Hooray me! Hooray Anna Karenina!

Just to announce my immense satisfaction and relief: I have finished Anna Karenina!

Yes, I loved it but no, it was not easy to read. Not because of the style, which was extremely good and very funny at moments but because of the content and Tolstoi's tendency to stress details, especially anything about: agriculture, spirituality, agriculture, the process of thinking without actually getting into the content of the character's thoughts (whoa, the last chapters on Lewin were pure hell), agriculture, Russia's society, the conditions of peasants, and did I mention agriculture?

It is a long, long book and at many times I just thought: "Please give this author a good editor!" but no, Tolstoi's work wouldn't be as a literary monument as it is without his overwhelmingly rich prose. Many parts seem not necessary because the story is supposed to be about the tragedy of Anna Karenina and they shift the focus towards Lewin (who apparently is an embodiment of Tolstoi himself) and theories on farming and society. I still could not decide if the title was well chosen or a failure, the character Anna Karenina is not structuring the book enough to justify it. In fact, Lewin's parts are so prominent and his connection to Anna Karenina so few and even if I understand that he is her counterpart, why is her name the title?

Reading Tolstoi is like going through a mill but it is worth it. 5 stars. But I am not going to reread it anytime soon, nor will I read any other Tolstoi for the next 2 months.


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Constantly changing places is inherent to my life. Books have always been steady friends which I could bump into wherever I was all over the world.
Stumbling upon Kaminer's German stories of "Die Reise nach Trulala" in Reykjavík's city library is as moving as meeting the Icelandic sagas in Boston's Borders.
To see a book again, that I've read thousands of kilometers away makes me smile "Hey I know you.." and shake hands by thumbing through it for a while.