Colin Hogan's Reviews > Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
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Feb 06, 08

Read in January, 2008

This book is long. I chose it because I wanted to minimize what I was packing on a month trip to Europe. It lasted me for most of the trip. When I finished it, I breezed through three contemporary novels in four or five days. The interesting part of the novel was that the parts I was most interested in idea-wise were the parts that were most boring style-wise. Specifically the character of Levin. There is a passage at the beginning of the novel that describes his wish to remove himself from usual society and retreat into the country. While reading, I nodded in agreement, and then, as the passage stretched on and on, I nodded into sleep. Contrast this with the passages of Anna Karenina. Though her plot was sometimes overly sentimental, I was there with her. Always. Specifically during the part where she wants Vronsky with her all of the time because she can't go out because she is ruined woman and he can because is a man. She gets so worked up, justifiably, so jealous, but Tolstoy makes her always sympathetic. Even in her moments when she is that stereotypical weak, desperate woman, I wanted her to stand up, stoically, but I understood why she didn't.

So at the end when she wasn't in the last 100 pages, I was bored. It was, overall, a good read.
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