The Secret History of Moscow and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$3.99
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This former library book has library markings. It shows expected wear and tear of a used book. Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Secret History of Moscow Paperback – November 1, 2007

22 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, November 1, 2007
$7.09 $0.01

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sedia (According to Crow) applies urban fantasy templates to her Russian setting with mixed success in her second stand-alone novel. Masha, the cheerfully normal sister of vision-prone translator Galina, turns into a jackdaw and flies off, leaving her just-born child behind. Joined by police detective Yakov Richards, Galina tracks the missing Masha into an underground milieu where lost souls mingle with beings out of Russian folklore. A host of secondary characters rapidly clutter the narrative and cloud its focus, and Sedia's persistently curt prose favors contemporary atmosphere over mythic resonance, diminishing Koschey the Deathless and Zemun the Celestial Cow to near-mundane status. Modern blue-collar Moscow is pitch-perfect, however: bustling yet seedy, disorganized and none too respectable. While undeniably authentic, the cynical tone may alienate many Western readers before they reach the startling but well-grounded climax. On the whole, this wholeheartedly Russian tale is most compelling as social commentary. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The Falcon Throne
Browse more popular selections in Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Books (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809572230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809572236
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,609,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laura Jefferson on April 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
People (including Neil Gaiman, by the blurb on the cover) keep comparing this to _Neverwhere_, but it reminded me much more of _American Gods._ It also reminded me of Little, Big and _So You Want to Be a Wizard._ The division between our world and the other is thin and has has holes, and troubles in one place reflect in the other. Although the author wastes no words, she creates characters you can believe in, whose feelings you can understnd. While not a funny book, it's hopeful. Read it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tigger VINE VOICE on December 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Russian urban fantasy is not normally my thing, but Sony was offering this free as a promotion on the E-Reader site, so I went ahead and downloaded it. Surprisingly, I quite liked it. It's certainly different from anything I've read before, and not just because it's fantasy, which I don't read much of although I make the occasional foray.

The story is told from several characters' points of view, but I'd say the primary character is Galina, a young woman in post-Soviet Russia who is working as a medical translator after her release from a mental institution for a vague form of schizophrenia that may or may not have been a complete fabrication by authorities under the old Soviet rule. Living in a dingy Moscow apartment with her mother and pregnant sister, Galina half-assumes her mental illness has returned when her sister locks herself in the bathroom, gives birth to the child, and then somehow disappears through a small window several stories from the ground. The only thing left is a black bird sitting on the windowsill, and Galina tries very hard NOT to believe that the bird is her sister - not to mention that suggesting such a thing to anyone could land her right back in the sanitarium - but can't fight the certainty that it is.

From here she's led to several others who are also having odd, inexplicable experiences involving mysterious birds, and portals into an underworld that can pose as anything from an illusory doorway to a puddle of oily water in an alley.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tuulia on July 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Some compare this to Gaiman's Neverwhere, but this is quite different, I think, even if this too is kind of an urban fantasy where people go to an ... underground world. What I loved best in this book was all the Russian mythology, of which I know shamefully little - though it was fun to spot some familiar things. (Actually, the only reason I recognized some characters etc, like e.g Koshchey the Deathless, was because I've got one single fairytale by Eduard Uspensky. Pathetic.)

Anyway, this is a pretty good book - not excellent or anything, but worth reading if you happen to get this into your hands. Some people seem to be annoyed at the way the author keeps on interrupting the story: every time a new character is introduced, the story of his or her life is also told. But. At one point I started to get the feeling that _this_ in fact is the "secret history of Moscow", these stories of small people who otherwise wouldn't get their voice heard, who, behind the brilliant Russian/Soviet coulisse are not living so wonderful lives. This isn't just fantasy, but also offers an interesting look into the everyday life in Russia/Soviet Union.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Valya Lupescu on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In The Secret History of Moscow, Ekaterina Sedia captures the grey physical and emotional landscape of Moscow in the 90's and infuses it with haunting Russian mythos. The author's exploration of the supernatural clashing with reality creates a backdrop for social and economic commentary on Post-Soviet life.

But The Secret History of Moscow has neither bland prose nor flat characters (which is impressive considering the sheer breadth of characters we encounter in the book). These characters are given life by the author's lush, descriptive language. The details bring this world into sharp focus, and some of the imagery is utterly unforgettable. The bear is fantastic, as are the ways of entering the Underworld.

The population of Sedia's novel live in the distorted shadows of life--the people are hopeless and weary, and the gods and heroes have been relegated to the Underworld, no longer called upon by the modern folk. Yet it is in the hands of these fading myths and disillusioned antiheroes that the city and her people must ultimately find redemption.

Some have commented that they were unable to suspend disbelief as the "real life" characters met the folkloric ones and were not phased by the meeting. Western readers may fail to understand just what kind of presence these archetypes have in Russian (and Eastern European) ethos. They have not all been banished to the realm of children's fairy tales.

The mythical characters have a definite presence--an undertow in the murky waters of Russian cosmology. It's really not that hard to believe that they co-exist just out of reach, visible in the ripples of a puddle or in the reflection of a subway window. They should not be forgotten, and thanks to Ekaterina Sedia, I don't think they shall!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews