Jennifer's Reviews > Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
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Feb 01, 2008

it was ok
Read in April, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I just read an article today about 125 writers who were asked to compile their top 10 favorite books. These 125 lists were compiled into one top 10 list and Anna Karenina was number 1. I read this book several months ago and immediately felt stupid for giving it 2 stars (which was a generous rating). So I did some research on the book to see if I missed something. It turns out I didn't miss anything. I believe Tolstoy did an amazing job on character development. However, I hated every single character. They were all obnoxiously whiny. I understand Tolstoy was trying to show how society ruled people's lives, and once again, he does a great job. However, 900+ pages about adults wandering through life as puppets being controlled by society is painful, especially when no one is really fighting for individuality. It was about a bunch of characters crying "woe is me" in their own unique ways. Kitty makes herself seriously ill because no one will marry her (boo-hoo). Levin runs off to the country and pouts because Kitty rejected him (tear). Karenin holds his son hostage and won't grant Anna a divorce because she left him for really sucking as a human being (sniffle). Anna, who does make a half-assed attempt at freeing herself from society, ends up becoming the most obnoxious character of all and kills herself (yeah - this means the book is almost over). But not before Levin, who actually didn't care what society thought of him, decided to abandon free-thinking and follow God's word. Normally, this would be taking a step backward, but Levin's thoughts were so dull that I am glad he decided to stop thinking. The book had a happy ending after all. It would have been nice if this book had a hero - someone with a set of balls. The name of this book should be called "Society Puppets."
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