Author: Leo Tolstoy
Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction, Romance
Release: 2002 (First edition 1878)
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Acclaimed by many as the world's greatest novel, Anna Karenin provides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfil her passionate nature - with tragic consequences. Levin is a reflection of Tolstoy himself, often expressing the author's own views and convictions.
Throughout, Tolstoy points no moral, merely inviting us not to judge but to watch. As Rosemary Edmonds comments, 'He leaves the shifting patterns of the kaleidoscope to bring home the meaning of the brooding words following the title, 'Vengeance is mine, and I will repay.
EXPECTATIONS: It seems everybody has read Anna Karenina or at last seen a movie. I haven't done either so I felt like missing out. Tho I must admit I tried watching an adaptation with Kiera but for me it just didn't work. So here I am, my first read of Anna Karenina.
THE WORLD: Old Russia, around second part of 19th century I believe. Basically a transitional period for Russia when it started to adapt modern views such as divorce and marriage from love. Also, France seems to be very important to that period as all elite of Russia were speaking French. Frankly, when I mentioned to my mom that I was reading Anna Karenina her reply was 'oh Russian agriculture' :D But I must agree, there is a lot of talking about new agriculture reforms Russia was taking up from Europe. That part was rather boring. Frankly, many parts felt empty and boring to me. Normally I absolutely adore books taking place in older Russia but I am starting to think that maybe I am more of WWI and WWII periods fan as well as Tsar Russia than Russia in general. Mainly because I had no interest in politics of this book. It was rather vain to be. Tho it might also be because I expected to have my mind blown and that just didn't happen...
CHARACTERS: Okay so there are many. In fact Anna does not appear for like 10% of the book! But let's take one step at a time. So yes Anna Karenina is the main character, she is a married woman with a son who finds herself suddenly in love with another man. So okay let's be honest. At first Anna is descried as a goddess, best thing ever. But then she catches an eye of Vrosky who is a love object of Kitty so all hell gets loose. I myself had no love for Anna, I just really did not care for her. Frankly, most of the book I found her kinda annoying and even the ending didn't move me. I just really did not care for her. Now how should I describe the rest of the characters? Okay so there is Oblonsky who is a husband of Dolly. They both are vain and shallow and just make you want to roll your eyes all the time. Then there is Kitty who is a sister of Dolly. She is a spoiled little brat who kinda reminded me of Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice in the beginning. Eventually Kitty gets better but for me she will always stay childish. And finally we have Levin who to my personal opinion is an actual main character of this book. And also my favorite character. Levin is older but finds himself in love with Kitty who at first refuses his proposal. Frankly, I would love a friend like Levin, he is loyal, applies clear mind and does not act without common sense. Also he does not play into living room politics. So yes, go Levin! I won't mention the rest of the characters because for me they just felt like props more than actual character.
ROMANCE: It's all romance in this book. You love me you love me not is the whole main thing. Okay no, love + agriculture.
GOOD: As I already mentioned I liked Levin and his story. He felt simple and well developed character and frankly if you kicked out all other stories and only left his I would have rated it much higher.
BAD: This whole book is like I dunno a TV series running for 20 years minus drama. There isn't really anything happening, just some love romances which ain't even romantic. It's like....well everyday life. If somebody from street came and started telling you what they had for breakfast, dinner and supper detail...that's how this book felt to me.
OVERALL: It might be because I expected really a lot or maybe it was just not my thing to begin with but really it was a true meh for me. I don't even care enough to watch any movie adaptations to be honest...just really don't care and don't get why it is such a big deal.
What do you think about ANNA KARENINA?