Book review – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Caidyn's review (1)

Anna Karenina


CW: adultery and suicide

A part of me cannot believe that I finished this book so fast after how long I had it on my TBR.

It was mainly added because one of my friends decided to read it. Hearing her talk about it, I decided to add it to mine. And then I never got to it. It was on my Goodreads TBR from 2012 to now. Seven years of owning the book, too.

And I decided to tackle it this year. I’m pleased to say that I honestly enjoyed reading this book. My parents were out of town last week, so that meant I was on puppy duty. That meant, being woken up around 4-4:30 by them being jumped on or having them start licking my face.

So, I’d sit at the kitchen table after that, drinking coffee and reading. I finished the book that way because I just read it until it was time for me to go to work.

There are a few reasons why it lost the star that it did. For one, I really hated Levin’s perspective. All I wanted from the book was Anna, her husband, and her lover. Those were the only three characters that I wanted to read about. Levin just annoyed the hell out of me. I could have cared less about his farm and relationship and everything else. It was just dull and completely pointless when you look at the rest of the book.

A second reason is that it did take me a while to get into the story. Roughly 200 pages, actually, which is a fair chunk of the 800 page novel. I think it took that long because of the names and nicknames, along with me trying to slog through everything Levin and have Anna start her affair with Vronsky. After we got through that, I was way more into it and could stomach Levin’s chapters more.

My final reason is the ending. Now, I’m not talking about the famous ending. It’s more the fact that there’s about a 50-60 page partย after it. Like. You didn’t need it. I would have preferred it ended abruptly with that section (I’m trying not to spoil a book that’s been around since the 1800s, but I realize that many people already know the ending; hell, I knew the ending before I got there) rather than go onto something else.

All of that written out, I honestly enjoyed the book. I’m very glad that I’ve read it and I can’t wait to revisit this in a few years. It also makes me want to tackle a few other longstanding books that have been on my TBR! Like, Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, or even give Crime and Punishment (a book I hated) another try.

Talk to me!
Have you read this? What did you think?
What classic have you read that you were pleasantly surprised by?

6 thoughts on “Book review – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

  1. Agree about this one… all that farming stuff. I realise it was important at the time and maybe people were into that as well, but to modern readers it’s hard to get through.
    I’ve read Crime and Punishment, really didn’t like it.
    I’ve been surprised by Austen lately, I struggled with her before but on re-reading I realised how good she is ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh for sure. It was needed a long time ago, but now it’s a huge slog.

      I read Crime and Punishment for AP Lit in high school. Hated every second of it, but I kinda want to try it again since I was 17 when I read it. I’ve aged a lot since then. I also need to reread some of Austen’s books! I’ve read all of her completed novels, but wasn’t a fan of half of them. I think a reread would help some.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this book last year! And I totally agree with the points why you took a star! I had exactly the same problems haha
    Personally I really liked the picture of Dorian Grey and David Copperfield! Both of those had a bit more ‘action’ which made it a bit easier for me to read!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to know it’s not just me! Yeah, Dorian Gray and David Copperfield definitely do have more action. But, even though Dorian Gray is one of my favorite books of all time, there is that one chapter that puts me to sleep.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: May Wrap-up – BW Reviews

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