Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Book – Anna Karenina

Author – Leo Tolstoy

Genre – Russian Literature, Classics

Read in October 2012

Recommended to Asha by Tolstoy Literature

My Rating: ★★★★★

Good Lord! Did it really take me a month to finish reading a book?

Well, yes, what else was I expecting with a 808 page paperback? What was I looking forward to with a Tolstoy Classic?

I still remember how much for months I was wanting to start reading Anna Karenina. And the moment I got myself a copy, I left everything aside.

With a Tolstoy novel, it is imperative you give it undivided attention and hence although I read around 3 books at a time, with Anna Karenina, it was just Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina!

It was such worth my time and past the first few pages, I was so caught up with the plot that I regretted not having started reading it earlier. But like they say, Better late than never!

I have been an all-time Tolstoy admirer and have read almost all his short stories which never cease to amaze me with their intriguing plots and moralistic approach.

Anna Karenina outstands in the crowd of classics of its age and an astonishing example of Tolstoy’s brilliance at Russian Literature.

In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy subtly describes the stories of mirth and miseries in families in medieval Russia.

With Anna Karenina, Tolstoy robustly portrays characters of Anna, Karenin, Vronsky, Oblonsky, Dolly, Kitty, Levin, Prince and Princess Scherbatsky who have a strong influence on the flow of the story.

Anna Karenina is rich with human emotions, behavior with a detailed view of characteristic approach to problems and issues in real life.

Tolstoy has put significant efforts in giving a minute to minute and second to second description of mental afflictions owing to varied precarious situations in which there is so much to learn and understand and it makes you almost live the characters of Anna and Levin and Karenin and Dolly etc. They are faces of myriad human moods. Firm, Doubtful, Shaky, Confused, Happy, Envy, Jealousy, Love. Everything about them is so complex yet so riveting. So inconsistent yet so influential. I could relate to it, to all of it, all the instances of utter shock and happiness and confundedness. Because as human-beings that is what we are. We are all like Anna and share a part of her life with ours. And that is one of the reasons why the book gets you gripped head to toe that you are still stuck with the story even after a week of finishing it. It is so immensely rich with human emotions and morals that it is hard to not get into the flow.

I loved the way Tolstoy has displayed classism. How easily Dolly forgives and forgets Oblonsky’s adultery but which is so hell-hard for Karenin to overlook in the case of Anna. How society condemns women but not men for something that is not acceptable to the society.

I loved Anna and the exquisite way she is portrayed. Tolstoy has done an astonishing work with her character.

I can keep writing on and on like this. All in all, I admire Tolstoy’s work more and more. And with Anna Karenina, it just cant get better than this. Having overalled, Anna Karenina is one of the greatest masterpiece works that I have ever come across. Tolstoy has penned down a stupendous classic of perfection with his literary communication in Anna Karenina.

– A Book-Lover(Also a Book-Reviewer) :-)


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Solid recommendation , Huh . . . 🙂 , The movie based on it is coming this year , if it would amaze you !


    1. Asha Seth says:

      Thank you. I know and I couldn’t really put down in words how much it is awaited! Have you read it?

      – Book-Lover 🙂


      1. Not yet , as i have to finish first 10 to 15 regional books then & then i can eye on it 🙂


  2. StetotheJ says:

    Had this for a few years so I shall look forward t giving it a go, thanks for reinspiring me to read this.


    1. Asha Seth says:

      My pleasure. And you’d never regret it. Hope you enjoy it and share your thoughts too.



      1. StetotheJ says:

        I sure will, it is a mammoth beast but I am looking forward to it, and was coincidentally name checked in The English Patient too!


  3. amarllyis says:

    I’m afraid this review tells me nothing about the book really. After reading this I still don’t know the outline of the story, the characters that, maybe, I should look forward to or even any historical background on it. All I know is that you’ve enjoyed it so much as to praise Tolstoy, which, I think is a good thing. However, this isn’t really a book review.


    1. Asha says:

      Hi Amarllyis,
      Sorry to have responded to your words so very late.
      And I agree to you that this isn’t really a book review.
      My idea being that the book doesn’t really need a review at the first place. Also, I would not be in a right position to review it very perfectly while myriad other proficient reviewers have done so effectively. Also, I have taken a chance to presume that almost everyone knows what this book is about and therefore I’ve only shared my views on the book.
      Yes, I have always been an admirer of Tolstoy’s works and I have in length done so in my write-up here. But if you really wish to have a good full-fledged review, you can always check here,

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thought on the same.



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