Anna Karenina — Danish Prakash

Anna Karenina

Tome. I don’t remember what prompted me to hit the play button on this one but I’m glad I did. The vivid portrayal of the upper-class Russian elites in this novel requires strenuous imagination, which is perhaps the best part of reading fiction. Whenever I read an amazing piece of fiction such as this, I instantly think back to the process of writing. It’s hard to weave a story, it’s even harder to piece together multiple character developments while retaining a common theme. It’s just complex.

Tolstoy quite nicely brings about discussions on religion, marriage, war, death, and above all, love within the book and in a lifelike manner. These discussions made me pause and think as If I were reading yet another piece of fiction on moral psychology and sometimes, modern history. In fact, I was genuinely surprised to hear an indirect discussion about Hume’s moral philosophy at the end of the book, a topic for which I’m reading a whole other book, it was quite a surprise. But the overarching theme of this novel is love and all the supplemental concomitants such as affairs, marriage, and even adultery. And it does damn well in that regard, it’s just a cesspool of things tangling further and further until the very end. Lastly, there are the everyday nuances in the lives of the elite Russians, especially the drinking and the government working culture which was intricately described. I always like cultural descriptions as If I’m reading an ethnography.

I did slog through some parts of it, maybe I was not feeling it during that time period (yes, it’s that long) but I came around to actually looking forward to listening to it as and when possible. It’s a satiating read, it covers a myriad of topics, and above all, it’s an engrossing storyline. Good read!