Anna Karenina is the only book I’ve ever not finished and have no desire to try again. I chose it for a book club read some time ago but hadn’t realised just how long it was! Our group decided to give it a go…most of us didn’t finish it.
If you don’t know the book here’s the blurb:
“Anna Karenina is one of the most loved and memorable heroines of literature. Her overwhelming charm dominates a novel of unparalleled richness and density.
Tolstoy considered this book to be his first real attempt at a novel form, and it addresses the very nature of society at all levels,- of destiny, death, human relationships and the irreconcilable contradictions of existence. It ends tragically, and there is much that evokes despair, yet set beside this is an abounding joy in life’s many ephemeral pleasures, and a profusion of comic relief.”
I never found Anna to be a likeable character so the book never grabbed me. It’s too long and quite boring in places. Tolstoy liked to use 10 words when one would suffice and I’m afraid this is one instance where the movie was more welcome. But this hasn’t stopped new books being compared to it. I guess because of the bored housewife scenario who embarks upon affairs who may or may not have suicidal thoughts.
I reviewed the 400 or so pages that I did read here but the one thing I did take from this book was the opening statement; this has stayed with me –
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”
It’s just so true isn’t it and is still very applicable today…
Do you feel compelled to finish a book once started?