So I finally finished Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. It took me most of the year. Did I like it? That's kind of a loaded question. It was a fascinating book. More interesting for me, perhaps, than it would be for most others, because I actually know someone who is JUST LIKE Anna.
Anna is flawed in the worst sorts of ways which makes her a fascinating character, but rather annoying at the same time. For those who don't know, this book is about a married woman who has an affair with a younger man. That's not a spoiler. The affair begins near the start of the novel. She makes her decision to have the affair, which will ostracize her in the eyes of nineteenth century Russian society.
If that was what she wanted and she was willing to deal with the consequences, I could be okay with that. But that's not what Anna does. She flaunts her decision for all of this puritanical society to see, and then gets mad when a scandal hatches. She's the kind of woman that creates drama, then sits around crying because there's so much drama in her life.
By the end of the book, I wanted to throttle this woman! Yet, there is a lot of truth in Tolstoy's story because, as I said, I know someone who has made many of the same choices Anna did and is exactly like her. I think Tolstoy must have known just such a person. He describes this type of personality perfectly.
If you like tragic period pieces with class-system drama, this is the book for you! It's a bit slow moving and kind of hard to stay in, but persistence pays off. I read 1-2% a day until I was done. And I must say, I'm glad I did. I view it as an accomplishment and now I can boast that I've read Tolstoy. Yea!
About the writing: it's kind of hard to read. This is the type of book that would never get published today. There's a lot of meandering, repetition, and passive voice. Of course, this could be because the novel was originally written in Russian and translated. But, if you're going to tackle this one, be forewarned.
Overall, I thought the story was interesting and rang of truth. I'm glad I read it but I'm also glad to be done. :D
Thoughts for Thursday--16
|devour/123RF Stock Photo|
Readers may respond by either commenting on the quotes I put forward or contributing a quote of their own.
Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!
This week's theme is Christmas!!!
"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find the simplest things--not the great occasions--give off the greatest glow of happiness."--Bob Hope
"Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind."--Mary Ellen Chase
"One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books."--J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
"Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more..."--Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."--Charles Dickens
What do you think? What is your favorite quote about Christmas? Have you read Anna Karenina? Everyone have a Merry Christmas, a great apocalypse, and a Happy New Year! See you in 2013! ;D