Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Anna Karenina

I'm going to finish reading Tolstoy's Anna Karenina today.  It reads very quickly for such a long book (my copy is 817 pages.)  I just found out that The Penguin Classics version of it is the current selection for Oprah's Book Club. I feel like such a joiner! I didn't know until I saw it on display on an endcap at K-Mart with a big banner announcing it as "Oprah's Summer Pick!"

Now I know why it was so darn hard to get my hands on one of the 20-something copies the library keeps.  I think I may sign up for Oprah's book club just to see what other people are saying about it.  I may have a bit of an unique view of it since I have been through leaving my husband for another man.  Maybe I'll even have something meaningful to contribute.

I'm so glad I've started reading!  It makes me really happy.  Anna Karenina is not a happy book, but it is so beautifully written.  I think this was an excellent choice to follow Henry James's The Ambassadors.  They were both writing inner monologue, they both handled their novels in a similar fashion.  But where James is nearly impossible to read sometimes, Tolstoy shines.  There are difficult passages, the characters go through exceptionally complex trains of thought, and the whole time you can't help but understand everything.  I personally think James went too far in the academic sense of what he was doing.  So far that the story almost disappears.  The things he left out were almost too big to make anything of it.  Tolstoy is a much better read.  It seems that this is what James should have done.  The sense of accomplishment I had after I finished The Ambassadors was mostly "whew, I made it through that!"  I am honestly enjoying this one though.

Oh, got the bug to go read.  Sitting here typing isn't getting me to the end of the book any quicker :)

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