia during World War I, Ukraine, Poland, Romania to Saint Petersburg, Moscow. but mainly on the banks of the East River and concentrated in a riverside village of Cossack. In the first part of the novel, Sholokhov goes back to the Melekhov family’s past from the time when his grandfather and his Turkish wife were alienated and petrified by the Cossack people due to their strange lifestyle. Gregori Melekhov is the second child of a Cossack grandfather family, and his grandmother is Turkish. Gregori falls in love with Aksinia, the wife of a neighbor, and in order to prevent this relationship, the Melekhov family marries Natalia for him. In order to continue living together, Gregori and Aksinia left home to work as a hired laborers. Disgrace, resentment, Natalia surrendered but did not die.

3. Doctor Zhivago

The novel Doctor Zhivago was finished by Pasternak in 1956, but due to its contents incompatible with the Soviet literary and political life at that time, it was strongly opposed by the Moscow Literature Institute and the Soviet Writers Association. publishers in the Soviet Union refused to publish, while Pasternak himself was fiercely condemned and criticized by the Union of Soviet Writers.

Doctor Zhivago

Although not published domestically and severely condemned, the novel Doctor Zhivago still finds its way to Western readers. In 1957, the manuscript of the story was printed into a Russian book in Italy. The following year will be available in Italian and English. Pasternak was asked to receive the Nobel Prize for literature in 1958, but the Soviet government now forced him to refuse the award. It was not until 1988 that Doctor Zhivago’s novel was printed and published in Russia.

To this day, Doctor Zhivago is still considered the most turbulent novel, the most typical literary work of the war of thought between two Cold War superpowers.

4. Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina (Russian: Анна Каренина) is a novel by Russian writer Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, serialized in the newspaper Ruskii Vestnik (Russian: Русский Вестник, “The Messenger”) from 1873 to 1877 before publishing into complete publications.

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina is seen as the pinnacle of realism. The main character in the story Anna Karenina was composed by Tolstoy based on Maria Aleksandrovna Hartung, the eldest daughter of the great poet Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin. After meeting her at dinner, he began reading Puskin’s unfinished story: The guests meeting in the mansion, Tolstoy came up with the idea of ​​writing Anna Karenina.

According to a recent poll, based on the opinion of 125 famous contemporary writers, the novel Anna Karenina is the work with the highest number of votes on the list of 10 greatest works of all time.

5. War And Peace

War and Peace – the great novel by the great writer Lev Tolstoy – soon crossed the borders of the territory to be recognized by the world as the greatest novel of all time because of the great problems of all mankind. appear vividly and emotionally through each word, each sentence by the author’s transcendent artistic pen.

War And Peace

The War and Peace had a great influence on the development of Soviet and Western European literature in particular, world literature in general. Because since its inception up to now, the novel has been published thousands of times in many different languages.

6. The Master and Margarita

Each chapter, every page of the book is hidden in it the philosophical implications of being “universal” into even the mediocre, humorous events of a disintegrating reality in the human world. And the whole novel is an artistic manifesto that to this day researchers continue to unceasingly explore.

The Master and Margarita

The Artist is a writer who has just completed a novel, writing about two characters Lesua and Ponti Pilat: One is a wandering philosopher and the other is the mighty governor. Lesua was trapped, captured and executed for her preaching work. Lesua’s death became an obsession that lasted for two thousand years, not leaving Ponti Pilat alone, because the governor could not “save” Lesua from death, as a secret wish that only he knew. .

Master’s fate was not any luckier either: His work was cursed and killed by his colleagues from the moment he was not announced, leading to him getting stuck, desperate, burning his manuscript himself and finding his home. love madness, run away from Margarita’s fateful love

7. Lolita

Lolita, the most unusual phenomenon of 20th-century literature, was first published in 1955 in Paris, though written in American. Like all great works and great standard deviations, like those by D. H. Lawrence or Anthony Burgess, Lolita’s beginning was not so smooth.


