By Leo Tolstoy
Published in: 1873
Edition: Kindle edition/e-book
Time taken to read: 6 months. No joke.
I started this book after finishing my last e-book. That was April 28th. I finished it October 15th.
It took me 6 FREAKING MONTHS to read this book.
It officially is the longest I have ever taken to finish a book. 6 months.
I struggled with this book. Towards the end, I just wanted to finish the damn thing. I would sit there and make myself read a few chapters per week, just to try and knock it over.
So for those unaware, Anna Karenina is a ‘love story’. Worst love story i’ve ever read. Russians aren’t all that romantic, I’m guessing, from this book. It revolves around Anna Karenina, who leaves her husband for Vronsky, a man who she had an affair with, and then subsequently tortures because she’s some sort of paranoid bitch. Then there’s Kitty and her husband (whose name escapes me currently) who she originally dislikes, but then ends up loving. And the third pair is Stepan and Dolly, who aren’t in love anymore since Stepan had an affair, but they seem to still be together for unknown reasons. A lot of this book is actually random nonsense that adds nothing to the story at all. I now know quite a lot about 19th century russian farming. Can’t say it’s a subject I was ever keen to learn about, but it’s knowledge I’ll have to live with now.
So basically, to sum up. Long book. Boring as HELL. Supposedly some sort of romantic novel, but the romance is rather cold. Lots of really useless stuff in between the actual novel parts, most of which you won’t understand because it’s all stuff that doesn’t really apply today. So if you have a few months to waste, are quite the fan of long rambling books that have no purpose, and have quite a hankering to learn about 19th century russian farming, then I have found the book for you. Otherwise, pass this up and move on to the next gigantic 1000+ page novel.
Ok, maybe not. It’s a classic. Leo Tolstoy is a classic literature writer, and Anna Karenina is a piece of classic literature that generations have been reading and loving. So while it was the HUGEST waste of my time, I am kinda glad I actually read it. I can now say that I have read it, broadened my literature horizons, and the best things is that I didn’t quit, even though I damn well wanted to. I survived through this ordeal and somehow started the next long rambling novel.
Anna Karenina rating: I gave it a 2/5 on good reads. I was being generous. Yes, it’s a classic. But I cannot actually see the draw. I would give it a 2/10. Classic or not, it was boring, it was long, and a lot of the stuff I read was completely useless in the actual plot of the story.
Would I re-read it? Are you KIDDING? I’m traumatised from the first sit through. Why on earth would I even attempt to re-read it? No. No no no.
Who would I recommend it to? Well. If you have 6 months and nothing particularly interesting to do, this is the book for you. Interested in russian farming circa 1900s? Book for you. Like romantic novels without the romance? Book for you.
In all seriousness, people who wish to read the classics, like me, do give this one a chance. Yes it is not the best of novels, but I can say I have read it and given it a chance. Who knows, you may actually enjoy it.
E-book link: http://www.goodreads.com/reader/read/2407?percent=0.025228
If you want to give it a shot, that’s the free e-book link. You can either download it (you have to hit the goodreads site to get that) or you can read it online, like I did.