Saturday, February 5, 2011
Anna Karenina discs 1-15, or WHY TOLSTOY WHY?
I got Tolstoy's Anna Karenina on CD to listen during my commute. It's thirty discs long. THIRTY. Makes sense, since the book is gigantor, but it's the most I've ever tackled. Luckily it's split into two sets of fifteen. I finished the first set last week, and let me tell you, Tolstoy likes words. Also, everyone has a super long name. I thought I was going to be bored out of my mind, but it's actually a compelling story. Levin likes Kitty, but she refuses his proposal because she's waiting on Vronsky. Meanwhile, Vronsky and Anna fall in love and Anna cheats on Alexei Alexandrovitch and he's mad. Anna is Stiva's sister, and Dolly is Kitty's sister, and Dolly and Stiva are married but Dolly is upset because Stiva is sleeping with the governess. Kitty realizes that Vronsky will never propose and she's sad because she could've been with Levin, and she gets sick and goes abroad to drink special waters and rest at a spa. Anna gets pregnant with Vronsky's child and Alexei Alexandrovitch debates on what to do regarding their marriage. Kitty comes back, Levin gets over himself and re-proposes, she says yes, and at the end of this set of discs, they are going to get married.
Throw in various political asides, lots of trips from Moscow to Petersburg and the country, carriages, troikas, Levin's life in the country and his idealization of peasant life, and that's my summary of the first chunk. Epic. I am really liking it! Also, the reader on the audio book is fabulous which makes a huge difference. She's got a slightly different tone for each character without being cheesy. There is so much drama and family goings-on. I'm kind of irritated by Anna, to be honest, and I like Kitty and Levin a lot. We'll see what awaits in the next fifteen discs (I'm actually on disc 18 right now but there's still a lot!).