I have finally finished reading “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy, after trying to read it for the last 13 months!

“Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy (via Goodreads)

I was given it for Christmas in 2012 and was determined to read this monster and it was a difficult read because i kept getting bored with it and stopped reading it. I was desperate to finish and get it out of the way so i’ve spent most of January getting through it!

After the initial waiting for Anna to leave her husband and run off with her lover, it all got a bit boring. The only person i was interested in was Levin, with his ill brother, his struggle to propose to the woman he loved, and his struggles with his belief in religion and so on. He felt more real as a character because he did a more involved job by working in agriculture and he was preoccupied with his thoughts about the world and other people. I’m glad he managed to get his head around issues in the end, as he deserved a happy life.

Anna got more annoying towards the end, and i was kind of glad when she threw herself under a train because it solved the problems she caused for herself and others. That sounds horrible but she was selfish, especially when she gave up her only son to be with her lover, and didn’t care for her daughter and instead favoured a child who was just her ward. She was rich enough with her lover Vronsky’s money but she was jealous of him in the end and ruined everything for herself.

It was interesting to see how Russian society dealt with Anna and her actions, but more interesting to see the different types of people and how they lived their lives. The moves between life in the country and life in the city is very different in Russia but it’s fascinating to see how each type of person deals with it. The characters in the book are mainly high-class people with servants so when they complain about their lives, you don’t feel very much towards them.

It was an OK novel, but it was my first Tolstoy novel and it’s another classic ticked off my list, but i don’t think i could read it again! I only give it 5/10 because it’s really not my cup of tea and has taken me too long to read it!

  1. Geoff W says:

    My biggest issue was when Tolstoy pontificated for the last 100 or so pages! It was just too much and dragged on way too long.

  2. Priya says:

    It’s been two years since I read Anna Karenina, and I still remember loving it. The thing is: I had all the problems with Anna that you seemed to have, it took me a long time to read it too, and the closest I had to a favourite character was the poor socially-inept Levin; but I just love how Tolstoy’s made the setting and the characters come to life – I rarely hate fictional people like I did with this book!

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