Personally when it comes to reading now I mostly read some technical literature, as for fiction it mostly stayed in the past and now exists only in my own writing for me. But if you ever get interested in reading some of Russian literature which of course got a pretty rich choice to choose I allow myself to offer my own strictly subjective list of Russian books that I would approached first if I’ve never dealt with Russian literature before. When you come abroad first name that is usually heard when it comes to Russian literature is Chekhov, well, he is not even close on that list, I’m not a fan of his praised plays at all, his stories are great though, the funniest things ever. In fact I could never understand how the same person can write such dull plays and such great fascinating short stories.
So as you may have guessed this list got nothing to do with introducing you to a Russian must read classics, it’s more of my essence of all Russian classics that combines classic and entertainment in one, without torturing you through the lines of unspeakable not understandable dull lines but very important to the fortune of a literature world but absolutely unnecessary for you personally. In short - 7 books that worth reading.
So here are my 7 top Russian books to read. I could make it 10 but why would I if there are 7.
1. Fyodor Dostoevsky “The Idiot”
Well, in fact that is the only Russian book that you should read. Honestly, the best of the best. I don’t know if there is more perfect book than that and more Russian at the same time.
2. Mikhail Lermontov “A Hero of Our Time”
That one was my favorite when I was a teenager. The best character of all, the most exciting with a great lust for life and experience, with so much passion. Probably the most passionate book of all. You could fall in love with the main character from the pages of the book without seeing him. Lermontov is my fovorite Russian poet.
3. Nikolay Gogol “The Portrait”
Well, actually you should read everything you can find of him. He’s the top of the top. The greatest Russian mystic of all time. Some of his stuff is truly horrifying. “The Portrait” is one of those. It’s not really a book, it’s a story, pretty short one but the creepiest ever. I remember the light went off when I was reading it at night, I thought my heart stopped, scared the hell out of me.
4. Alexander Grin “Running on Waves”
The very romatic and magical with element of mystery. Very personal book for me, my father read it to my mother when she was pregnant with me. Leaves a great feeling of lightness after reading.
5. Mikhail Bulgakov “Master and Margarita”
The craziest one. Be prepared for the most fascinating and weird read you’ve ever experienced. I don’t know honestly what can be more fascinating than this book. Mystical and dark, romantic and cynical. One of the favorite books of Russian students.
6. Leo Tolstoy “War and Piece”
Of course, it is! Where can we go without it. The greatest saga. Don’t be fooled by it’s size, it’s a great read, great story, great adventure and great lives. As soon as you’re into it you won’t be able to let go. “Gone with the Wind” Russian style.
7. Alexander Pushkin “The Squire’s Daughter”
Alexander Pushkin is a famous Russian poet but he wrote prose as well. “The Squire’s Daughter” is one of his stories, the most touching, romatic, funny, light and young. And very Russian.