Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Author: Leo Tolstoy (translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)
Published: 2004 (first published 1871)
Genre: Classiscs, Fiction
Challenges: The Classics Club, Embarrassment of Riches, Off the Shelf,
Description: Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness. (via Goodreads.com)
Thoughts: This book is a book that I have wanted to read for quite sometime (almost 10 years) and I finally got through it. While it took me a while to get through, it was well worth getting through. True by the end I just wanted it read and completed and realized that I could have finished this book much quicker than I went through it. I can see why this book is venerated and cherished by friends of mine who have read the book in the past and this definitely a book that is probably going to be re-read. The only complaint I have with the book is that the book is more about Levin than Anna and it seemed that Tolstoy enjoyed writing that aspect of the book than writing about Anna, who seems to be more of a secondary character. And yes, when I think of Anna, I think of somebody who maybe is in the vain of Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary on Downton Abbey) than Kiera Knightly, who seems a little too waffish to be Anna. If there is a complaint about the book its that Part 8 seemed to be a little too drawn out and could have easily been at least half of the length that it was. Highly recommended.
Bottom line: If you enjoy reading long classics and have read book like Les Miserables, The Count of Monte Cristo, et al, you will find this a breeze. Just a warning, Tolstoy tends to be long on exposition in places in the book. And I would recommend getting a good translation of the book.
Pages for 2013: 998