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The Bronze Horseman (2000)

by Paullina Simons

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Bronze Horseman (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,863916,279 (4.25)150
"Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose beautiful palaces and stately avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg. Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. It is a hard, impoverished life, yet the Metanovs know many who are not as fortunate as they. The family routine is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanovs, for Leningrad and for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On the fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young officer named Alexander. Tatiana and her family suffer as Hitler's army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn to each other in an impossible love. It is a love that could tear Tatiana's family apart, a love that carries a secret that could mean death for anyone who hears it. Confronted on the one hand by Hitler's unstoppable war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world. Mesmerizing from the very first page to the final, breathtaking end, The Bronze Horseman brings alive the story of two indomitable, heroic spirits and their great love that triumphs over the devastation of a country at war." - Taken from author's website.… (more)
  1. 20
    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (littlebear514)
    littlebear514: Although the stories are COMPLETELY different; the writing is of the same quality and the stories are both deeply involved.

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» See also 150 mentions

English (89)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (91)
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
Alexander and Tatiana fall in love at first sight as Leningrad and Russia prepare for war. Unfortunately, Alexander is going out with Tatiana's older sister. Instead of doing the right thing and breaking it off with the sister, Alexander and Tatiana lead her entire family on a merry ruse in which Alexander lies to and generally fucks up the sister. I don't even know why. Luckily for Alexander and Tatiana, the family is dropping like flies, so when everyone is dead they can be united at last.
This is one of the few books in which the horrible deaths due to bombing, fire, starvation, and cold of a beloved grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, brother, sister, AND cousin are all treated as a good thing, because now Alexander and Tatiana can have sex whenever they want.
But hey, it's a fun read. ( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
This book started great. Such a book, I thought at first, as I devour it with dizzying speed, is now very valuable; If only I could put my hands more often on books of this kind that you cannot let go. And once I find a book same as this one, then, like a little girl I would read it continuously for a whole weekend in bed.

I read this book fascinated. The Siege of Leningrad was an exciting background to the fascinating story of Tatyana's infatuation and maturation; The complicated and delicate situation she had endured, her relationship with her parents and her sister. I loved what Tatiana was at first: childish, absurdly naive, a little helpless and utterly without judgment, selfish as a little girl, but sweet and full of emotion. Alexander, on the other hand, wasn't particularly interesting, and from the very beginning his only definition was Tatiana's guardian angel, but this gentleman, too, had acquired a special place in my heart as I kept on reading, with his gentleness, the quiet he radiates. I read it through Tatiana's eyes, so I wasn't upset that the writer had made him perfect - it was natural when Tatiana was the narrator.

And then everything changed.

The writer's solution to the significant problem created in the plot was so simple - let's kill it and remove the emotional barrier. The plot didn't lead to a more complex solution. There was also no preoccupation with Tatiana's possible guilt for realizing her love for her dead sister's choice, and from that moment on regardless of the plot, the main characters lost their grace. The rest of the book became the dusk of Russia's communist version. Each represents the perfect woman or man in the author's chauvinistic eyes: Tatiana has grown to be what a good wife is expected to be - beautiful, submissive, docile, willing to serve, modest, a model housewife. Alexander turns from a gentle and quiet man into a savage wild beast, even violent. He becomes the voice of both of them as a couple (Tatiana is too sweet to say what is on her mind). The exaggerated sex descriptions of the two exhausted me, made me giggle and roll my eyes. It was just disgusting. There was no gentleness in the realization of their love and their relationship, and the more the writer described their longing for each other throughout the book, the more she failed to express its realization.

They became a repulsive, unreal, uninteresting, obsessive couple with a precise role for men and women. Alexander cuts wood, builds furniture; Tatiana is playing naked or cooking. Alexander commands, Tatiana obeys. Sex, sex all the time, integrates with every action: football game, cooking, fishing, talking about literature, talking about war, building, eating. And all the magic of the book fades away in a few pages. The book becomes all erotic.

I haven't encountered many more such books, that there is such an equal division of writing talent and a big mishap. A book I couldn't get the eye off at first, and I could barely finish reading it at the end. ( )
  mazalbracha | Jan 12, 2019 |
My second commute book was a success. It wasn’t my favorite by any means and I felt like some portions went on and on. Overall I did enjoy it though. I was invested in the character and was rooting for Tatiana and Alexander. I wasn’t a fan of the ending and had hoped it would be different but it did wrap the story up. 3.5-4🌟. ( )
  karenvg3 | Aug 15, 2018 |
I'm beginning to really enjoy the historical fiction genre. This is the 3rd that has been chosen for me in my book clubs. It takes place in Russia during WWII. ( )
  ppmarkgraf | May 5, 2018 |
This is the first book in the Bronze Horseman trilogy. This is a historical fiction novel set in the 1940’s in Russia during Hitler’s invasion of Russia. This book was long and drawn out and plagued by characters that I found frustrating to read about.

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was well done. I would definitely recommend reading on audiobook if you like audiobooks. The narrator did an amazing job.

If I had one to use one word to describe this book it would be...long. This is a long book and it feels long. Although the wartime setting is intriguing, I struggled to stay interested in our two main characters who constantly sabotage their own lives to make things much much more difficult than they need to be.

Tatiana thinks she is self-sacrificing by begging Alexander to continue to pretend to be in love with her sister, Pasha, when Alexander actually loves Tatiana. She thinks she will help her sister by protecting her sister's feelings. All she does is make everyone's life miserable. Both Tatiana and Alexander make one poor decision after another; some they are driven to by their situation but others they make because...well...I am not sure why.

In the end I found both lead characters frustrating to read about. I was especially frustrated by the middle of the book which contained (I listened to this on audiobook) over three hours of a whole summer of Tatania and Alexander having sex. Seriously...I get it...they really really like each other...a lot. This whole book was an exercise in excess and frustration and really should have been edited better.

In the end I am just happy to be done with it. I will not be reading more of the series. I can take no more of Tatania's passive aggressive behavior and can't stand anymore of Alexander's controlling and over-protective attitude. After 31 hours of listening to this I am soooo happy to be moving on to something else. The history was interesting but the rest was just so boring. ( )
  krau0098 | Dec 17, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paullina Simonsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Burton, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langton, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"Hence in a season of calm weather though inland far we be, Our souls have sight of that immortal sea which brought hither, Can in a moment travel thither, And see the Children sport upon the shore, And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore." William Wordsworth
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"Light came through the window, trickling morning all over the room."
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Average: (4.25)
1 9
1.5 1
2 19
2.5 4
3 53
3.5 16
4 109
4.5 30
5 241

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