Book sightings

Anna Karenina?

Reading about the upcoming cinematographic adaptations of 19th century novels, I came across Joe Wright’s future Anna Karenina. So, I wondered why I never had any kind of interest in the novel. Now I do, and I would be very thankful for any opinions: I see it is a LONG novel but, is it worthy? Is it really interesting? Reading a summary, it rang a bell: she slightly reminded me of Isabel Archer in James’ Portrait of a Lady, a literary landmark  I could not handle.

So, what do you think? Are you interested in Anna Karenina? Have you read it? Is it a literary landmark? Thank you!!



  • Risa

    Have you ever tried reading Tolstoy, Elena? I asked ’cause Anna Karenina was prescribed to us for our MA. I recall giving up half way through, mainly because I couldn’t handle Tolstoy’s style, and I guess I just wasn’t ready for the kind of story it was. However, as I’m currently reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace bit by bit, I find myself thinking that perhaps I would like to give Anna Karenina one more chance.

    Is it a landmark novel? Literary scholars seem to think so… :-/

    Btw, nice to have you back!:)

    • Elena

      Well, it seems you have to read at least one of the “Russian” authors in your life… But I was never attracted to any of them or their stories, so I’m quite puzzled. I would approach it as a compulsory reading so, I’m sure it would be worthy.

      Thanks for visiting, Risa. I’m reading an African novel and just the other day I found myself thinking: gotta tell Risa about this!

  • Ingrid

    I LOVED Anna Karenina. I didn’t like Isabel Archer either … Anna isn’t quite as annoying, but she definitely wasn’t my favorite character in the book. I loved Levin and Kitty, and their story takes up about half the book. So worth it just for them.

    • Elena

      Thanks, Ingrid! I’m intimidated by the number of pages but I’m definitely consider reading it. Anna seems a very well-constructed character and although many would argue Isabel is too, I didn’t find her appealing at all.

  • Shelley

    Anna Karenina is one of my favorites of all time and I’ve read it twice. Having said that, I’ve heard a lot more people dislike it than like it, so I guess it’s a toss-up! I’m much more interested in another character, Levin, than Anna herself. If you do decide to read it, I would recommend the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation.

  • Ash

    I don’t know if you have decided to read Anna Karenina or not but here is my thoughts. Yes the book is long, and at times Tolstroy gets distracted by details, but that’s part of it that makes it wonderful. The book breaks down into eight parts- think of them as installments. I love the style the book is written in, so don’t worry about that too much. If you really want to read the book you might want to get a version that has a list of the main characters in it. When I first started reading it I had no idea what it was about. At all. But I was very greatful to have a list of characters and who they were to look back to untill I was familiar enough with the book to recognise all the characters.

    Even though the book is named after the character Anna Karenina it’s really about two couples (Anna and Veronsky, & Levin and Kitty) and how different they are. None of the characters are meant to be despised or glorified. It’s about people, character flaws, and how they handle hardship. It shows how in familys there are always moments of joy but how every family has issues that are specific to them as they are verried, hence the famous quote from the book, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” I personally LOVE the book and I am happily re-reading it. I truely hope you enjoy it.

    • Elena

      Dear Ash, you cannot know how great you’re comment is: it has conviced me to read Anna Karenina (probably during the Christmas break). Just recently I realized how much I like flawed characters (Blanche DuBois is my favourite) so, Anna Karenina seems the perfect reading.

      I’m so thankful, hope to have you back as soon as possible! 🙂 If not, with you the best and be proud to have convinced me to read Anna Karenina.

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