Anna Karenina

Anna KareninaAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Truth be told Anna Karenina is quite an annoying person and her book gets a lot more chill and charming whenever it switches to Levin and his weird hang-ups. The novel is structured around drawing comparisons and contrasts between the two main plot strands and couples, but it ultimately doesn’t lead to a summation at the end. The climax of Anna’s story is expertly built up but then ends abruptly, and it’s up to the reader to draw their own judgements about her tragic life. Tolstoy wraps up his novel with a strange left turn, which readers of a non-religious persuasion might find unsatisfying. The joy of the book is in its well-realised characters and moments, but it does not resolve neatly – it’s autobiographical elements destabilise the novelistic urge towards an orderly narrative.

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