Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a story!
An epic saga of life from beginning to end of 20th century Russia, it left me totally exhausted!
Sashenka is such an amazing book, full of riches both emotionally and historically. Montefiore tells an incredibly detailed, sometimes beautiful, sometimes utterly tragic story of a series of women linked by the formidable Sashenka. I loved the way the many personal...
Published on 6 July 2009 by Mrs. M. Widdowson

versus
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Told Melodrama
If you generally enjoy well told but non-too-serious melodrama which invents sensual characters who converse personally with everyone from Rasputin to Lenin and Stalin, you might enjoy this. The tale is competently told, without ever digging too deeply into the political and social complexities of the period. The sexual content hovers uncertainly between the salacious and...
Published on 7 Mar. 2010 by Jamie


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a story!, 6 July 2009
By 
Mrs. M. Widdowson "Moospeare" (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sashenka (Paperback)
An epic saga of life from beginning to end of 20th century Russia, it left me totally exhausted!
Sashenka is such an amazing book, full of riches both emotionally and historically. Montefiore tells an incredibly detailed, sometimes beautiful, sometimes utterly tragic story of a series of women linked by the formidable Sashenka. I loved the way the many personal stories wove in and out of each other, the plot was superb. I lived and breathed with the characters losing all sense of time and space as I read on to see how the many twists and turns of history would affect the spirited heroine and her colourful family.The book truly made me realise just how much the Russian people experienced in the 20th century, Russia has seen such incredible changes!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 3 July 2008
By 
Dr. Robert A. Josey "mystery lover" (Scottish Highlands) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sashenka (Hardcover)
I didn't know quite how to approach this novel. I have read both of Montefiore's studies of Stalin, young and old. They are both extremely disturbing books - but full of telling historical incident, twisted plotting which just couldn't be made up, and an eye for the intimate detail.

Montefiore, the historical fiction writer, employs those strengths in creating an exceptionally powerful saga. I really felt drawn into the story and began to get quite emotionally involved about a third of the way through the book. The writing is vivid, well paced and evocative. (There are also knowing echoes of Tolstoy and Pasternak in there.)

But, above all, I was totally, unashamedly gripped by the 'what is going to happen next?' syndrome. The characters became people I really cared about - and the ending..? It is everything the reviewers said. A real hammer blow to the heart.

'Sashenka' is an excellent 'literary historical novel'. It is passionate, complex, incisive, salutary and utterly bloody upsetting. One of those classic books that people will want to read again - I certainly will - when I recover from it - and enthuse others to read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 10 Oct. 2010
By 
M. Hughes (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sashenka (Paperback)
Having read both 'Young Stalin' and 'The Court of the Red Tsar' and found them very readable, I bought this about a year ago and it sat on my shelf for all that time as the blurb didn't really sell it. However, it is an absolutely gripping read. You do really find yourself caring about the characters and their fate but, more than that, it provides a fascinating insight into how easily one could slip from favour in Stalinist Russia: just one careless act can set off an horrific chain of events. I really felt the emotions the characters were going through and the 'Terror' they must have felt: something, of course, many thousands of real people went through. A highly recommended read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Told Melodrama, 7 Mar. 2010
By 
Jamie (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sashenka (Paperback)
If you generally enjoy well told but non-too-serious melodrama which invents sensual characters who converse personally with everyone from Rasputin to Lenin and Stalin, you might enjoy this. The tale is competently told, without ever digging too deeply into the political and social complexities of the period. The sexual content hovers uncertainly between the salacious and attempts to give thinly-drawn characters warmth and depth. Long, at over 600 pages, but easy to read and unchallenging text.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well researched historical novel - with a level of detail that brings the Russian Revolution right into your living room., 11 Mar. 2010
By 
S. Barnes (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sashenka (Paperback)
Sashenka - where to start? - she begins in the story as an idealistic, intelligent educated young woman. At the age of sixteen she is in that transitory period between a child's world and an adult's world. Her parents and beloved English nanny see her very much as inhabiting the former, but Shashenka has by this time already been in rebellion against the materialistic world of her parents and peers at school, and has been inhabiting a darker and more idealistic world. Already at odds with the riches, indulgences and frivolities of upper class society, Shashenka has been recruited by her Uncle Mendel into an idealistic underworld of socialism, and the Communist Party. Party numbers are low in St. Petersburg in 1916 and Shashenka "Comrade Snowfox" has an important part to play in running messages, arms, ammunition and information. A brief run in with the law leads her down some darker alleys, and trying to play a game of double-deceit she ends up in a series of flirtatious meetings with a Tsarist Gendarme officer, Captin Sagan. The story continues as Russia escalates into revolution.