Now that I actually read Lolita, I understand why Vladimir Nabokov is fond of it. Initially viewed with extreme simplicity, Lolita gradually gets rid of the prejudice that it is purely erotic, for Lolita contains much, much more than that: it delicately examines human psychology ( even without resorting to psychoanalysis, Nabokov has always sought to deconstruct Sigmund Freud), and it is also the outstanding linguistic moves of one of the greatest literary geniuses.

Until now, no matter how many years passed, Lolita remained an unusual phenomenon, and little Lolita, “light of my life, my sins, my soul” in Humbert’s mind. And Lolita, still immortalized in an upright posture of less than a meter and a half, and the entire character of a permanent “little goddess”.

8. How the Steel Was Tempered

How the Steel Was Tempered

How the Steel Was Tempered is not a literary work just looking at life but writing. The author lives it and then writes it. The central figure of Paris is the author: Nikolai Ostrovsky. As a revolutionary soldier in October, he lived his life most passionately, like his Pa-ven character. Nor is an autobiographical novel often written for personal interest or interest. Nikolai Ostrovsky wrote How the Steel Was Tempered in a hospital bed, while paralyzed and blind, illness devastated nine-tenths of the body.

There has never been a writer who wrote in such arduous conditions. In the writer’s heart, there must be a passionate heat of inspiration. That inspiration is the spiritual strength of a revolutionary soldier who is crippled, in extreme pain, refusing to lie to death, unable to bear to leave the fight, thus striving to become a writer and write this book. The more you love the book, the more you respect the writer, the more you respect the qualities of the revolutionary man.

9. The Gadfly

The Gadfly

Irish novelist Ethel Lilian Voynich (1864 – 1960) wrote The Gadfly with all the flames of passion to bring to life the character in a painting by 16th-century painter Franciabigio that she was admired at the Louvre ( France) at the age of seventeen. The work was first published in England and the United States in 1897 and actually resonated widely after being translated into Russian (1898). At that time, The Gadfly was the best-selling book in Russia and very popular in China.

The story revolves around the central character, young Arthur – alias The Gadfly, a gentle and holy young man who dedicates all his personal feelings to the revolutionary ideal. The ups and downs in life, the process of fighting for the ideal have forged the young man to become a brave, strong, and enthusiastic person. An ideal burning heart but not forgetting a deep love for the girl he loves – Emma.

The story has taken readers into the fascinating details, the fierce internal struggles in the uncompromising struggle between the father – Cardinal Montaneli and the illegitimate son Arthur. Until the moment of death, two people represent two life ideals and two completely opposite religions, remain faithful to the chosen path, give up their spiritual flesh and live according to reason.

10. Scarlet Sails

Scarlet Sails

In a fishing village, there is Longren, a widower sailor living with her daughter Assol. Everyone in the village considered the father and daughter to be different from each other; That’s right, Assol seems to live in a different world: day by day she waits for the dreamlike fate that someone has prophesied since she was a child, that one day, a boy will come to find her, carrying her on a ship with crimson sails …

Longren was a seaman and was often away from home, but his wife died suddenly after giving birth to his first daughter, Assol, and he had to quit his job to stay at home to take care of and raise the children. Every day, he builds small white wooden toy boats with crimson sails and sells them on the street.

One day, on the way to deliver goods, Assol engrossed in chasing the sails with imaginary dreams and strayed into the woods at any time. She is predicted that there will be a handsome prince on the boat with a crimson sail to pick up the beautiful Assol … Assol has passed his childhood with faith and expectation of a scarlet sail. The belief is also passed on to the lonely father, helping them overcome difficult years, ignoring the rumors of the villagers, that Assol’s father and daughter are “crazy”, not normal with the unreasonable story and cruelly woven … One day, predictions and beliefs come true. Assol was picked up by Prince Gray on the boat with a crimson sail to the astonishment of everyone in the village.


The House in Russian Literature: A Mythopoetic Exploration. [First Edition]

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