What are the best Russian novels of all time?

asked by Anonymous
406 contributors
27 solutions
  1. 45

    #1Crime and Punishment

    Crime and Punishment
    Crime and Punishment is a classic of Russian literature by Fyodor Dostoyevsky published in 1866. It tells the story of ex-student Rodion Raskolnikov who plans to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker to liberate himself from poverty.


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    Shana Wang
    Written on March 4, 2018
    "I would read this book. It sound like it would be very interest "
  2. 41

    #2War and Peace

    War and Peace
    Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace is considered one of the finest novels ever written. The story chronicles Napoleon's invasion of Russia during the early 19th century.

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    Tina Zhang
    Written on February 20, 2018
    "Reading has always been a hobby of mine. To find the best literature of each country has been an interest for a long time and when I got to Russian literature on my list I had to do some real searching. One of the best novels that I ended up reading was War and Peace. This novel made me feel things that I haven't felt in a while from a book."
  3. 39

    #3Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina is widely regarded as one of the best books ever written by Leo Tolstoy, which was first published in 1878. This follows the story of Countess Anna Karenina and her affair with Count Vronsky.


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    Sandra Gibson
    Written on February 10, 2018
    "Russian literature has no comparison when it comes to deep and meaningful explorations of society in beautiful language. There's no one like Tolstoy, and Anna Karenina might be his most immersive and impactful work of all. Every character is rich and detailed, and the book as a whole chronicles the beauty and difficulty of being human. A must for any novel lover."
  1. 38

    #4The Brothers Karamazov

    The Brothers Karamazov

    The Brothers Karamazov is Fyodor Dostoyevsky's final novel. It tells the story of four brothers―Dmtiri, Ivan, Alyosha, and Smerdyakov. Dostoyevsky writes about 19th-century Russian life and talks about religion, ethics, and morality.


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    Jacob Garcia
    Written on February 13, 2018
    "The best translation, hands down. As far as the story itself, no other writer comes close to Dostoevsky in painting the different shades of human nature. A must read."
  2. 33

    #5Eugene Onegin

    Eugene Onegin
    Eugene Onegin is a novel written in verse by the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Made up of 389 stanzas in iambic tetrameter, it is a philosophical telling of the story of three men and three women.

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    Howard Washington
    Written on February 8, 2018
    "I wanted to read Eugene Onegin for a long time and I finally got my hands on a copy. The experience of reading this book is grand, I can easily see why it is considered one of the best Russian novels of all time."
  3. 32

    #6Fathers and Sons

    Fathers and Sons
    Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev depicts the generational conflict that triggered the Russian revolution: the aristocracy of the old and the radicalism of the young, as personified by the protagonist Bazarov.


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    David Carrasco
    Written on March 2, 2018
    "I know that this is a story that my friend liked. However, after reading it, I feel it was a bit lacking."
  4. 31

    #7Notes From Underground

    Notes From Underground
    In Notes from the Underground, Fyodor Dostoyevsky tells the story of an unnamed narrator who retreated underground, fully isolating himself from society. It exhibits Dostoyevsky's thoughts on society and the human condition.

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    Thomas Pearson
    Written on February 27, 2018
    "Notes From Underground for it being short is a long read. Written by one of Russia best selling authors Fyodor Dostoyevky. A men leaves to be alone but seems to hate the world for being alone. The book is split up over a few events and times in his life. Many notes and pages of society. "
  5. 29



    Ivan Goncharov's novel, Oblomov, focuses on the life of Ilya Ilyich Oblamov, a member of the landed gentry. Set in the early 19th century, this novel tackles the flaws of feudalism and the vast differences between social classes.


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    Bryan Edwards
    Written on February 16, 2018
    "I don't know too many Russian novels. But, this one was a good read - I can't disagree with that. If you are looking to get into Russian reading, this is a pretty good start point."
  6. 27

    #9Doctor Zhivago

    Doctor Zhivago
    Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak tells the story of the eponymous Yuri Zhivago, Tonya, Lara, and Pasha. Set against the backdrop of the Russian revolution, the book is rife with commentary on the political struggles of the time.

