Anna Karenina….Part 1, almost

September 30, 2012 § 6 Comments


I joined this read-along with Arti and others about two weeks ago, that is, a bit late (OK, very late)  but I’m happy to have a reason and some friends with whom to travel the books hundreds of pages. I am still in Part 1 and while such a confession should have me blushing (as many characters in the novel do on a regular basis), I’m happy just to be in it, like a marathon runner who might end up walking, due to a sore knee or a distraction like a cloud or butterfly).

We are preparing for a wedding in the family. Somehow this involves readying the house, filling the kitchen cupboards, cleaning up the yard and taking inventory of sheets and towels to accommodate guests who are flying in. And finishing reception details. And keeping an eye on the Bride. And there a lot of questions and logistics. And lists. I have the MoB’s ultimate book of lists. It’s just they’re in different note”books” so far.

So…what better time to pick up the novel Anna Karenina as a bit of a “challenge?” I haven’t read Tolstoy in several decades. And following on the heels of some of the fiction and political reading I’ve done of late, Tolstoy shines.  I am interested in every detail he provide (even to the type/species of oyster they will have at dinner) especially since his details center on character more than story, though he takes his time with story and I love the pace.  It’s wonderful, lets you be there. Every look, every blink, every bite at the table, every step, every excitement, every plunge and rise of emotion with each character. And yet, so abrupt sometimes to the point of a phrase like “He walked out.” He gives the reader tie to draw a breath.

I offer no details or quotes at the moment; I have run to the store, right now. But I am compelled to mention that the book is a huge world, and a massive writerly undertaking to which I react more than to the story itself so far.  I’m nearly to the end of part 1. That’s ok; onward.

It is worth it. And I have the same Penguin edition that Arti is reading and I like it. (Often, but not always important that the book has an aesthetic appeal.)

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§ 6 Responses to Anna Karenina….Part 1, almost

  • Arti says:


    Kudos to you for your courage and determination, taking up this challenge while preparing for a wedding. This is a fine account you have here, as lively and vivid as the master’s descriptions. In Part 4, there’s a wedding planning. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it even more. I totally agree with you, Tolstoy is a master storyteller. The sensitive observations, the nuanced depictions, the detailed capturing. And yes, they do change colours a lot… I’m all curious now to see the characters portrayed on screen. Thank you for joining us on this most interesting journey. Go at your own pace, it’s the pleasure of reading and camaraderie that make this worthwhile. Ultimately, I’m sure everyone will cross the finish line.

  • marmeladegypsy says:

    Well, you know I always admire you. But I’ve got to say you take the (wedding) cake as you prepare for all that plus giving Anna your best shot! I think Arti is right — everyone WILL cross the finish line!

  • Bella Rum says:

    I’ve noticed that a couple of my favorite bloggers have joined the read-along. I’ve been toying with the idea of reading it for some time, but you’ve finally pushed me off the log. More power to you that you’ve chosen this time of white lace and flowers and wedding cake to read Anna!

  • Typehype says:

    What a good idea. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!

  • Bellezza says:

    Hi, Oh! I’ve missed you! Good to see that you picked up Anna Karenina, which you write about so beautifully in this post. It’s slow, to be sure, but oh what a novel it is. Tolstoy gives us so much to think about, and I cannot wait to hear your thoughts when you finish. I’m still dwelling with so many of the characters, Levin being my favorite at this ripe age I’m currently enjoying. When once I could relate to Anna’s obsessions. 😉

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