Whitney Archibald's Reviews > Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
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Nov 23, 09

Read in November, 2009

I've always claimed this book as one of my all-time favorites, but I hadn't read it since high school. How wonderful to realize that it is even better than I remembered. I have no idea how Tolstoy did it. Every character is so interesting, vivid, real, and complex. His most flawed characters are tragically endearing; his most benevolent characters endearingly flawed. I feel like I lived with and loved these people for the three weeks it took me to finish the massive book. It compelled me to examine my own relationships, weaknesses, beliefs, and strengths.

Most importantly, this book has influenced my spirituality more than any book outside of scripture. Levin's spiritual enlightenment was so like my own, that I relive my experience with him whenever I reread that part of the book. Reading this as a teenager gave me the vocabulary to explain why and what I believe.
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Quotes Whitney Liked

Leo Tolstoy
“I have discovered nothing. I have only found out what I knew. I understand the force that in the past gave me life, and now too gives me life. I have been set free from falsity, I have found the Master.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy
“He had lived (without being aware of it) on those spiritual truths that he had sucked in with his mother's milk, but he had thought, not merely without recognition of these truths, but studiously ignoring them. ”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy
“In spite of Stepan Arkadyevitch's efforts to be an attentive father and husband, he never could keep in his mind that he had a wife and children.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy
“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy
“Stepan Arkadyevitch had not chosen his political opinions or his views; these political opinions and views had come to him of themselves, just as he did not choose the shapes of his hat and coat, but simply took those that were being worn. ”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina


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