Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Success! There were times I didn't think I was going to make it through this book - and I'll be honest, I skimmed through a lot of the "ranting" sections the last half of the book. I am so glad that I did read this, when the novel stuck to the story it was so well written. Tolstoy had an amazing gift for imagery, for understanding his characters, for creating "drive" in them, it was a very passionately (for late 1800's) and quite shocking story line.
Now for the criticism... this book rants - politically, socially, religiously - it rants. Those were the parts I started skimming as I realized they were just a way for Tolstoy to state his own arguments to what was going on in his life as current events. They really have nothing to do with the story. If you want to read Anna Karenina, and if such a thing exists, find a copy that has only the novel story in it.
Overall, a shockingly good read.
Summary: Leo Tolstoy’s classic story of doomed love is one of the most admired novels in world literature. Generations of readers have been enthralled by his magnificent heroine, the unhappily married Anna Karenina, and her tragic affair with dashing Count Vronsky.
In their world frivolous liaisons are commonplace, but Anna and Vronsky’s consuming passion makes them a target for scorn and leads to Anna’s increasing isolation. The heartbreaking trajectory of their relationship contrasts sharply with the colorful swirl of friends and family members who surround them, especially the newlyweds Kitty and Levin, who forge a touching bond as they struggle to make a life together. Anna Karenina is a masterpiece not only because of the unforgettable woman at its core and the stark drama of her fate, but also because it explores and illuminates the deepest questions about how to live a fulfilled life.
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