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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

raycun
Feb. 3rd, 2015 01:35 pm (UTC)
I'm sure there are plenty of terrible Russian novels (written by Russians and set in Russia) that are never translated, and so they won't end up on Librarything or Goodreads.
In the same way that when we think of Russian cinema, we think of the movies that get subtitled or dubbed and released here in arthouse cinemas, not The Irony of Fate: Continuation or Black Lightning

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