Just reread Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

I made a very stupid mistake over Easter and rented Anna Karenina DVD. Beloved wasn’t particularly interested in watching it and I’d read the reviews when the film came out, by all accounts it was terrible. Still, there wasn’t much of interest at the Film Shop so Anna Karenina it was. Within minutes, as the clerks in Oblonsky’s office started pirouetting about, my jaw hit the floor. It stayed there for the duration. The thought of it, even now, makes me quite furious. What were all these people involved in making it thinking? No need to go into details of what made me so furious (everything) but I was particularly shocked by Tom Stoppard’s script. It’s been a long time since I read the book at an impressionable age back in school, it’s never been a personal favourite and I’d forgotten a lot of detail so as soon as the film finished, I downloaded the book on my kindle and have been reading it since.

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It was longer than I remembered and it took me a while to finish it – namely because I also decided to reread most of A Song of Ice and Fire books since Game of Thrones was back on telly… Anyway, finish it I did and it’s been a wonderfully rewarding experience. I remembered some of my original impressions of the characters and now I have a deeper understanding of them. What I don’t quite understand is how that film managed to be quite so misconceived when everything is right there on the page. Well, I’m glad that a bad film gave me the opportunity to read the book again. Perhaps I might even give War and Peace another go, first attempt was a major failure but I do have a soft spot for classic Russian novels. Am already thinking of where my Dostoyevskys are…

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