What? No! – Anna Karenina review part 1

I have decided this big ol’ doorstop will require four reviews, as I’m only a quarter of the way through, and I already have plenty to say.

Firstly, picture the scene, 12:58pm, 2 minutes left of my lunch half-hour, people beginning to collect near my office door, and Anna tells Vronsky that she’s pregnant. What the hell? Naive as I must be, I didn’t see that coming. I seriously toyed with the idea of putting the book up my top and taking it in to the toilet to read to a more suitable point to break off. It’s times like that with audio books that I’ve sat in the car long after arriving at my destination, staring into the middle distance like a lost, possibly deranged woman, because whatever it is I’m listening to is no respecter of time and place.

So far I’ve spent the  book far more concerned about Lëvin, a snob, but otherwise okay man, who fell in love and got his heart broken, and Kitty, the object of his affections, who in turn got her heart broken by Vronsky, as he was too busy trying to get Anna (and getting her pregnant, to boot) to care about her.


Meanwhile, Kitty’s sister Dolly, has had her heart broken by her husband Stepan, who was at it with the English nanny. In spite of his wandering trousers, Stepan is the only character I like. He seems to manage to go twenty minutes without falling into a state of miserable angst, which is more than the rest of them can do.

And what’s really annoying is after the pregnancy chapter, we cut to Vronsky having no idea about racing or horses and killing his mare through his own stupidity, and then we get to Anna’s husband, and his growing coldness towards his family as he is well aware of his wife’s affair.

I need to know what Anna is going to do, and having a day job is really getting in the way of just reading the whole thing at my chosen pace. There should be some form of special leave you can apply for, a box that can be ticked-

Reason for absence –

  • Illness
  • Maternity
  • Bereavement
  • Vronsky has knocked-up Anna.

I genuinely don’t know how this story ends, so I’m going to go out on a limb and guess ‘not well’.