Customer Reviews


107 Reviews
5 star:
 (70)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (9)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (6)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
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...
Published on 10 Oct 2010 by M. Hughes

versus
16 of 18 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 Lang


‹ Previous | 1 211 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

10 of 10 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


39 of 41 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


7 of 7 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


68 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


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Told Melodrama, 7 Mar 2010
By 
Jamie Lang (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


25 of 29 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


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding work of fiction, 22 Jun 2009
By 
Amazon Customer "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


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


4.0 out of 5 stars Check her out, 6 Aug 2014
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sashenka (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed the author's most recent novel "One Night in Winter", so I rushed out and bought this book, written several years earlier. "Sashenka" is also an impressive historical novel ; it's narrative covering the breadth of the 20th Century in Russia. It tells the tale of Sashenka, a bourgeois girl who becomes a class traitor in her teens and who joins the Bolshevik Party out of some kind of misguided idealism. The first part of the book covers her involvement in the Revolution. The next part of the story leaps forwards to 1939 with Sashenka now a well off and well respected loyal Communist, married with two children. However things go badly wrong for her and her family whenever she embarks on a foolhardy love affair. The third part of the book leaps forward once again to 1994 and a young historical researcher is employed by a wealthy oligarch to find his mother's real parents. This turn of events brings to the fore Sashenka and her family once again. "Sashenka" is well written with lots of likeable characters and credible dialogue. What I liked most about it was it's authenticity. The reader feels like he is right in the middle of the dramatic events that form the backdrop of the novel and feels involved with the characters throughout. Rasputin, Lenin and Stalin all appear in this book and they all have dealings with Sashenka and her family. This novel is an excellent read and it enlightens the reader with regards to what life was like for relatively ordinary people in Tsarist Russia, the Stalinist Soviet Union and modern day post-communist Russia. A good history lesson as well as a cracking story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swept Away!, 13 July 2008
This review is from: Sashenka (Hardcover)
I disagree with the reviewer who didn't like this novel!

I read a lot of straight history, and what I like most about this book is the way the history is melded into the page-turning story. How can one fail to be moved by Sashenka's plight when she falls in love, and then has to choose between her own life and her children? I think this book will appeal to men and women, young and old, and also to children at school who are studying 20th century history. Sure it simplifies some of the historical issues, and yes there are some coincidences, but this story swept me up so that I felt I too was in revolutionary Russia and Stalin's Moscow. It showed me what it would have been like to live in that time and under those terrible pressures when all around you your friends were disappearing. Surely this is what the reading experience is all about? I unreservedly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 211 | 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