Monday, October 4, 2010

Anna Karenina Read-a-Long Part 1

Anna Karenina (Oprah's Book Club)

I finished part one Anna Karenina yesterday and so far I'm pleasantly surprised. I'll admit I came into this book with a little apprehension. I mean it's Tolstoy, for one, and it's huge! I was looking at this 800 page book and worrying that it was going to be some strange, Russian, complicated epic and would be painful to get through. Granted, I'm only 117 pages in so far but it's far less scary than I'd anticipated.

Part one dealt mostly with introducing a ton of people, who all go by so many different names you need a cheat sheet to remember it all. However, once you get past the confusion of all the names, the storyline and the thoughts and feelings of everyone involved are things you see all the time. There's a couple dealing with the aftermath of infidelity, a woman torn between two men, and another woman fighting an attraction to a man who is not her husband. In other words, there's some juicy stuff going on. Looking forward to part two.

I'm not sure how many people are still reading a long with me so I thought the easiest way to share our thoughts on part one would be a blog hop type linky. If you are reading along please link to your post so the rest of us and check out your thoughts. I'm curious to see what the rest of you have to say about Anna Karenina


Christopher said...

Rachel, you are reading the very best translation too. You probably know this, but Richard Pevear and Lara Volokhonsky are a married couple that have done a simply superb job at providing the world with some magnificent new translations of these Russian classics. Apparently, Pevear takes the first cut at it. He drafts a translation of the Russian to English. He gives it to his wife, and then she goes back and reads the original Russian manuscript and then makes changes to ensure that the strict (and deeper) Russian meaning shines through. Having said all of this, I have to say that I have loved every one of their translations; they just seem to come alive.

"Anna Karenina" is such a beautiful novel, and just seems to epitomize the Russian way of life; i.e., passion, pathos, drama, stoicism, and so forth. These are a people that fully embrace the passionate side of human nature. I wish you great joy in reading this most amazing novel. I can't wait to hear your final thoughts on it. Cheers! Chris

Amy said...

Oh Rachel, I wish I had known several weeks ago that you were going to have a read-a-long of Anna Karenina. I really want to read this book. I don't think I have the time right now, but if I can fit it in I will. Meanwhile I'm going to follow your posts.

Early this morning after checking the weather channel I was flipping the channels and came across the movie of Anna Karenina! It was from the 50's or 60's. I watched for a bit but there was a lot of the book cut out of the movie which I'm sure it had to be or else the movie would be 8 hours or so!

~ Amy

ibeeeg said...

Shoot...wish I would have stumbled upon your blog sooner. I have also had a desire to attempt reading this book. Glad to know that you are not finding it overwhelming like you thought you may.

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