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Understanding Russia

Dive deeper than the headlines

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Once Upon a Time in Russia

The Rise of the Oligarchs and the Greatest Wealth in History

By Ben Mezrich
Narrated by: Jeremy Bobb
Length: 6 hours 46 minutes

The New York Times bestselling author of Bringing Down the House and The Accidental Billionaires tells his most incredible story yet: A true drama of obscene wealth, crime, rivalry, and betrayal from deep inside the world of billionaire Russian oligarchs that Booklist called “one more example of just how talented a storyteller [Mezrich] is.”

Meet... Read more »

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The Sacred Book of the Werewolf

By Victor Pelevin & Brom
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 12 hours

A. Hu-li, beautiful and curiously foxlike, has the appearance of a luscious fourteen-year-old girl, the mind of a sly Buddhist monk, and an endearing habit of name-dropping all the famous people she’s met over the past two thousand years. She works as a classy prostitute in Moscow’s premier hotels, until one client goes inexplicably and fatally... Read more »

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A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld

By Misha Glenny
Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 15 hours 45 minutes

Misha Glenny's groundbreaking study of global organized crime is now the inspiration for an 8-part AMC crime drama starring James Norton (War and Peace), Juliet Rylance, and David Strathairn. 

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the deregulation of international financial markets in 1989, governments and... Read more »

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City of Thieves

A Novel

By David Benioff
Narrated by: Ron Perlman
Length: 8 hours 28 minutes

From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour and When the Nines Roll Over and co-creator of the HBO series Game of Thrones, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the... Read more »

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Little Failure

A Memoir

By Gary Shteyngart
Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross
Length: 12 hours 46 minutes

After three acclaimed novels-- The Russian Debutante' s Handbook, Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story-- Gary Shteyngart turns to memoir in a candid, witty, deeply poignant account of his life so far. Shteyngart shares his American immigrant experience, moving back and forth through time and memory with self-deprecating humor, moving... Read more »

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The Master and Margarita

By Mikhail Bulgakov
Narrated by: David Catlin, Thomas Cox, Lawrence DiStasi, Christine Dunford, Laura Eason, Joy Gregory, Doug Hara, David Kersnar, Mariann Mayberry, Joey Slotnick, Phillip Smith & Andrew White
Length: 1 hours 48 minutes

A full-cast audio dramatization of Mikhail Bulgakov’s classic novel. Satan and his retinue, including a seven foot tall skinny fellow with a pince-nez , an obnoxious cigar smoking black cat and a beautiful naked vampire visit Moscow in the 1920s, taking with them chaos and insanity where ever they go.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance... Read more »

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How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground

By Kevin Poulsen
Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
Length: 8 hours 8 minutes

The word spread through the hacking underground like some unstoppable new virus: Someone—some brilliant, audacious crook—had just staged a hostile takeover of an online criminal network that siphoned billions of dollars from the U.S. economy. The FBI rushed to launch an ambitious undercover operation aimed at tracking down this new kingpin.... Read more »

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Red Sparrow

A Novel

By Jason Matthews
Narrated by: Jeremy Bobb
Length: 17 hours 54 minutes

Now a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton!

From the New York Times bestselling author and veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews comes the electrifying modern spy thriller Red Sparrow.

In contemporary Russia, state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova has been drafted to become a “Sparrow”—a spy trained in the art of... Read more »

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A Very Expensive Poison

The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin's War with the West

By Luke Harding
Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
Length: 13 hours 11 minutes

A true story of murder and conspiracy that points directly to Vladimir Putin, by The Guardian’s former Moscow bureau chief.

On November 1, 2006, journalist and Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in London. He died twenty-two days later. The cause of death? Polonium—a rare, lethal, and highly radioactive substance. Here Luke... Read more »

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Doctor Zhivago

By Boris Pasternak, Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky
Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 23 hours 15 minutes

Boris Pasternak’s widely acclaimed novel comes gloriously to life in a magnificent new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, the award-winning translators of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and to whom, The New York Review of Books declared, “the English-speaking world is indebted.”
First published in Italy in 1957 amid... Read more »

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Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

By Robert K. Massie
Narrated by: Mark Deakins
Length: 23 hours 50 minutes

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure young German princess who traveled to Russia at fourteen and rose to become one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history.

