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Understanding Russia

Dive deeper than the headlines

Once Upon a Time in Russia

The Rise of the Oligarchs and the Greatest Wealth in History
By Ben Mezrich
Narrated by Jeremy Bobb /  6 hours 46 minutes

The bestselling author of Bringing Down the House (sixty-three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and the basis for the hit movie 21) and The Accidental Billionaires (the basis for the Academy Award–winning film The Social Network) delivers an epic drama of wealth, rivalry, and betrayal among mega-wealthy Russian oligarchs—and its... Read More »

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The Sacred Book of the Werewolf

By Victor Pelevin & Brom
Narrated by Cassandra Campbell /  12 hours

A. Huli, 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 2,000 years. She works as a classy prostitute in Moscow's premier hotels, until one client goes inexplicably and fatally berserk... Read More »

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McMafia

A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld
By Misha Glenny
Narrated by John Lee /  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 /  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 /  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 /  1 hour 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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Kingpin

How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground
By Kevin Poulsen
Narrated by Eric Michael Summerer /  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
17 hours 54 minutes

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton!

The start of a major career! A gripping, highly commercial espionage thriller written with the delicious insider detail and up-to-the-minute insight, only known to a veteran CIA spook.

In today’s Russia, dominated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, state intelligence... 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 /  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 /  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 /  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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Absurdistan

By Gary Shteyngart
Narrated by Adam Grupper /  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 /  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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Russian Debutante’s Handbook

By Gary Shteyngart
Narrated by Adam Grupper /  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. 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 /  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 /  17 hours 51 minutes

“The book is like a salve. I think the world feels disordered right now. The count’s refinement and genteel nature are exactly what we’re longing for.” Ann Patchett

“How delightful that in an era as crude as ours this finely composed novel stretches out with old-World elegance.” —The Washington Post


He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.

... Read More »

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Rasputin

Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs
By Douglas Smith
Narrated by PJ Ochlan /  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 Gogol & D. J. Hogarth
Narrated by Tom Weiner /  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 /  16 hours 44 minutes

WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, LOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, BOSTON GLOBE, SEATTLE TIMES, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, NEWSWEEK, PASTE, and POP SUGAR

The essential journalist and bestselling biographer of...
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Anna Karenina

By Leo Tolstoy, Louise Maude & Aylmer Maude
Narrated by Wanda McCaddon /  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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