Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It’s a masterpiece. If only I had the ability to read it in it’s original Russian, not because the translation is bad. On the contrary, it’s wonderful. And that is what makes me want to read it all the more in it’s original, to know if it could be even better.
It’s not an easy read either. It’s long! While reading it, I often imagined how it would have been to consume it in its original serial installments in the periodical, The Russian Messenger from 1873 to 1877. It took me two months to get through it, but savoring it over a 4 year period seems appealing.
Admittedly, I stalled out about halfway through, just wishing I was done. I wasn’t tired of the story. But I always have so many books on my list, that it’s hard to spend so many hours on one. I persevered and I’m glad I did.
It’s not a fast-paced novel. It’s more of a slice of life view of the Russian aristocracy. Before you dismiss this slice as irrelevant to us in the here and now, rest assured that we share far more in common with them then you might expect.
Finally, the book could have just as easily been called Konstantin Levin since the plot centers around two characters, Anna Karenina and Konstantin Levin, whose lives are weaved into the story but who are only tangentially associated.