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Anna Karenina and Don Quixote

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A few months ago I read War and Peace for the usual reasons--one to say I did it and one to please a friend online from Russia that I had an interest in learning more about her country. War and Peace had many good moments to it but was wildly earratic in story pacing and character development. The main lady Natasha never in my mind rose above spoiled brat status and Pierre was a model for the Walking Dead in personality and interests. I felt Gogol the much better Russian writer. After about three months and three other friends strongly advocating it I started Anna Karenina the other night and the difference between the two books by Tolstoy are like Superman and Batman--THIS is the Tolstoy novel that should be revered. Anna finally comes on the scene in Part 1 Chapter 18 and she is NOT at all as I pictured her. Knowing in advance her eventual fate I had deliberately avoided the book all these years because of a too close intimacy with suicide (attempts at least) and its life changing consequences. Had just finished reading Don Quixote and now Anna should take about a month then back to good old fashioned pulps--I have my eye on Altus Press and Frederick Nebel's Cardigan series from the old Dime Detective magazine which over 20 years I've managed to get about 45 or so of them--alas three of them have missng pages but at least by authors I don't care about.

I discovered too much work copying Facebook reviews from Don Quixote Chapter and Chapter and transfering here. Plus very numerous typos as I am lazy about proofing and fixing in general.

Quixote was a melancholy work that was fascinating to watch he and Sancho Panza on their adventures. I rarely laughed at any of the ups and downs of the duo but felt a sadness that Quixote never quite achieved his glory he sought with a full heart and his cure seems to have ended his passion for life. I am glad for the experience. In so many ways this book does set the tone for every novel written thereafter.

Updated 09-26-2012 at 02:58 PM by mtpspur



  1. qimissung's Avatar
    I enjoy reading about your adventures in reading, Rich. I haven't wanted to read Anna Karenina for the reasons you state, but if you enjoyed it, then maybe someday...
  2. Virgil's Avatar
    Wow, you're reading some good stuff lately Rich. Anna is the novel to read! I rank in the elite novels written, possibly top ten of all time. It's the Tolstoy to read. I have to read that again one of these days.

    I did laugh at a lot of places in Don Quixote. But sadness is the major emotion from the novel. I really grew to love the guy. I wish it hadn't ended, but it was already pretty long.
  3. mtpspur's Avatar
    Anna is coming along quire well. This really ios the Tolstoy novel I had hoped War and Peace would be. He is FOCUSED on his characters and taking his time with them rather the scattershot sketches from W&P. Almost finished with Part Two. Be back to the puls soon enough when I finally order Nebel's stuff--an hard boiled detective author seriously neglected is finally coming into his own with small press publuhsers. I began to respect Quixote more and more has the book progressed in a sad bitterswet way really wanting him to have his day in the sun.