Born into... Read more »

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By Gary Shteyngart
Narrated by: Adam Grupper
Length: 12 hours 31 minutes

Named as one of the New York Times Year's Ten Best upon its publication, Gary Shteyngart's Absurdistan is a biting, poignant satire of American-style democracy and the American Dream. After returning to Russia to attend his father's funeral, 30-year-old Misha is subsequently denied a visa when he attempts to re-enter the United States. What... Read more »

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Midnight in Siberia

A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia

By David Greene
Narrated by: David Greene
Length: 7 hours 41 minutes

After two and a half years as NPR’s Moscow bureau chief, David Greene travels across the country—a 6,000 mile journey by rail, from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok—to speak with ordinary Russians about how their lives have changed in the post-Soviet years. Reaching beyond the headline—grabbing protests in Moscow, Green speaks with a... Read more »

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The Russian Debutante's Handbook

By Gary Shteyngart
Narrated by: Adam Grupper
Length: 15 hours 45 minutes

Best-selling author Gary Shteyngart's exquisite fiction is met with a level of critical acclaim reserved for the very best in the field. In this startlingly provocative work, Russian immigrant Vladimir Girshkin searches for love and self-identity while interacting with a quirky set of acquaintances. "No novelist thinks more globally than Gary... Read more »

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Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia

By Peter Pomerantsev
Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
Length: 8 hours 27 minutes

In the new Russia, even dictatorship is a reality show.

Professional killers with the souls of artists, would-be theater directors turned Kremlin puppet-masters, suicidal supermodels, Hell’s Angels who hallucinate themselves as holy warriors, and oligarch revolutionaries: welcome to the glittering, surreal heart of twenty-first-century Russia.... Read more »

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A Gentleman in Moscow

A Novel

By Amor Towles
Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
Length: 17 hours 51 minutes

A Gentleman in Moscow

“I believe A Gentleman In Moscow is without dispute a modern day masterpiece. Towles uses exquisite language to tell the story of Count Rostov, a charming and witty "man of intent", who is confined to a fabulous hotel in Moscow for all his days. But that doesn't stop the count from living a sumptuous and meaningful life and he, in turn, graciously affects all the lives around him. I can't praise this book enough.”

R.J. Julia Booksellers image Mary , R.J. Julia Booksellers
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Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs

By Douglas Smith
Narrated by: PJ Ochlan
Length: 33 hours 2 minutes

On the centenary of the death of Rasputin comes a definitive biography that will dramatically change our understanding of this fascinating figure

A hundred years after his murder, Rasputin continues to excite the popular imagination as the personification of evil. Numerous biographies, novels, and films recount his mysterious rise to power as... Read more »

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Dead Souls

By Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol & D. J. Hogarth
Narrated by: Tom Weiner
Length: 12 hours 57 minutes

Regarded as the first great masterpiece of Russian literature, Dead Souls mixes realism and symbolism for a vivid and highly original portrait of Russian life.

Chichikov, a mysterious stranger, arrives in a provincial town with a bizarre but seductive proposition for local landowners. He proposes to buy the names of their serfs who have died but... Read more »

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The Future Is History

How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

By Masha Gessen
Narrated by: Masha Gessen
Length: 16 hours 44 minutes




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Anna Karenina

By Leo Tolstoy, Louise Maude & Aylmer Maude
Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
Length: 33 hours 36 minutes

Sensual, rebellious Anna falls deeply and passionately in love with the handsome Count Vronsky. When she refuses to conduct the discreet affair that her cold, ambitious husband—and Russian high society—would condone, she is doomed. Set against the tragic love of Anna and Vronsky, the plight of the melancholy nobleman Konstantine Levin unfolds.... Read more »

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