Anna Karenina, a Russian lady moving in elite circles, embarks on a self-destructive path after her encounter with the gregarious Count Vronsky. The other main character, wealthy landowner Levin, struggles with his feelings towards women, society and religion.
What I Think
I reluctantly picked up this book (and only did so because I was reading it for my book club), but found myself really enjoying it. Despite its size, a hefty 940 pages, it was mainly a light read with plenty of amusing moments. Set in Russia in the 19th century, Tolstoy depicts a detailed account of the characters and the world they move in. Anna's slow decline in society is mirrored by Levin's gradual success in life.
This year will see a modern screen adaptation of Anna Karenina. The screenplay, written by Tom Stoppard (known for classics as Shakespeare in Love and Empire of the Sun), has apparently chosen a non-traditional route; the main action takes place on a stage. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of this. It is directed by Joe Wright (Atonement and Sense and Sensibility) and stars his favourite leading lady, Keira Knightley, as Anna Karenina, as well as Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
About the Author
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, known as Leo Tolstoy (9th September 1828 - 20th November 1910) was a Russian writer of novels, short stories, plays and essays. His two most famous novels are War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (serialized: 1873-1877).