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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This was the first full length novel that I had read, and it was the perfect one as it introduced me to that age where society and status was given so much importance, where there was so much pomp and show, so many stifled emotions. Leo Tolstoy has beautifully described every detail, which makes it a book worth reading.
For those who are used to reading modern works of fiction, you may find this book slgihtly difficult to read, for the language used and the description of details is far more complex than anything you have read before. However, if you keep that in mind and persever through the first few chapters, you will find that this book is one of the most amazing things that you could ever read.
It sends you on a journey that is not limited to any one plotline or any one school of thought, but encompasses questions on everything from politics and aristocratic society to agriculture and spirituality. Through all of that, it also tells you the wonderful stories of Anna Arkadyevna, Count Vronsky, Konstantin Levin, and so many other amazing characters, who make this story worth reading.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
I read this book 25 yrs back and it made such an impression that I chose to read it on iBooks store again. I could appreciate it even more with the hindsight of experience. Tolstoy goes into the depth of each character and even the description of Nature is superb. Anyone who would like to read this book will appreciate each nuance and detail that the author has chosen to record. A book worth a read..