Anna Karenina Read Along Parts 3 & 4


I have had a pretty good break – 3 good books length (LOL) and was quite hesitant to dive back into AK.  Hence, I started reading parts 3&4 kinda late and stayed up last night to finish it off.  Thank goodness, these 2 parts are shorter than the first 2!

Of Levin:

I’m glad that Part 3 started with Konstantin Levin, it helped to get into the book when the first few chapters were on a character that I was liking (from 1&2) and I have to admit that I think I’m falling in love with this guy! Oh, and that discussion with Stiva about how fit Levin is… **drool**

“Why, have you been going in for gymnastics again?” he asked Levin, pinching his muscle with his left hand.  Levin smiled, bent his arm, and under Stephan Arkadeyvitch’s fingers the muscles swelled up like a sound cheese, hard as a knob of iron, through the fine cloth of the coat.

“What biceps! A perfect Samson!”

 LOL (the choice of words to describe his muscles were just hilarious)!!  I couldn’t help myself to just fall for this guy!  And then, the romantic scene with Kitty….  **heart melts…**

Unfortunately, noting all other relationships in the book, I have the feeling of impending doom 😦  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will not be the case because that will just completely totally ruin this book for me!

Of Karenin:

I’m feeling totally vindicated of my first thought of him that he really is emotionally crippled.  We see a lot more of Karenin here – in very pitiable state; experiencing myriad of strong feelings but unable to show them nor act upon them as people would normally do.  Whilst he mostly denies these feelings, in the end, there is no hiding it and whilst he tried to act decisively, in the end, he still bowed to the wish of others.  My heart goes to this poor cuckold – is he really shown as the better man or just plain weak?  Maybe a bit of both.

“This is my position: you can trample me in the mud, make me the laughing-stock of the world, I will not abandon her, and I will never utter a word of reproach to you,” Alexey Alexandrovith went on.  “My duty is clearly marked for me; I ought to be with her, and I will be.  If she wishes to see you, I will let you know, but now I suppose it would be better for you to go away.”

He got up, and sobs cut short his word.  Vronsky too was getting up, and in a stooping, not yet erect posture, looked up at him from under his brows.  He did not understand Alexey Alexandrovitch’s feeling, but he flet that it was something higher and even unattainable for him with his view of life.

Let’s not forget his attitude & feelings towards the new baby!  Just imagine who, in the same cuckolded shoes, would feel the same?!  Not many…

Of Anna:

My feelings towards Anna vacillates between pity, frustration, and annoyance.  I do feel sorry for her as she is stuck in the mire (of her own making!) and unable to free herself with dignity intact. The end of part 2 was a bit of a shock though I was happy that it happened even though its consequence was minimal (**ooh, how frustrating!**).  Well, okay, so Karenin was saving face and giving her another chance at it but then Vronsky didn’t do anything either!  Seriously, Anna – find a real guy!  I was just frustrated with this triangle as it seems no one is willing to break out of the mold!

At Anna’s “prediction” of death – I huffed and puffed at this obviously Drama Queen Act.  She is just mentally tired; burnt out and broken down.  I wished for her death too, of course, just like Karenin (easy way out!), even though I know that’s just not possible seeing that we’re not even halfway through the novel.  Just like I wished for Vronsky’s death (thwarted Twice! – ie. the race and the shooting), it did not come through.  All it did was to remind Karenin fully of his true feelings and so he bowed to the inevitable.  **Ggrrrr**

In the end:

I’m reminded of Lydia & Wickham from P&P and am wishing Anna & Vronsky the worst ever luck!  (Remember, Vronsky is currently living beyond his means)

I am hoping that the good with reap the blessings and the bad to reap all possible punishments – like how Dickens’ novels end (ones I’ve read anyway) or I’d be banging my head against the wall since I can’t burn the book (reading on Kobo)!

7 thoughts on “Anna Karenina Read Along Parts 3 & 4

  1. Steph (@FABR_Steph)

    I love the blurb about Levin’s physique. I laughed then and am laughing now. I feel much the same concerning Anna. At times I have felt sorry for her and at other times I am annoyed. She is not a stable woman, so her actions are unpredictable and I find that my feelings follow suit.
    Vronsky is on the top of my hate list this week. Last week it was Stiva.
    Hitting delete is just not as satisfying as throwing a book across the room, is it?
    Thank you for your wonderful post. I look forward to reading your thoughts next week.

    1. Tien Post author

      He he, not that I ever physically threw a book across the room (What Sacrilege!) but I love imagining it! LOL

  2. aobibliophile™

    awesome post Tien! i like it. your thoughts on the characters mirror some of my own. i was amused at your phrase “Drama Queen Act.” a fitting modern phrase for a 19th century adulteress. that was just “Capital!”

  3. thisnerdreports

    Great post! I appreciate your discussion of Karenin and his emotional flaws. I cannot decide if he is simply weak or just has no idea how to handle something the situation he is in.

    1. Tien Post author

      Thanks, Steph.

      It’s not something I’d read continuously (ie. I need breaks in between) but it’d have to be followed on pretty quickly so this read-along with weekly posts is a great idea for ensuring that I’d finish the book in a ‘timely manner’ ha ha ha. Otherwise, it might just languish there forever DNF :p

      Although, you & Russians… you may think differently 😉


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