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Anna Karenina By Leo Tolstoy

This book was wonderful. Top to bottom, all 811 pages of it. I was only disappointed by it being over.

Russian stories don’t distance you from the people in them. I heard someone criticize them once for never using two-dimensional characters. Oh, man, no way! I love getting to know all those people in the books. It feels like I got to know a huge set of very interesting people. Anna, Karenin, Levin and Kitty were the main heroes, but everyone had their foibles and their adventures.

I loved the story, and I loved how Tolstoy told it. Basically, Anna Karenina falls in love with Vronsky, one of those fairy tale loves. Only problem is, she is already married. And she has a baby boy.

It was so great. to hear all the perspectives about the situation of women, and how faith comes into play with such a choice.

I just wish I could have really known these people Such smart, earnest interesting people.

Like I said, I only wished it had lasted longer.

About Murphy

  • Anita Campbell

    Murphy, couldn’t agree with you more. Anna Karenina is one of my top ten favorite books of all time. And I’ve seen every English-language film adaptation, too. At least twice.

    Tolstoy is masterful at capturing the nuances of relationships within families. He’s quoted as saying something like “Every happy family is happy in the same way, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

    One thing I like about Tolstoy, and many 19th century novels, is that they keep the reader at a slight distance. Tolstoy doesn’t bring you deep inside a character’s head the way many modern novels do. It’s almost a cinematic approach, as if you are a filmgoer watching a movie unfold.

  • ParticleMan

    Anna Karenina is indeed amazing. The characters and story are impressive enough, but it’s the writing that keeps the book hurtling forward.

    If this is the first 19th century Russian novel you’ve read, i urge you to delve into Dostoyevsky, especially Brothers Karamazov. I still can’t decide which i like more- Karamazov or Karenina.

  • Murphy

    Particleman, I like Dostoevsky too…I read (and reviewed here) Crime and Punishment last year. And I loved War and Peace, though I read that several years ago.

    I want to try The Brothers Karamazov, and also Dr. Zhivago too…

    The only things about these books is that they are so long, they take your whole reading time for a good while. I feel like ripping through a few lesser works for a bit. I’m reading Angela’s Ashes right now, very funny. Maybe I’ll knock of a few shorter ones again befor I dive back into the vastness of Russia.

  • ParticleMan

    True, those books are long and taxing. I don’t blame you for needing a break. I usually offset a Russian novel with some Orson Scott Card scifi.

    Angele’s Ashes is awesome. I have yet to read ‘Tis, the sequel.

    And if you though the plot of Karenina was whack, Karamazov will throw you a curve ball.

  • Anita Campbell

    Actually, Dr. Zhivago is better in film than in the book. The original version of Dr. Zhivago, that is. The one with the incredible Julie Christie. I’d recommend seeing the film instead of reading the book.