One of the most important books I have ever read. For any non-believers out there, Dawkins does a fine job of crystallizing the thoughts that have bee...moreOne of the most important books I have ever read. For any non-believers out there, Dawkins does a fine job of crystallizing the thoughts that have been bubbling in your head for years. This book is an absolute MASTERPIECE. (less)
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Anna Karenina, Chapter one, line 1.
And so begins the famous tale...
A...more"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Anna Karenina, Chapter one, line 1.
And so begins the famous tale...
After months of on again, off again reading due to a busy personal life, I finally finished this behemoth on my kindle. (A 900 page book feels INFINITELY longer on the kindle I do believe!) As this is one of the world's most famous pieces of literature, there are countless plot summaries online, so I'll spare you too many details.
I will say in a nutshell that the book deals with the tumultuous affair between socialite Ana Karenina and Count Vronsky in 19th century Russian high society, and the fallout that comes from such a scandalous act of social defiance. However, that short description says nothing of the countless other plots and people you'll counter along the way. I believe there are about 25 of them that are worthy of being called "major" characters and side plots, not to mention the many, many that come and go more quickly as the main narrative unfolds.
That an author can successfully create such a detailed world and make each inhabitant a living, breathing, fully realized character is nothing short of astounding to me. It was originally published in 8 installments I do believe. There are themes of love, jealously, spiritual turmoil, classism, chauvinism, the clash between the urban and agrarian, forgiveness, loneliness and regret...just to name a few!
If you are up for a challenging but rewarding read, I highly recommend the book. There are several translations out there, each with their own fans and I believe the free Kindle version is the Garnet translation, though I cannot be sure as free kindle classics often have scant documentation. The characters often have 2 or more names ascribed to them as is typical (so I'm told) of Russian literature. That was difficult at first, but the personalities of each person are so robustly described, that it wasn't an issue after a bit of reading.
Yes, it is true: With our modern views of relationships and language, some of the dialogue may seem a bit melodramatic and there are certain points (such as the detailed descriptions of local Russian elections) that can feel long in the tooth, but overall I think the book is well worth investing the time in. There are books that you won't remember a thing about a few years after reading them and then there are the greats that make you look at life in a different way. Ana Karenina is definitely going to fall into the latter category for me and I'm glad I decided to pick it up and see it through. (less)
If you want a true life story that you can't put down, this book fits the bill. Also see "Into Thin Air" by John K. They are both gripping from start...moreIf you want a true life story that you can't put down, this book fits the bill. Also see "Into Thin Air" by John K. They are both gripping from start to finish. (less)
This book is such a pleasure to read. There is a good reason it is already considered a "classic" even though it came out in 2000 or so. When I tell p...moreThis book is such a pleasure to read. There is a good reason it is already considered a "classic" even though it came out in 2000 or so. When I tell people "It is about a boy stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger", their eyes always open wide. But trust me: The way it is presented is totally believeable and you will enjoy every step of the way. (less)