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    Aarav Banerjee
    Written on February 19, 2018
    "A timeless classic can never be replaced. Doctor Zhivago is that timeless classic. I don't need to give a quick summary on what the story is about as everyone should be familiar with this story. It's one of the best novels of all time and it definitely should be one in your collection. I know I have several copies of it on my book shelf as well as the digital versions of it too for ebooks. Such a fantastic novel."
  7. 25

    #10The Master and Margarita

    The Master and Margarita

    The Master and Margarita is a satire about the devil visiting the godless Soviet Union in the 1930s. Mikhail Bulgakov wrote the book during Stalin's regime and can be regarded as a response to political repression.


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    Randy Torres
    Written on February 13, 2018
    "The book had a lot more depth than I expected. It depicted soviet society very well."
  8. 23



    We is a dystopian novel written by Yevgeny Zamyatin which is set in D-503 lives in the One State existing in glass apartments so the State can keep an eye on the citizens. This book is the inspiration for George Orwell's famous 1984.


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    Jean Nguyen
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This is an amazing book and perhaps one of the first dystopian novels to start them all. The english translation came through very well and the story kept me more interested than a lot of these young adult books that have come out lately."
  9. 10

    #12Heart of a Dog

    Heart of a Dog

    Heart of a Dog is a science fiction novel written by Mikhail Bulgakov which is a satire about the Soviet people. This has been completed after Bulgakov's early novel in 1925. It can also be read as a parable of the Russian Revolution. 


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    Karina González
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "Heart of a Dog gives an interesting account of the author's view of the Bolshevik Revolution and its effect on Russian society at the time. He makes some good comparisons between the dog-turned-monster and the failure of communism to fix the problems in Russia. Basically there were a whole new host of problems that were even worse than the old ones. It is a good example of a carefully written satire. "
  10. 4

    #13One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is a classic Russian historical fiction novel written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It was first published as Novy Mir in 1962 and translated by H.T. Wells in 1991. 


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    Gregory Franklin
    Written on May 23, 2018
    "The product page was irritated."
  11. 1

    #14The Idiot

    The Idiot
    The Idiot is a philosophical novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, first published in 1869. It tells the story of Prince Lec Nikolayevich Myshkin, who returns to Russia after spending years in a sanatorium in Switzerland.

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    Anna Fowler
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "I just finished reading this book and absolutely loved it. Why did I wait so long to read this book?! I love how Fyodor Dostoevsky developed the characters and the hero is someone that you can really root for. "
  12. 0

    #15Transparent Things

    Transparent Things

    Transparent Things is a classical fiction novel by Vladimir which follow Hugh Person and his journey throughout his life, as well as his adventures of love, murder, madness, and imprisonment. It was published in 1989 by Vintage.


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    Aaron Reed
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "For my literary class in college we had to read a Russian novel, I decided to read Transparent Things. It is considered to be one of the best of all time and I would say that I agree with that."
  13. 0

    #16The House of the Dead

    The House of the Dead

    The House of the Dead is a political novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, originally published in 1861. Drawing from his experiences in a prison camp in Siberia, the novel tells the story of a man sentenced to ten years of hard labor.


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    George Weber
    Written on April 1, 2018
    "I found the story of the House of the Dead to be incredibly gripping and immersive. The one thing I love about this book is the fact that it's not too flowery in its language. It's presented in a very flowing and easy to read manner. "
  14. 0

    #17Netochka Nezvanova

    Netochka Nezvanova

    Netochka Nezvanova is a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, first published in 1849. 'Nameless Nobody' in English, Dostoevsky was unable to finish this novel as he was sent to exile in Siberia.


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    Daniel McDonald
    Written on April 7, 2018
    "One of the best Russian novels that I have ever read was Netochka Nezvanova I had heard a lot of good things about this novel but never had the chance to check it out until a couple of months ago. I really found the story and concepts to be a different style than I had ever experienced before."
  15. 0

    #18Bend Sinister

    Bend Sinister

    Bend Sinister is a classical fiction novel by Vladimir Nabokov which follows the story of John Krug, a philosopher who stands up to the Average Man party which seeks to eliminate individualism. It was published in 2015 by Penguin Books Ltd.


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    Theresa Perry
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "A great book recommended by a friend. Would continue the legacy and recommend this book to any of my book loving friends. The title is a little strange but so is the main character! He's awesome to get to know and his story is even more interesting than he is. If there's a thunderstorm and you're settling down with some tea near the fire place, this is the book you want to read. I absolutely loved it and will continue to love it as I read it again and again. My advice is not to read it quickly but take your time and analyse all of the characters moves and words to better understand their motives. "
  16. 0

    #19King, Queen, Knave

    King, Queen, Knave

    King, Queen, Knave is a classical fiction novel by Vladimir Nabokov which follows the story of an Oedipal love-triangle as well as the tragic comedy that the situation presents. It was published in 2010 by Penguin Books.


