Anna Karenina–Leo Tolstoy

The moment you’ve all been waiting for!

*Insert beating my head against a wall.*

You endured several posts awhile back with me bitching about this book, and about the parts that I liked, and now you will be forced to read this. (A Clockwork Orange style! Prepare your eyeballs!) Sorry. Weird day.

Anyway, this is another book where I’m not 100% sure that I liked it. It had its moments, but I think when it comes to classics I’m more of a Jane Austen, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle-kind of girl.

Tolstoy was bland. I didn’t know where the plot was going half the time, and he would go off topic a lot. After awhile I had to skim his religious tirades, his farming tirades, his ribbon tirades, etc, etc in order to stay awake. I think I actually starting pinching myself in order to keep my eyes open! Okay, that’s not true, but I did have self inflicted prune feet from forcing myself to stay in the bath tub to read it because that’s the only place I could concentrate.

I’m glad I survived this book, but the ending was the biggest load of bullshit I’ve come across since I read My Sisters Keeper.

This book is happily tossed away from my bookshelf and will be going back to its owner in a confetti-filled parade.

Read this if you like to be tortured and then after they finish torturing you they slap you in the face with a dick move of an ending.

Anna Karenina Rant #2

I have a bone to pick with Tolstoy.

First (which I’ve already mentioned on Facebook) is that it took him 310 pages to tell me that Vronksy is a red head. That’s right. This guy that I thought was a player d-bag is amongst my favoured people. Not only does this re-peak my interest in the book, but it makes me see Vronksy in a different light. (I’m shallow like that.)

So, boo hoo he was a jerk to Kitty and he’s being a whore with Anna, what guy isn’t like that nowadays? Haha. He was just ahead of his time. Being a ginger changes so much.

Anyway, the second beef I have here is with Levin. I like Levin, he actually kind of reminds me of me if you take out all the farming stuff and throw in a bunch of Harry Potter and crafts instead. The problem I’m having with him (and myself actually) is that he has no balls. He proposes to Kitty, she turns him down because she has her fingers crossed that Vronsky will propose to her (clearly doesn’t) and when she turns him down he just leaves. THEN when he finds out that she isn’t engaged like a year later, he still won’t go and tell her how much he loves her even though he really didn’t do that in the first place!!! No. Balls.

And thirdly, my major beef… This name: Sviyazhsky. Kindly go fuck yourself Tolstoy.

Of course this shouldn’t be a major deal right? WRONG. This is the one character that Mr. Leo decides doesn’t NEED seventeen names, longer, shorter or otherwise. Do you really expect me to sit there sounding out Sviyazhksy right along Vassilchikov,Tverskoy, and Katavasov?! No. NO.

BAD TOLSTOY.

Needless to say I call this character “S”. I’ve also had to go to my old standby of reading the book out loud in a British accent. (Even though they are Russian, but speaking French, English AND the lovely German has been added to this. I love languages, but going overboard a little there Leo? I think so.)

Okay, That’s it. I think. For now. I’m only 340 odd pages in.

If you would like to follow my slow progress on Good Reads, check me out! Allison Abate, nerd with the hipster glasses that are actually real.

Monday Morning

After a weekend of trying to be handy and helpful (ie. Helping with Christmas-type things.) and failing because I’m a selfish person who likes her time alone and finds everything grating after doing it for more than a half hour in any store, I turned to reading as my solace.

If you have me on your Good Reads (or if you’ve been diligently counting as we’ve gone along here.) then you will know that I’m on my 75th book this year. (A nod to Charlaine Harris in particular for having so many interesting books for me to read.)

I thought that for my last book of the year, because I will inevitably get busier with the holidays and the sheer amount of family that I have, I would pick a big one and a classic. Also, a book that I borrowed from someone else so that before I move I can give it back so I’m not a thief.

This also led me to a surprise on my bookshelf: That I had already thought of this months ago when I was trying to reorganize things so that I was reading heavy books instead of the light ones for the move.

Thus bringing me to the mammoth: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

Borrowed from my sister: check. Heavy as all hell: check. (838 pages.) Classic: Check.

This book is brutal! I generally love books like this, Jane Austen, sign me up! But what in the hell is Tolstoy doing to me?! The first thing I notice about this book is that the print is small and the names are big. AND everyone goes by 18 different names. AND they are all princes. AND he goes on and on about things like farming for 20 pages.

Needless to say this book is killing me. It gave me a migraine on Sunday and I slept for three hours.

I figure the only way to get through this book is to make goals. The goals are thus:

1) Read at least 100 pages a day. (I mean, I do have a job and whatnot, so this is becoming a little far-fetched, but I think I can make it to at least 60 pages on an off day.)

2) Try not to die while reading this book. Ie. Eat, drink, sleep.

3)Take breaks. (This might help with the migraine and my sanity.)

4)Visit the outside world. Yes this goes with the take breaks and trying not to die, but I need to get out of the house into fresh air or this book will kill me.

5)Start drinking heavily while reading it. My liver won’t thank me, but at least this book will be funny.

And THAT kids, is how I plan on reading the driest classic I’ve ever come across.

300 pages in and it’s already sent me on a rant. Yikes. 500 more to go.

Constant vigilance.