About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Russian Lit or Soap Opera?

Anna Karenina
by Leo Tolstoy
Copyright 1873-1877
??? pages
Rated 2 stars of 5 possible

In nineteenth century Russia, carrying on an extra-marital love affair wasn't quite the thing to do. The novel follows the trials and tribulations of Anna Karenina as she rejects her passionless marriage in favor of pursuing her doomed love affair, enduring the hypocrasies of society.

Anna Karenina is said to have been Tolstoy's best work. If so, I certainly don't want to waste my time on anything else he wrote... This might have gotten a slightly better rating from me if I could have finished it... but the story is complex and each character seems to have multiple names, making the action - what there is of it - difficult to follow.  Most of the characters are forgettable and some downright unlikable, even though we are supposed to like them. Even though I liked Anna to a certain degree, I still wanted to alternately slap her for her lapses in judgement and support her for putting up with her very much unlikeable husband.

Someone else mentioned that it reads like a soap opera, and I have to agree, it very much does resemble the soaps. When things happen in this story, they happen slowly - almost as if one is watching a motion picture at slow speed. While I usually  enjoy long and complex novels, this book is different.  Anna Karenina is certainly not for everyone.  All I can say in it's favor is, I'm glad I didn't spend money on this novel.  I got mine from Project Gutenberg, hence no length listed.  Wikipedia has links to a couple other versions.  Recommended: If you're not 100% certain you will love this novel, either borrow it from your local library or read one of the versions available online free, otherwise it's not worth the cost.

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