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    Humberto Domínguez
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "Nabokov's second novel is stunning. He's a extremely bright person. This novel is based on a love triangle. The twist was surprising and interesting but what makes this novel is the authors ability to go into the depths of the characters thoughts and emotions."
  17. 0

    #20The Gift

    The Gift

    The Gift is a classical fiction novel by Vladimir Nabokov and his ode to Russian literature. It is the story of Godunov, a poor poet who dreams of writing a book someday. It was originally written in Russian and was published in 2001 by Penguin Books.


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  18. 0

    #21The Shooting Party

    The Shooting Party
    The Shooting Party is the only full-length novel written by Anton Chekhov. The Shooting Party was published on June 24, 2004 by Penguin Classics. This edition was translated by Ronald Wilks.

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    Scott Jones
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "Ancient paint book"
  19. 0



    Pnin is a classical fiction novel by Vladimir Nabokov which follows the story of Professor Timofey Pnin, a Russian immigrant who finds himself employed in an American college campus in the 1950s. It was published in 2004 by Everyman's Library.


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    Jonathan Black
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "A funny and touching story of a young Russian immigrant and his adventures in America, which I found thoroughly charming. Droll, thoughtful, swinging from pathos to farce, it's both well written and fascinating. "
  20. 0

    #23Laughter in the Dark

    Laughter in the Dark

    Laughter in the Dark is a classical fiction novel by Vladimir Nabokov which follows the story of Albinus, a rich man who fell prey to his own desires, eventually falling to his ruin. It was published in 2006 by New Directions.


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  21. 0

    #24The Original of Laura

    The Original of Laura
    The Original of Laura is a classical fiction novel by Vladimir Nabokov and his last unfinished work. He had asked his heirs to burn his rough draft, but his son Dmitri allowed it to be published. It was published in 2009 by Knopf Publishing Group.

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    Shirley Gonzalez
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "The Original of Laura is the best Russian novels of all time"
  22. 0

    #25Invitation to a Beheading

    Invitation to a Beheading

    Invitation to a Beheading is a classical fiction novel by Vladimir Nabokov which follows the story of Cincinnatus C., a man in jail bound to be beheaded for "gnostical turpitude", an imaginary crime. It was published in 1989 by Vintage.


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    Kathryn Munoz
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "This book ostensibly wants to be surreal and strange. It may be a notable Russian work that is celebrated, but it's just trying too hard. The absurdity of Kafka feels natural whereas this feels quite manufactured. "
  23. 0

    #26The Adolescent

    The Adolescent
    The Adolescent is a novel by renowned Russian author, Fyodor Dostoevsky. Translated from the original by Richard Pevear, it tells the story of a 19-year-old boy who sets out on a journey to St. Petersburg to meet the father he never knew.

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    Guo Hu
    Written on March 31, 2018
    "Dostoevsky's just about the only Russian author I can think of, so he must be the best, right!? It's not acknowledged as one of his best and breaks a lot of his former conventions but if you've already read the rest, why not dip your toes in on something different? An interesting experience if nothing else."
  24. -1

    #27The Insulted and Humiliated

    The Insulted and Humiliated

    Originally published in 1861, The Insulted and Humiliated is a novel by acclaimed Russian author, Fyodor Dostoevsky. It tells the story of a prince who fell in love with a girl from a poor family and the troubles that came with it.


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    Ann Jin
    Written on April 7, 2018
    "If you've never read any work written by Dostoevsky, I highly recommend this be your first! It's a beautiful story about life and love. My only complaint about this book is that it was too short. I wanted more!"


Best What are the best Russian novels of all time
1Crime and PunishmentBooks 45 Paid
2War and PeaceBooks 41 Paid
3Anna KareninaBooks 39 Free
4The Brothers KaramazovBooks 38 Paid
5Eugene OneginBooks 33 Paid
6Fathers and SonsBooks 32 Paid
7Notes From UndergroundBooks 31 Paid
8OblomovBooks 29 Paid
9Doctor ZhivagoBooks 27 Paid
10The Master and MargaritaBooks 25 Paid

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