READING THE RUSSIANS

As "War and Peace" draws to a close on BBC TV I thoroughly recommend reading the book. Don't be put off by the length, the story just rips along. I first read it over a weekend when I was 24, stranded in Paris with no money. I re-read it a few years ago and enjoyed it even more. Not for nothing is it often named as the best novel ever written.

Then there is "Anna Karenina", much sadder but beautifully written, still an amazing read. Tolstoy also wrote wonderful short stories, many of which are quite humorous. He certainly had a good grasp of the many facets of human nature.

Dostoyevsky? Too scary? Try " The Idiot", a wonderful story and easy to read.

Chekhov was the master of the short story. "The lady and the little dog" is a masterpiece of the genre.

Turgenev wrote "Fathers and sons" a novel about that relationship.

Gogol's "Dead souls" despite the title, is comic and satirical.

These great Russians writers give us a broad sweep of archetypal and universal characters that are ever familiar to us. They are perceptive and insightful, moving and emotional, funny and sad and they write beautifully, even in translation.

Don't miss out, give it a go.

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