19 January 2012

Anna Karenina

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Leo Tolstoy
Pages: 754
Format: Paperback
Rating: 2 out of 10

Summary (From GoodReads): The sensual, rebellious Anna renounces a respectable yet stifling marriage for an affair that offers passion even as it ensnares her for destruction. Her story contrasts with that of Levin, a young, self- doubting agnostic who takes a different path to fulfilment.

My Take: Thought it began interesting enough, with its multiple love stories that were all woven together, it quickly grew confusing and complicated. I was interested to know how it ended and I truly did want to finish it but I just couldn't do it. I got lost in the Russian names that I couldn't pronounce and the many nicknames/short forms of names that each character had. There were many characters and each had at least three different names. Also, my mind couldn't decided which characters I liked and which I didn't. One second I liked one and the next I couldn't stand them. It drove me crazy.

The plot was good when I could keep track of who we were talking about. The switching between the different story lines had no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes one character got two chapters and other times they got five or six in a row. I didn't like that. Soon I was skipping chapters so that I could just read the parts about Anna because I was the most interested in her but in the end I gave up on the story all together. I ended up googling the ending because I still wanted to know. One day I'll try reading it again but for now it sits on my shelf with the bookmark hanging out of it.

Final Thoughts: It has a good but slightly very confusing plot. You really have to be paying attention and have a long attention span because not all 750 pages are filled with action but are all filled with words. On the upside, you may make it all the way through it. It has a interesting ending according to google. I hope you can get through it.

P.S. How do you make it through really long books? Any tips?

UPDATE - Kristen

It's kind of funny that Kelsey decided to post this today, because I literally recommended this to someone today! Though I'm still trudging through it, I kind of like the changing chapters though I do wish Anna herself was more focused on. I'm determined to finish this, no  matter what.
My rating thus far isn't has low as Kels', probably a 7 for me.


  1. I haven't attempted this one myself but I've always wanted to read the Russians. It's good to know that the names and storylines are somewhat hard to keep track of, so I appreciate that. Sort of makes me wary of attempting it anytime soon as I don't think I have room in my brain for the attention span required! ; )

    I'm sorry this didn't work out for you. Perhaps down the road you can come back to this and it will all make sense.

    For me, personally, I get through the long books with a notepad and pen close-by. Quotes, tidbits of information, mini character bios, etc. make it to the pad so that when, 500 pages later, I have a question, I'm likely to have it down. Doesn't always work and can take the fun out of it, aka making reading feel more like homework, but it tends to help. Especially for those books that have many, many characters with unfamiliar names and just as many storylines.

    How ironic that I should write a semi-long comment pertaining to getting through long books. Bah, I crack myself up. May your next venture be much more enjoyable!

  2. Well, I liked it well enough it was just that, I don't know, I couldn't keep on track with so many other awesome books sitting around waiting for me. I left the book mark in so that I can hopefully pick it up again sometime soon. I love the making notes idea, I'll have to try it!
    P.S. The plot is great! I give it like a 7 but since I couldn't finish it it only gets a two
    - Kelsey

  3. Heh. Wonder who Kristen recommended it to?

    All three of those stories are great. LOL you would laugh at my #FF. I'm not even going to post a link. ROFL.


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