Anna Karenina

As part of a book club in January (and then extended through February to give people more time) I read Anna Karenina. We never ended up discussing the book and I’ve had this post drafted for a while (I wrote most of it immediately on finishing) waiting for a discussion. I think the book ended up being too long for most people or too hard to get into at the beginning.

I’m not entirely sure whether I liked it or not. About 70% of the way through I was starting to finally get into and then something changed and I lost it again. The movie of the novel which came out recently had the tag line “the greatest love ever told” but I didn’t really feel that it was much of a love story but rather a bit of an anti love story. I failed to connect with the characters for the most part (possibly as it is a translation, maybe it would have been better if I could read Russian).

The beginning of the novel was a struggle in part because I was having trouble keeping the characters straight and also due to the main character in the first 10% being a rather unlikeable sort. I was surprised that there was so little of the actual Anna in the novel. I never really worked out what made her so interesting to the other characters in the book.

I’m glad I read it as it’s on the list of Best Books of All Time and I ‘d like to read more of the list eventually (I’m only managing one book a month at the moment though).

I’ve moved on to reading The Wheel of Time (10) as part of my reread of the whole series before I read the final just released book 14. Each of the books after about number 6 takes quite a long time for me to pick up all the strands of story again but by the time I get to about halfway through I’m thoroughly immersed and what to keep reading. If only one didn’t need sleep.

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