In turn spanning three generations, there's a lot of history to take in with the plot. We have Shashenka at sixteen at the beginning; Shashenka and her family 20 years later, still in turbulent times of communist Russia and under constant threat of persecution for being of aristocratic background; and then the story of a young Russian history graduate in 1994 becoming entangled in the story of Shashenka and her husband and children, in attempt to find out what became of them and whether they might be related to a family history search she has become embroiled in.

With a few slightly unbelievable moments aside, this is an excellent story, and a vivid and emotional portrayal of life in twentieth-century Russia. Only the hardest of hearts could fail to be moved by Shashenka's story and the plight of millions of Russians during times or civil war, revolution, famine, terror and persecution, and I can wholeheartedly recommend the book to anyone who enjoys well-researched historical fiction, whatever the era. 5* from me, and some more fiction please Simon Montefiore?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED THIS BOOK, 25 Aug. 2010
By 
Mrs. Judith Lugg "Judith Lugg" (Wolverhampton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sashenka (Paperback)
Sashenka

Unputdowable, well researched, on the edge of your seat stuff and if that's not enough, it can also make you cry! I picked it up in a charity shop for 60p!! What a bargain.
Don't miss this one - it will be amongst my books that I keep to re-read again and again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding work of fiction, 22 Jun. 2009
By 
Sue K (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sashenka (Paperback)
This was my holiday reading and I it took just three days to read. I finished it last week and I am still haunted by this book so much in fact I am finding it hard to start a new book. I am fascinated by post and pre revolutionary Russia and I hadn't read a book like this before, where we actually get to see daily life in Stalin's Russia. A very frightening place to be. I hope Mr Montefiore has another fictional book on this era in mind and I shall be pre-ordering it here.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable and unputdownable, 10 July 2008
This review is from: Sashenka (Hardcover)
This novel is powerful, emotional, passionate and compelling.

It's been a long time since a book kept me on the edge of my seat and made me cry as much as this one did, and rare for me to want to re-read a novel so soon after finishing it .... even though I know that I will cry again! Books that get under the skin are few and far between, but SASHENKA is without doubt one of them.

The story is completely and utterly absorbing with a feisty heroine who grabbed my attention instantly and made me desperate to learn every detail of her fate and of the time that she lived in.

This is my favourite way to learn my history - as a vivid backdrop to a poignant saga.

For me what is really clever about this novel is that the sheer page-turning excitement and terror of Sashenka's life is coupled with an awe-inspiring sense of historical authenticity. Without quite realising it I learnt a huge amount about Russian history from reading this, but I was so swept up in the passionate love story and the sinister and violent politics that I absorbed it all completely effortlessly, and with great enjoyment.

Russia comes to life in this book and there is page after page of thrills as archives are opened and secrets exposed.I could feel the sense of dread and grasp the fear of Stalin's regime, I could imagine the thrill of an illicit and dangerous affair, I felt gripped by my affection for Montefiore's characters, and devastated by their tragedies.

For anyone wanting to read something unforgettable - look no further.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a dull book!, 1 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sashenka (Paperback)
This book was recommended as a read for the book club I belong to. All the others in the group(bar another one) loved it but I just couldn't get into it. I thought the story was slow and I couldn't connect with the characters. I never give up on a book but I'm afraid I did with this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not-put-downable, 20 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Sashenka (Hardcover)
The book is extremely moving as a novel - the characters, their fate, the evocation of time and place that feels absolutely real.
And it also contributes to an understanding of a phenomenon still all too relevant for our times - fanaticism. The context is Russian, romantic young idealists, whose absolute beliefs made them capable of blindness until forced to see, but by then it was too late. In the midst of all the brutality of the Stalin years, much of what humans are capable of is encountered in the drama: the conflict between decency and attempted self-preservation, murderous violence, heroism and also, even in those terrible times, passionate romance. There is an ironic twist at the end, but hardly more unlikely than the spectacle of Putin placing roses on the coffin of Solzhenitsyn. A great read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Sashenka
Sashenka by Simon Sebag Montefiore (Paperback - 12 Mar. 2009)
£7.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews