Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Winter in Russia

I finished Anna Karenina. Yay! I feel as if I've been reading this book for at least two weeks. And, well, I'm not sure it was exactly worth it. However, Time calls it the greatest book of all time, so evidently I'm a good girl to have read it.

I wish I had done a bit of research into the best translation of this book. I chose this version because I liked the cover. (Aren't those flowers pretty? And so purple--and we know how I like that color purple!) I felt as if I was reading a really modern translation of the book, one that skimmed over some of the depth of the book.

Also, I thought the book would be about Anna. Yeah, it wasn't just about her. It's actually about seven people, with a fair amount dedicated to each one. So be prepared for that, ok?

Here's the main characters and my quick commentary:

Anna Arkadyevna Karenina – The title character, sister to Stepan and lover of Vronsky
*"Vronsky, you're hott, I'm leaving my husband, oh wait, that means I have to leave my poor son behind, oh well, Vronsky, let's have a baby. Wait, now you're ignoring me and sick of me? I'm going to kill myself!"
Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky – Lover of Anna
*"Anna, you're hott, leave your husband, oh, but wow, you can be tiresome. Okay, you're dead, I'm going to war."
Prince Stepan Arkadyevitch Oblonsky ("Stiva") – a civil servant
*"I may be man-whore, but at least I'm nice---and yikes, really in debt!"
Darya Alexandrovna Oblonskaya ("Dolly") – Stepan's wife
*"My husband's a cheater and my life is dedicated to my babies. Yet I'm not that annoying and a nice contrast to other characters."
Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin – Anna's husband
*"Anna's leaving me, I'm a wreck, my job is stalled--yet I will find happiness in mysticism and in the platonic friendship of a nice countess."
Konstantin Dmitrievitch Levin – Kitty's suitor and the novel's other protagonist
*"Wow, I have a lot of emotional issues. Good thing Kitty finally agrees to marry me; she's a good influence on me and our marriage makes an excellent comparison to Anna and Vronsky's relationship."
Ekaterina Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya ("Kitty") – Darya's younger sister
*"When you're young, you make mistakes in love, but hey, you grow up and it turns out okay! Yay babies and husbands!"

I actually liked Levin and Kitty the best. Their marriage has issues, but they work them out. I like that--it's realism.

So, anyway, go read Cliff Notes or something if you want more on this book. But in closing I will leave you with two bits of "Trivia" from Wikipedia about Anna Karenina:

*Jennifer Lopez is reading Anna Karenina on the subway in the Will and Grace episode "FYI: I Hurt Too" (Season 7, Episode 1).
*Karenna Gore Schiff, daughter of Tipper and Al Gore, is named for the main character; Tipper read the book during her pregnancy.

Rating: 7/10

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