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The Best Russian Novels

Updated June 14, 2019 10.2k votes 1.4k voters 23.9k views40 items

List RulesVote up the greatest fiction books and novellas by writers from Russia.

List of the best Russian novels from some of the most popular Russian authors from different time periods in history. Some of these Russian authors show up multiple times for their various works, such as Leo Tolstoy, Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

This list asks, "what is the best Russian novel?" and has plenty of choices to vote on. If your favorite novel has not been added to the list, be sure to add it yourself so that it can get some votes, as well. The list contains a variety of novel titles along with their authors to help identify them better and just skims the top of the best Russian novels.

These best Russian novels on the list were some of the main novels that contributed to all genres of literature, such as mystery, science fiction and even magic and mystical creatures, as in The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.

Russians have been awarded five Nobel Prize awards for literature, with four of them being for novelists and one being award to a poet and playwright. The four Russian novelists are included on this list of the best Russian novels to be voted on.
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  • 1
    496
    136

    Crime and Punishment

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    Crime and Punishment is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first...  more

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    #21 of 54 The Best Mystery Novels#15 of 32 The Best Audiobook Versions of Classic Novels

  • 2
    395
    127

    The Brothers Karamazov

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    The Brothers Karamazov, sometimes also translated as The Karamazov Brothers, is the final...  more

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    #105 of 171 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Having Read#436 of 704 Books That Changed Your Life

  • 3
    393
    134

    War and Peace

    Leo Tolstoy
    War and Peace is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1869. The work...  more

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    #29 of 103 The Best Selling Books of All Time#19 of 40 Classic Books You Never Need To Read Again

  • 4
    461
    159

    Anna Karenina

    Leo Tolstoy
    Anna Karenina is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments...  more

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    #37 of 117 The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written#30 of 46 The Greatest Chick Lit Books Of All Time

  • 5
    214
    121

    The Idiot

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    The Idiot is a novel written by the 19th-century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was...  more

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    #140 of 1,235 The Best Novels Ever Written#232 of 331 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time

  • 6
    305
    149

    Doctor Zhivago

    Boris Pasternak
    Doctor Zhivago is a novel by Boris Pasternak, first published in 1957 in Italy. The novel is...  more

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    #40 of 87 List of Oscar-Winning Adapted Screenplay Original Sources#47 of 63 The Best Books With Doctor in the Title

  • 7
    200
    157

    The Master and Margarita

    Mikhail Bulgakov
    The Master and Margarita is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, written between 1928 and 1940, but...  more

    More 

    #24 of 65 The Best Satirical Novels#34 of 47 The Greatest Experimental Literature

  • 8
    174
    130

    Notes from Underground

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    Notes from Underground, also translated as Notes from the Underground or Letters from the...  more
  • 9
    149
    141

    Dead Souls

    Nikolai Gogol
    Dead Souls is a novel by Nikolai Gogol, first published in 1842, and widely regarded as an...  more
  • 10
    176
    139
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is a novel written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, first...  more
  • 11
    256
    186

    Lolita

    Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov
    Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, written in English and published in 1955 in Paris, in...  more

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    #8 of 57 The Best Postmodern Novels#29 of 48 The Best Novels About Sociopaths

  • 12
    151
    128
    The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the...  more
  • 13
    150
    105

    The Gift

    Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov
    The Gift is Vladimir Nabokov's final Russian novel, and is considered to be his farewell to...  more
  • 14
    112
    126

    Eugene Onegin

    Aleksandr Pushkin
    Eugene Onegin is a novel in verse written by Alexander Pushkin. It is a classic of Russian...  more
  • 15
    91
    80

    Demons

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    Demons is an anti-nihilistic novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, first published in the journal The...  more
  • 16
    80
    109

    A Hero of Our Time

    Mikhail Lermontov
    A Hero of Our Time is a novel by Mikhail Lermontov, written in 1839 and revised in 1841. It is...  more
  • 17
    95
    100

    The possessed

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    The possessed is Constance Garnett English translation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Bésy....  more
  • 18
    131
    121

    Fathers and Sons

    Ivan Turgenev
    Fathers and Sons, also translated more literally as Fathers and Children, is an 1862 novel by...  more
  • 19
    71
    102

    We

    Yevgeny Zamyatin
    We is a dystopian novel by Yevgeny Zamyatin completed in 1921. The novel was first published...  more
  • 20
    74
    102

    Heart of a Dog

    Mikhail Bulgakov
    Heart of a Dog is a novel by Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov. A biting satire of the New...  more
  • 21
    68
    102

    Cancer Ward

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
    Cancer Ward is a semi-autobiographical novel by Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, first...  more
  • 22
    40
    74

    Queen of Spades

    Aleksandr Pushkin
  • 23
    38
    73

    Hadji Murat

    Leo Tolstoy
    Hadji Murat is a short novel written by Leo Tolstoy from 1896 to 1904 and published...  more
  • 24
    47
    72

    The Cossacks

    Leo Tolstoy
    The Cossacks is a short novel by Leo Tolstoy, published in 1863 in the popular literary...  more
  • 25
    The Gentleman from San Francisco is a short story by a Nobel Prize-winning Russian author Ivan...  more