Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Description (from Goodreads):
Some people say Anna Karenina is the single greatest novel ever written, which makes about as much sense to me as trying to determine the world's greatest color. But there is no doubt that Anna Karenina, generally considered Tolstoy's best book, is definitely one ripping great read. Anna, miserable in her loveless marriage, does the barely thinkable and succumbs to her desires for the dashing Vronsky. I don't want to give away the ending, but I will say that 19th-century Russia doesn't take well to that sort of thing.

My thoughts:

When the summer break started I decided to read something that I had not read yet from my shelf. I was pending the decision for a long time until I decided on Anna Karenina after seeing the main character of 'The Last Song' movie reading it. 

I bought Anna Karenina a couple of years ago from the local bookstore. I just wanted to add it to my collection; I never actually thought of reading it. Now that I have read the novel, I am happy that I picked it up. 

The story Tolstoy tells in Anna Karenina is so amazingly complex. There are so many characters to follow and it is amazing to see how Tolstoy brings all these characters together in different ways; they are friends, lovers, enemies etc for each other. I must admit that at the beginning it was hard to follow all of the characters especially because of their Russian names. But as the story went on, following the characters got easier.

Even though the name of the novel is Anna Karenina, I must say I was surprised to see how little there actually was about Anna in this book. When I started the novel I thought it would be all about her, but while reading I realized that I had thought wrong. The novel touches so many areas of the lives of the people in Russia that through Anna all those aspects could not have been touched. Because of that the novel centers around characters like Levin from time to time.

Anna Karenina is one of those novels that many people are just scared to start to read. I was one of those people, but now I am happy and proud to say that I have read through it all. Anna Karenina definitely isn't a novel you read through in one night (you will need a very long night for it). I would rather call it a novel you really need to go into in order to stay focused in the story. 

Challenge yourself and pick up Anna Karenina! It truly feels rewarding after you are done with it. :)


  1. I'm glad you like it! I do as well :)
    Anna Karenina ist a great book. But I did like Lewin & Kitty more than Anna..

  2. Yeah, i have to agree with you about levin at least, i think he must have been my favorite character along with Vronsky. I liked Anna at the beginning, but i think that it was not explained enough how she got so messed up, especially towards the end of the novel.

  3. I love that you bought this one without ever thinking you might read it! I tried listening to this one a couple of years ago, thought that might be my best chance to find the time for it. No way does that work--way too hard to keep track of all of those names!

  4. There are some classics I have bought just to add them to my collection... I am happy to say though that many of the books I have bought just to put into my shelf are ones that I have actually read and liked a lot!
    Yeah, I bet listening to this would be even harder than actually reading it. I wish I find some type of movie/miniseries of this so I can see how they have adapted it to film. Watched this miniseries of War&Peace during this summer which I really liked.


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