I loved this book, not because it's Russian and I love Russian books, or because it's old and I love old books, but because it's flat out a great story. The beginning is a little rough. I thought it was going to be one of those Russian books with so many names that you can hardly follow the plot. It's not. It's mostly love story, part political commentary (you can take the politics for what they are, they aren't too prevalent). The love story easily stands on its own. It's fast paced, keeps you guessing, at times is very touching and it's a quick read. If you're on the fence about it, just read it! You won't regret it.