1. Because you enjoy good writing. Tolstoy really is a master. I’ve been particularly impressed with how he crafts a sentence on the tiniest of details – how a glove rolls over the arm, how a man lights a cigarette by striking the match on a birch tree, how a road winds down a path to the country. It’s almost a screenplay, except that movies weren’t really a thing when he wrote the novel.
2. Because you want to read about every possible outcome of romance. Tolstoy covers it – old lovers, new lovers, jilted lovers, second-chance lovers, pure and virtuous lovers, adulterous lovers. It’s like an encyclopedia of relationship types.
3. Because you want to brush up on Russian customs and history. I mean, really, don’t we all?
4. Because you love to brag about reading big books. Seriously, 800 plus pages? This is your ace in the hole. If there were to be a campaign to “Make Tolstoy More Popular than Nicholas Sparks,” I think Tolstoy’s wordiness might be the Howard Dean primal scream. Because the book describes every character’s thoughts and movements and conversations and meals and opinions about rotating crops, I can understand why most people would rather read anything else.
5. Because you like to cry. This is not a feel good romantic comedy like Love Actually, which, by the way, also covers every possible relationship angle and also features Keira Knightley. Nope, this book is a gut-wrenching expose on humanity. And it’s beautiful.
Seriously, go read this book.
Or, you know, go watch Love Actually.
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