Watched BBC Anna Karenina, but not read book; how much am I missing?

I just finished the 10-hour BBC miniseries of Anna Karenina. Never touched the book.

How much am I missing? Is the novel really just a story, and can be filmed without losing much, or do I really need to read to fully appreciate it? I don’t expect a dramatization to be the same as a book, but I mean more whether it can be a substitute.

You didn’t miss much. The series was pretty faithful to the book.

I have to say, I’ve never understood why the world is so gaga over this novel. I thought it was incredibly boring, and I found none of the characters appealing, including (and especially) the “heroine.”

I know that (like in all of his other works) Tolstoy was trying to make moral points, but the whole tone of the book just put me off. I was quite happy when Karenina threw herself under the train at the end.

Dude! Ever hear of a Spoiler Alert???

Gee, now no one wil be willing to read about Levin’s epic struggles with land reform and the worker problem?

Yeah, and I just saved a bunch of people from wasting a not inconsiderable part of their lives. :cool:

In one of Heinlein’s novels, The Nature of the Beast, one of the characters mentions that she learned Russian so she could read “those great Russian novels” in the original.

Then she says “Would you believe that something is gained in translation? The originals were even more boring…”

I read Anna Kerenina in translation when I was in college (my Russian wasn’t good enough yet to read it in the original).

The thing that struck me most was that everyone was “vexed” all through the book. Apparently the translator had a very limited English vocabulary.

I suppose I could read it now in the original, but I just … don’t … want … to! Too many negative waves. :frowning:

I love Anna Karenina the book, never seen any of the films. Anna herself is a subtle portrait of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage inevitably descending into despair. Personally I find her story unengaging, as the trope of the beautiful spirited wealthy woman destroyed by society’s strictures is boring to me. Maybe I can’t identify with it.

The book lights up for me with Levin and Kitty, and yes, the descriptions of reaping and hunting and serfs and vodka tasting are a big part of the charm. Tolstoy put a lot of himself into Levin.

Yeah, right. :dubious:

“Here’s my diary. I want you to read all the dirty, disgusting things I wrote about myself. Then, if you still want to marry me, I’m game!” :rolleyes:

My God! Can you imagine what it would be like actually LIVING with somebody like that?!? :smack:

Yep. Admirable from afar only, like many if not most great artists/reformers/nutcases.

“Oh, yeah … and as part of our marriage contract, you have to agree to write out all my manuscripts for me, in longhand, as many times as I think it’s necessary. You can start with this new book I’m working on, War and Peace.” :eek:

Me too. I think War and Peace is the better book, but I find both books to be not that great. Dostoyevsky is the far superior author, at least for me.

I enjoyed reading the works of Gogol (once wrote a paper on The Nose, which isn’t about a nose at all :rolleyes: ), Ilf and Petrov, and Solzhenitsyn.

Dostoyevskii’s Crime and Punishment (the Soviet version) made one helluva good movie, but I found the book a bit tedious. Same for War and Peace (again, the Soviet version), mainly because I just like watching Napoleonic battles.

I quite liked MGM’s version of The Brothers Karamazov because it starred Yul Brynner, Richard Basehart, and William Shatner, but I know now it was, uhm, somewhat different from the book.

They are differently great. I enjoyed Dostoyevsky vastly when I was in my teens and early twenties, Tolstoy was only appreciated by mature me, when I stopped identifying so heavily with people who slammed their fingers in doors in self-torture.

But Alyosha Karamazov is my favorite character and he doesn’t do this, does he?

Of course not! He’s really Captain Kirk in disguise, having traveled back to the 19th century to establish an alternate time line. :wink:

No. Isn’t he every right-thinking person’s favorite? Major crush there.