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Secret Lives of the Tsars Audiobook

Secret Lives of the Tsars: Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia

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Publisher's Summary

"Michael Farquhar doesn't write about history the way, say, Doris Kearns Goodwin does. He writes about history the way Doris Kearns Goodwin's smart-ass, reprobate kid brother might. I, for one, prefer it." (Gene Weingarten, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Washington Post columnist)

Scandal! Intrigue! Cossacks! Here the world's most engaging royal historian chronicles the world's most fascinating imperial dynasty: the Romanovs, whose 300-year reign was remarkable for its shocking violence, spectacular excess, and unimaginable venality. In this incredibly entertaining history, Michael Farquhar collects the best, most captivating true tales of Romanov iniquity. We meet Catherine the Great, with her endless parade of virile young lovers (none of them of the equine variety); her unhinged son, Paul I, who ordered the bones of one of his mother's paramours dug out of its grave and tossed into a gorge; and Grigori Rasputin, the "Mad Monk", whose mesmeric domination of the last of the Romanov tsars helped lead to the monarchy's undoing. From Peter the Great's penchant for personally beheading his recalcitrant subjects (he kept the severed head of one of his mistresses pickled in alcohol) to Nicholas and Alexandra's brutal demise at the hands of the Bolsheviks, Secret Lives of the Tsars captures all the splendor and infamy that was Imperial Russia.

©2014 Michael Farquhar (P)2014 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (84 )
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  •  
    Daniel Burgon Kansas City 07-14-14
    Daniel Burgon Kansas City 07-14-14 Member Since 2014

    DannyBoi01

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    "A good introduction to the Romanovs"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I think that this book was a nice overview of the Romanov family. I am in no way any sort of expert in this area, but I feel like I was given a good taste of the families history. It has mad me want to learn more about this dynasty in Russian history. I am sure if you are a history buff you may know all the stories of the Russian royalty in this book and probably more. For those who may not know the history this is a wonderful starting point.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    m wilson 12-16-15
    m wilson 12-16-15

    When I meet myself, I'll let you know how it goes.

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    "Caution... gruesome. Dead babies. Ugh."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Those with a strong stomach and no children of their own might enjoy it more.


    Has Secret Lives of the Tsars turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Maybe


    What does Enn Reitel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration was superb - I just didn't enjoy the work.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Secret Lives of the Tsars?

    Well, pretty much all of it.


    Any additional comments?

    I guess I wanted more debauchery and less murder. I had to stop listening because it was just horrible death after horrible death. If that's your thing, go for it. I'm returning it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Cowan 12-11-15
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    "Beware"

    Very disturbing ending. Very graphic. Too much information. Listen at own risk. It bothered me and I am not usually squeamish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jmi 11-20-15
    jmi 11-20-15 Member Since 2015
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    "great book great narrator"

    loved it I thought this was a great historical rendition of what happened with the czars in Russia it funny and sad and crazy all at the same time I'd read it again

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Victoria, BC, Canada 11-17-15
    Leslie Victoria, BC, Canada 11-17-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Not quite as secret as I'd hoped..."

    But pleasant enough listen. My only complaint would be the ending, when I felt like the author was trying to make us feel sorry for the Romanovs after spending so much time detailing how they rushed headlong into a disaster so many others saw coming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Teresa Cooper
    10/12/15
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    "The Tsars."

    We'll written and narrated. The book showed me many things about the Tsars I hadn't known and reminded me of many facts I knew. A good book that's not hard to listen to. Recommended for historians and non historians alike.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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