Described by William Faulkner as the best novel ever written and by Fyodor Dostoevsky as “flawless”, 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 thereby exposes herself to 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Okay, yes, this is Big Serious Russian Literature. But put that out of your mind! When you get right down to it, Anna Karenina is the story of a smart, passionate woman whose ultimate unraveling is as heartbreaking as that of any of our favorite romantic heroines, from the Brontës to Jojo Moyes. Leo Tolstoy skillfully weaves the romance between the countess Anna and the debonair cavalry officer Vronsky into a wider story of politics, class, and religion. It’s like getting a fascinating lesson in 19th century history alongside a deeply emotional love story. And did we mention it’s kinda sexy?
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A beautiful classic
Anna Karenina gives a wonderful insight into pre-revolutionary Russia. The names given in full are sometimes a bit confusing but definitely authentic. It would be helpful to have footnotes explaining the concepts to modern readers but the interwoven stories of Anna and Levin come through strongly. Definitely worthwhile reading.
This novel could have equally been called Russian Agriculture in the 1800s as much time was spent with Levin complaining about the laziness and uselessness of his peasants. And indeed his quest for explanation of God.
Anna was a poor mother, unable to love her second child, or to remain with her husband in order to keep her first child.
Both main characters surely suffered from depression, and I felt similar as I plodded through this massive tome. Fortunately for me I knew the end having watched a film years ago and when Anna ordered her coachman to drive to the train station my depression began to lift as I realised the end was in sight at last.
And now I think, some Jane Austen re reading is in order.
I think this is only for adults kids won't understand it