Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy || Book Review

Some books are overrated. Some are worth the hype.

Sadly, in all my reading years, there are only a handful of books that I’ve found that have lived up to the hype they were built on. This book didn’t make that list for me.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

Book review: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy #bookreview #leotolstoy #classicbooks #russianliterature #booktwt #bookaddict #booktwitter

Originally published: 1878

Pages: 838
Format: Paperback

Plot from GoodReads:

‘Everything is finished. I have nothing but you now. Remember that’

Anna Karenina seems to have everything – beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their subsequent affair scandalizes society and family alike and soon brings jealously and bitterness in its wake.

Contrasting with this tale of love and self-destruction is the vividly observed story of Levin, a man striving to find contentment and a meaning to his life – and also a self-portrait of Tolstoy himself.


The title of the book is a bit misleading. You’d think this book would kick off from the beginning about this ‘Anna Karenina‘ but alas, it doesn’t. In fact, you don’t know about her, except one for one brief ironic mention, until one later on in the book. It was a little frustrating because it made me wonder what the significance was around the detail, which is eventually made clear to the reader but it took too long to get there.

The page-long sentences were a painful read and it took me back to the frustrations I felt while reading H.G. Well’s The War of the Worlds.

The length of this book just wasn’t justified for the amount of interest this book failed to raise. I found the whole book draining and overrated. There are so many long narratives to work through that held no real value to the story and seemed to go around in circles in some places.

Between Anna and Levin’s stories, I only found Levin’s one moving and entertaining and I felt empathy for the poor man.

The book carries with it many themes, ranging from simple to complex: love, marriage, infidelity, jealousy, economics and policies.

The build-up towards a climax in the book was slow but eventually reached it, only to end on such a disappointing note.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 4.08 on GoodReads. I gave it a 3.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy #bookreview #leotolstoy #classicbooks #russianliterature #bookaddict #booktwitter

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