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Comments

Stefanie

Congratulations! I knew you'd finish it before the end of the year. You just needed to be on vacation :)

Anbolyn

Fireworks, confetti and champagne all around!

Danielle

Stefanie--Yay. I finish books all the time, but why does this one feel particularly special?! Now I can read at whim for the rest of my vacation!
Anbolyn--Yes! That sounds just about right! :)

Kathy

Yay! It feels so good to finish a long book, particulary a classic that you really feel is worthwhile to read. I read Anna K. a few years ago, and didn't do it justice at the time. If I remember correctly, one of my all-time favorite lines comes from the book, though. I should have written it down, but it goes something like: "the conversation flickered like a blown candle." Somehow that struck me as being so descriptive.

Danielle

Kathy--It does feel good to have read this and finished it even though it did take me longer than I had thought. It's an amazing story and maybe with a second read I would pick up more. I do fold down pages when I come across lines that strike me like the one you mention--I should get out my pencil and make little notations! That's a great line and I wish I recalled more things specifically like that!

Elizabeth

Congratulations on finishing! What a great accomplishment and before the end of the year. I'm sure that feels wonderful. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts and also your impressions of the film versions. I'm hoping to read this one myself maybe in 2012 (Oh boy, I'm already planning for 2012 reading!).

Chibundu

I completely agree. I felt that Anna Karenina was a lot more about Levin and his journey. The book even ends with him, if I remember correctly.However, I did find it waaaaaaaay more readable than War and Peace which I am ashamed to say, I never finished. For christmas I'm going to read the death of ivan ilyich which is refreshingly tweeny in comparison to A.K and WandP.

Caroline

Lucky and enviable you... The end of ths journey lies still in front of me. Lewin does certainly not get as much attention in the movies. Ana's and Vronsky's story is much more cinema material, I guess. I hd a feeling Lewin is interesting but... I think everything that Tolstoy attempted with Lewin he achieved much better in the Death of Iwan Illitsch. Did you read The Kreutzer Sonata? That was my first Tolstoy and I loved it. Especially when you know and listen to the music as well... And, like Iwan Illitsch it is short. (The German translations write Iwan, Lewin... I am used to that).
Hope you are spending lovely Christmas days...
Btw I do want to organize a War and Literature read along, starting in January with Susan Hill's Strange meeting... I got 12 novels (including The Winter of the World)... Maybe you would like to join occasionally, should post the list shortly. I try to choose mostly short books (under 300 pages)...

Tiina

Congratulations on finishing Anna K.!

Merry Christmas!

Jodie

Well done! And possibly there should be chocolate and the beverage of your choice too? I like posts feauled by reading highs just as much as indepth critical ones (and really don't you just feel overwhelmed thinking about writing a critical response to this novel - so huge and detailed).

I'm still working on it, but when I finish I might have to email you because of your comments on Levin - I'm not at all sure I wanted Kitty to marry him...I mean he seems nice, but not really in tune with her as a person, rather than a love object.

catharina

Well done,congratulations. And enjoy your days of unplanned reading ahead! As it is Christmas Eve here now: Happy Christmas Danielle!

Danielle

Elizabeth--It's well worth the read and for planning for it as well! Don't feel bad, the way my reading list is, I'll have books to read well into the next couple of decades! I'm sure I'll write about it more in the new year and maybe I'll even read some more Tolstoy!
Chibundu--Yes, it does end with Levin and his religious epiphanies. I still feel bad for Anna....and you're right it is easier than W&P with all those battle scenes! I think I want to read more Russian lit and I like the idea of a Short book! I have Tolstoy's Resurrection on hand and I hear it even has a happier ending.
Caroline--I think Levin is modeled on Tolstoy himself, isn't he? You're right that Anna's story is much more cinematic, though Levin's seems more important in the book--funny that. I've not read the Kreutzer Sonata, but I like reading it and listening to the music. I saw the Sophie Marceau version by the way--it felt quite choppy but then I had just finished the book. I knew it would be nothing compared to the book but I was still disappointed. Loved the costumes and filming though--especially that ballroom scene. I discovered I had the VHS tape--still unopened and in the plastic (no doubt waiting for me to read the book first!). I may watch it again over break and still have the Masterpiece Theater adaption, which is a full four hours so maybe a bit more substantive. So far Christmas is very quiet--though I've seen my sister who is in town a couple of times and will spend Christmas Day with my family. I'd love to read along with you and will watch for your list. I'll see if I can get the Susan Hill book from the library (I checked and the library where I work owns it so I will grab it when I return on the 3rd of Jan!--it sounds like fun and I will watch for more details! :)
Tiina--It always feels good to finish a book you've spent lots of time reading! Merry Christmas to you, too--have a great holiday!
Jodie--Yes, I do feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing about it. It is a novel that is worthy of more thought and a bit more reading in the way of criticism so will see what's out there when I get back to the library. I'll be quite interested in hearing what you think of the rest of the novel! There are more philosophical sections by way of Levin--he did grow on my as I went, but both he and Kitty seemed so insecure in themselves and their feelings--very, very interesting. Part of me wants to almost go back and pick the novel up and start from the beginning to get it all straight!
Catharina--Thanks! Why do some books feel so totally monumental? I've decided to clean my night table off--see what I really want to finish, maybe pick up a book I've been dying to read and generally clean things up for the new year! I hope you have a really lovely holiday, Catharina. Merry Christmas!

Dorothy W.

Congrats on finishing! I agree that Anna's fate is hard to take, and it seems unfair that other characters don't get treated in the same way. I'm curious if thinking about it more and/or reading some criticism changes your view of it at all.

Kat

Congratulations! You inspired me to reread Anna Karenina this year. It's a great book, but these long masterpieces take a long time to read, especially when you're working. I'm so glad you finished it. I love Anna, and you're right, she really is tragic and it's dreadful that Vronsky is barely affected in the end. Levin and Kitty are the ideal.

Merry Christmas!

iliana

A classic, a chunkster and a book in translation. This has it all :)

Congrats on finishing the novel!

Danielle

Dorothy--As soon as life calms down a bit from the holidays I'm planning on reading a little criticism on Anna K--I always wonder if how I interpret things is the right way (maybe there isn't a "right way"?). Anyway reading more about a book usually clarifies things!
Kat--I am very pleased to have read it and finished it--even if it took a little longer than I expected. I think it is one that I will have to reread as there is so much in the story to take in. The more I think about it the more I like it though there were challenging moments as I was reading! And I think the more I think about Levin and Kitty the more I like them. I hope you had a great Christmas, too!
Iliana--What a nice way to end the year! And a male author, too! This is definitely not what I've been reading during the year, so I am very pleased indeed!

litlove

Ta- dah!!!! Many congratulations on finishing this monster of a book. I have never managed it, because about a third of the way through I felt I could see so clearly where it was all headed for Anna, and I wasn't sure I could bear it. Some times I am a wimp like that and duck out of taxing reading. That gender bias - that women must die for their sins, whilst men are offered chance after chance of redemption, never sits well, somehow. I would like to finish it - I'm waiting for a moment when I feel tough. :-)

Danielle

Litlove--I felt like doing a little dance when I finished, but it was more like a huge sigh of relief! It was very good, but yes, you know what's coming and I think that is part of what made it go so slowly for me. It does seem unfair that women must pay such a high price for the same sins that men commit--maybe that was Tolstoy's point--I really need to read more of his intentions, but that tragic moment was very hard to take indeed!

carolinareads

Sure Anna was immoral but I think that that was not the reason she killed herself, because if that was the reason several other character would have died. I believe that what leads Anna to suicide is the lack of the pure and true love that she desired but never experienced.

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