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I still haven't taken the plunge but will enjoy it vicariously through you. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on this book!


Jaimie--I hope I don't get too boring! If I know I am going to post on something I tend to be better at sticking with my reading, which is why I'd like to post regularly about AK. I'm happy to have picked it up finally after wanting to for so long.


Good luck! I'm hopeless with Russian Lit. Can never get to grips with the names.


This is one of my favorite books. Think I am due for a re-read, and am so enjoying the P & V translation of The Brothers Karamazov that I might give your edition a spin next time. Happy reading!


I stopped by your blog today. I enjoyed the beginning of Anna Karenina but unfortunately a friend of mine absolutely loved the book and couldn't stop talking about it - along with spoilers - I gave up.
Ann Summerville
Cozy In Texas


I love Anna Karenina and you've inspired me to return to it. At first I thought I would just go Russian and read something esle, but I can't possibly skip my favorite Russian novel. Or one of my favorites anyway. You've got a great translation: I also recommend the Maude translation, the one that Tolstoy approved back in the day!

But I'm reading the Pevear and Vol. along with you.


I've only read a little bit so far--I'm reading it online, and that always slows me down. One thing that stood out for me, since I know it's going to be a tragic work, is the tone, which is so far farcical and satirical. It will be interesting to see at what point the tone of the story shifts, and how successful that shift will be.

I'm also a little unsure about Tolstoy's intentions. I assume that Stepan is going to be a foil to Anna, to show how differently society viewed infidelity when the culprit was a man instead of a woman. But is the reader supposed to like him despite his behavior, as the other characters seem to, or is the reader supposed to be furious with him for his selfishness and lack of introspection(which was my reaction)? I haven't gotten far enough along to decide. What did you think?


Cath--When I first saw those names I was wondering if they would slow me down (more so than already as I am a slow reader to begin with), but I am starting to get into the rhythm. Still, I have to more or less hear the words in my head, so I may have to 'read over' the longer names--will see how it goes. They are challenging, aren't they?!
Frances--I haven't looked over any other editions, but the P&V reads very smoothly. It's early days yet, but I think I can see why this is a favorite book of many readers. I've not read Dostoevsky since high school--maybe I'll attempt him next!
Ann--Thanks for stopping by! I do know how this ends--I think it is famous enough that I heard about it and read references to it growing up, but I don't know details, so it is all new to me. I do plan on being very careful about posting notes about spoilers if necessary so I don't ruin it for anyone who isn't reading or might not be at the same place as me. It's not much fun if someone give it all away, is it.
Frisbee--Wonderful! With so much interest and encouragement (not necessarily that I'll need it now that I have started) this should be a very fun read and maybe not the overwhelming challenge that I always assumed it would be. Interesting about the Maude translation-they were there when it was being written, so it might be nice to compare the two versions.
Castallia--So glad you are reading along. I'm not a fast online reader either. Do you read on your computer or do you have another portable device? It doesn't at all feel like a tragedy to start out, does it. I'm only about 50 pages in and am very taken with the details and relationships--he managed to grab me right away. My first reaction to Stepan was much like you--a little furious with him to do that and not seem worried about it, and poor faded Dolly so in love with him. And like you I thought it must be to act as a foil, but hadn't gone further in my thinking about the comparison to how society will view a (married) woman's indiscretions versus a mans. It will be interesting to see how the two situations play out. He does seem quite likable, though. I wonder what happened to the French governess!


Count Vrosky is my favorite character...and another that comes farther in the story. I'll let you know when you come to him!


OOh I did enjoy the beginning of the story, and oddly enough it was the relationship between Kitty and Levin that really pulled me in. Vronsky is a charmer. Looking forward to hearing what you think of him when he hoves into view!


If only my sister hadn't borrowed my copy (and she's not even reading it right now!) I'd be joining in with you. You've reminded me how wonderful this book is - I also enjoyed it far more than War and Peace. It's a dense, complicated and intense saga but it's well worth the effort. Good for you for getting started and I can't wait to read about your progress!


Reading the book would be great but too much for me at the moment I am afraid, yet I really enjoyed this post and am looking forward to them all already.


Yay! sounds like things are off to a good start!


I still have to start reading, and I'm already doubting whether I should, it looks complicated! But I'm going to give it a go anyway.


I had hoped to read along with you but now I have a few books I need to get read for an upcoming book tour so I am not sure if I will be able to keep up! I look forward to your blog postings about the book and see if I can find a way to fit some reading of Anna Karenina in!


Well, I think I'm going to have to sit out this readalong after all but I'll also be looking forward to your blog posts. Have fun!


Danielle--I'm reading at my computer. I've been tempted by the new iPads, but I think even if I had something more portable, I would still read more slowly on a screen than I would on paper.


