Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Anna Karenina (the 820 page SAGA SOAP)!
Title: Anna Karenina
Author: Leo Tolstoy
Completed: March, 10th, 2008
Yearly Count: 8
Okay, okay! I finished it!! That is an amazing feeling, or it should be....but this time it wasn't. I know Anna Karenina is hailed here, there and everywhere but to me it lacked that striking aspect that holds on to your eyes even when you should be putting the book down. I could put it down and then I had to open it and re-open it many times in order to try to get into the lives of the people that it embraced.
For the first 300 pages I really didn't like the book very much, after that I started enjoying it, I began trying much harder to see the value, and feel the love. So, from about page 300 until page 697 it was all "okay", but at that page...when Tolstoy tarnished my last hope of having the book contain one person of quality, it fell apart for me. I think my feelings were abused by the author one too many times and I felt mistreated and really manipulated as a reader. I felt that he had to do this because the book was going to falter, and he wanted a joust. Besides that, almost every night after finishing another section I felt like I had been in a fight with someone because the book is so jam-packed full of arguments, be it with husbands, lovers, mothers, children...it feels like you are submitting yourself to an 817 page long soap opera. well that didn't do it for me. Maybe it will for you, this book is a hit to so many.
I was once told that in order to really embrace a movie or book or play you need to feel like you can relate to someone, or several different people, and on different levels. You need to feel that they are going thought something that you have or just that their personalities are like yours...you need to be them throughout the process. I have felt captured by tons of books, movies, and plays on this principal. In this book I connected with no-one for more than a couple pages. I did at spots with Levin or Kitty, but I did not have that strong connection with them that would hold me.
I think it is excellently written, and it is a powerful testament to what things can come out of disputes, discontent and unresolved issues.The title really should be changed to Anna Karenina: "A book you should read so that you realize that what you think would make you happy, really won't it will destroy you...because you don't know how good you have it now"!
This is a quote pretty much sums up the entire book: "He soon felt that the realization of his desire had given him only a grain of the mountain of happiness he had expected. It showed him the eternal error people make in imagining that happiness it the realization of desires" (p. 465).
Read that quote, learn it...live it...skip Anna Karenina. (that's my advice...if you wanted it)