This will be like most of my reviews: opinionated, battered out and themeless- I’d rather present you with the first 5 of my thoughts that come to mind about a book that tailor a clear argument, because it’s what I’d do if we had a conversation, and I don’t tend to write essays to my friends. I hope you don’t mind :D I may come back and add more here and there…
Thought 1: When I think of Anna Karenina, I think of parties that smell of mahogany that I’ll never be invited to where people try to outdo each other mimicking this video
. “It’s not Kareninaah, it’s KareninAuuuuauauuaaughhh”. Which is misleading. If you’ve avoided reading AK because you think it’s too dense, it isn’t really, and the language is simple enough. You’ll be able to read it no problem ☺
Thought 2: I’m pretty sure someone called [a:Dostoyevsky|3137322|Fyodor Dostoyevsky|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1328375676p2/3137322.jpg] and [a: Tolstoy|128382|Leo Tolstoy|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1342945438p2/128382.jpg] the world’s first psychologists, which sounds like nonsense and I couldn’t find the quote by googling it so it probably never happened (but it did unearth this article
comparing the two), but the psychological insight of AK is supreme. What was I supposed to say, it was shit? Tolstoy? Are you crazy??
Anyway, Anna behaves very much like a real person. She is indecisive, she is insecure sometimes, she jumps to conclusions, she has many qualities that cannot be pinned down into simple polar pairs of personality traits. BUT, you know what real people aren’t? Characters. Characters are many things and they are story-driving tools. Anna’s decisiony flipflopping turns AK into the most annoying will-they-won’t-they since Ross and Rachel. Similarly, real worlds are not settings. A great deal more everyday farming, horse races and politics happens in the real world than in stories. Tolstoy taught me that -_-.
Thought 3: I can confirm that the book ends, but there is a poor statistical probability of that happening to you, because 899 times out of 900 there was another bloody page after the one I finished. The first 150 were awesome! The drama escalated, there was some dark foreshadowing, and I have to admit
I cried at how cute Levin was when he proposed to Kitty (although I was a bit pissed [British for drunk]) and when Anna died, I did get a sinking feeling I haven’t had since [b:Gormenghast|258392|Gormenghast (Gormenghast, #2)|Mervyn Peake|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328001220s/258392.jpg|3599885]- was it worth it, though?). If you don’t have a lot of patience, give this yin a miss.
Thought 4: Some interesting things I’ve learned pushing myself to finish this book one year on from a not at all rare abandon:
1. Trust your instincts. If you don’t like a book, you don’t like it, and you’ve got plenty other things to read. The TBR lists of some of my GR friends are EPIC. If they had that little feature of iTunes it would say “You have 10 years of books on this list.” So what’s one compared to all that?
2. If you like to write, you can absolutely learn from the construction of a book that you don’t like. This could lead into a huge half-praise-rant about [b:The God of Small Things|9777|The God of Small Things|Arundhati Roy|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1166054170s/9777.jpg|810135] but just typing the title of it is attention enough.
Thought 5: Should you read it? Only if you want to enter the inner layers of a book festival winefest so you can get close enough to touch [a:Salman Rushdie|3299|Salman Rushdie|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1345771006p2/3299.jpg]’s shiny head before getting kicked out (my dreams are large and my fingers crossed!).
Last year after abandon:
Abandoned, so I invite you to take this review as seriously as you want, given that I haven't read the whole story.
I'm not against big books at all, or even slow-paced books, I have absolutely no problem with them, but the writing was just way too hard to concentrate on- not too dense or difficult, necessarily, but just too dull. I blanked out for whole pages, and when I tuned in again, I hadn't missed any of the plot!
Enjoy the thrilling tale of farming, get lost in Tolstoy's world of what everyone was having for dinner that night, become enchanted with lengthy descriptions of horse races!
If anyone is interested in reading this, I would like to remind them that there is a film coming out soon, and we can all watch said film and pretend we read the book till the end.*
*Mission cancelled- film stars Keira Knightley. Go to plan C- who cares