Gayle--Hmm, you have me intrigued. I am getting a better idea of Vronsky and have finally 'met' Anna, so I think things are going to definitely become more interesting.
Litlove--The whole Kitty/Vronsky/Levin thing is going to be interesting. I think I like Levin even though Kitty has turned him down. And Vronsky is a charmer--I wonder if he realizes his effect on women--he certainly isn't thinking marriage....poor Kitty. It does say something that he doesn't feel he loves his mother...not deep in his soul anyway.
Rachel--It is dense, but in a good way. I found myself reading more than I planned today, so I may get this read quicker than I expected. You'll have to spur your sister on to read it! Why did I put it off so long?
Catharina--Timing really is everything. I just feel compelled to read it right now. I've wanted to so many times, but just didn't get around to it.
Stefanie--I think this is going to be a very good read. I actually find that I don't want to put the book down! Always a good sign.
Iris--I hope I have not put you off!! I was a little apprehensive at first, but I am finding that a few chapters in and it is not as hard keeping track of names and people/relationships as I feared. Tolstoy is also very good about using the characters name and the diminutive together in the same chapter--even paragraph rather than switching back and forth without no warning. Do let me know how it goes when you start. I think once you are in ten or twenty pages you will find a nice rhythm. I am expecting to read at a very leisurely pace, but I noticed that I read past what I had wanted to accomplish today. I think it is not going to be hard to understand, only the story is very long and he writes in a very detailed manner--not a bad thing, though.
Kathleen--I completely understand having certain books you want to read at a certain time. I am also reading some other books on the side, so not just Anna K exclusively. You'll have to give it a try and see if it appeals at the moment (though I know not everyone likes reading several books at once!).
Iliana--That's okay--it is definitely an undertaking, and the nice thing is it will be there for later when you do feel like picking it up!
Castallia--I suspect I would, too. And I am finding that I can read something fluffier far faster than I am reading Anna K. But that's okay, this is a book I think I prefer reading slowly. A coworker has an iPad that he brought in to work and I have to say I think they are kind of cool. I am not a gadget sort of person, but even I wouldn't mind owning one. Of course I totally can't afford it, still they are sort of snazzy.


The only Tolstoy that I have read is his short stories. I should have read 'Anna Karenina' long time ago. Oh an idea!Maybe I will read along with you.


I have this book sitting on my shelf and am very very hesitant to pick it up. I've promised myself to read it soon.. err.. maybe next year. :) Good luck!


Vipula--A few years ago I read War and Peace with a group of readers. I'm happy Anna Karenina is only half its size!! :) (Though I did like W&P--just very long). That would be great if you read along. I've just been reading it on my bus rides actually and am making steady progress--though I am only about 70 pages in. I'm really enjoying it, too.
Aths--I've done the very same thing--planned several times that 'this year is the year'. I just finally decided this year really is the year. When the moment is right you'll want to pull it off the shelf to read!


I am so far behind on my blogging I didn't realise you were doing this. I read AK about 7 years ago, and really loved it, except for the last chapter, but what can you do!

Every now and again I think I should reread it,but then again I have still got War and Peace to read yet. I am hoping that one day I will be able to buy the translation by the same people who did this one!


I have started it! I'm two chapters in so not long started, but still it is begun. I liked the line about how even though the situation is Stepan's fault, almost everyone in the house is on his side - how like life.

This is a book I had to force myself to read. While the character names are a starters challenge, I think knowing and understanding that the underlying theme is going to the most interesting part.

I liken completing this book to surviving Bleak House - you have to be dedicated to finishing it and once you have done so you can breath again. It is a reading accomplishment. You might even go back for short segments later on studying the theme.


Marg--I am always behind, too! This came up relatively quickly, so don't feel bad you didn't see it sooner. I have a feeling I know what happens in that last chapter, but it is still going to surprise me, I'm sure. So far I love the book, though. I read a different translation of War and Peace--it is a fairly recent translation by a British man, which I thought was really good. I'm just glad Anna K is much shorter than W&P!
Jodie--It won't take you long to get into it at all! Once you start going it is pretty easy reading actually. I think I should finish the first 'Book' by the weekend. I'm not moving too quickly as I have other books on the go right now, too, but I do read a little every day.
Terrysthinking--I was afraid it would be a book I could easily set aside, but I am finding it pretty interesting actually and enjoy picking it up every day--which is a good thing, or I'm afraid it would feel too much of a slog. Now, I have read about a third of Bleak House, which I sort of lost the thread to, so it sits by my bed and hopefully I will pick it up again sometime. I like Dickens, but I think I just got caught on a slower part or something. Books like this do definitely make you feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish them, I agree. And I would like to go back and study it in greater detail--will have to look for a book of criticism maybe.


It took me about a month to read "Anna Karenina" and I finished it this weekend. At the end of the novel a muzhik tells Levin, "There are those who live for their bellies, and there are those who live for God." If you're willing to look at the characters that way, it's easy to figure out who is who. Tolstoy wants us to live for God.
My edition has a cast of characters in the beginning--that really helped.


Lynda--Yay--you've finished, that's great. I think it is still going to take me a while, but I plan on sticking with it, and hopefully in June will have more time to devote to it. I have a feeling I know which characters Tolstoy approved of based on your quote! And mine also has a list of characters with the name variations and descriptions which I refer to often! Now what do you plan on reading?

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