Winter is coming. Dig out your fur hat, crack open the vodka and get in touch with your inner Russian . . .
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Tolstoy considered this book to be his first real attempt at a novel form, and it addresses the very nature of society at all levels,- of destiny, death, human relationships and the irreconcilable contradictions of existence. It ends tragically, and there is much that evokes despair, yet set beside this is an abounding joy in life’s many ephemeral pleasures, and a profusion of comic relief.
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
We follow the frenzied consciousness of Raskolnikov who, against his better instincts, is inexorably drawn to commit a brutal double murder.From that moment on, we share his conflicting feelings of self-loathing and pride, of contempt for and need of others, and of terrible despair and hope of redemption: and, in a remarkable transformation of the detective novel, we follow his agonised efforts to probe and confront both his own motives for, and the consequences of, his crime.
- Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
An epic novel of Russia in the throes of revolution and one of the greatest love stories ever told. Yuri Zhivago, physician and poet, wrestles with the new order and confronts the changes cruel experience has made in him and the anguish of being torn between the love of two women..
- The Queen of Spades & Other Stories by Aleksandr Pushkin
The Queen of Spades has long been acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest short stories. In this classic literary representation of gambling, Alexander Pushkin explores the nature of obsession. Hints of the occult and gothic alternate with scenes of St Petersburg high-society in the story of the passionate Hermann’s quest to master chance and make his fortune at the card-table..
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
This brutal, shattering glimpse of the fate of millions of Russians under Stalin shook Russia and shocked the world when it first appeared. Discover the importance of a piece of bread or an extra bowl of soup, the incredible luxury of a book, the ingenious possibilities of a nail, a piece of string or a single match in a world where survival is all.