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See note on methodology

Despite the richness of the field, there is a surprising convergence not just on the best-known book set in Russia, but on the top three spots. In order, the most widely-owned books set in Russia on both LibraryThing and GoodReads (all nineteenth-century classics) are:

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Anna Karenina by Lev Tolstoy
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

At fourth place on GoodReads (fifth on LibraryThing) is a twentieth-century magical realist satire on Stalinism, written by a Ukrainian but clearly set in Moscow:

The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov

And on fourth place on Librarything (sixth on Goodreads, behind a bio of Catherine the Great) is my personal favourite work of Russian literature, though I suspect that its sheer size puts some readers off:

War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy.

Bubbling under: Solzhenitsyn, Zamyatin, Gogol, Nabokov.

Comments

strange_complex
Feb. 3rd, 2015 12:23 pm (UTC)
I'm curious - is it literally 12 words long, or does it employ a vocabulary of only 12 words? There is, of course, a famous six-word-long story ("For sale. Baby shoes. Never used."), but I'd struggle to imagine how anything approaching War & Peace could be conveyed in a total of only 12!
owlfish
Feb. 3rd, 2015 01:05 pm (UTC)
Literally twelve words. Twelve different words. Most of the story is told through felt figures - twelve photos of vignettes, each with a word.

Edited at 2015-02-03 01:06 pm (UTC)
strange_complex
Feb. 3rd, 2015 01:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I suppose I see how that could work, accompanied by a lot of talking about what was going on in the pictures. It sounds cute, anyway!

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