Around 850 pages
I knocked this one out awhile ago back when I still feared Tolstoy (now we are bosom buddies). I listened to it every day during my commute. There is nothing like a 19th century Russian novel to really get you pumped for the day.
Basically, a St. Petersburg aristocat, Anna Karenina, is married to a dull government official. She begins an affair with the sexy Count Vronsky. I haven't seen the movie adaptation but I understand that Jude Law plays Anna Karenina's husband? Who would cheat on Jude Law?? I am not sure I should be asked to suspend my disbelief in this way. Anyway, Anna's brother Oblonsky also cheats, but no one really cares, because he is a man. Sigh. Oh yes, I suppose I should mention Konstantin Levin, who attempts to woo Oblonsky's sister in law, Princess Kitty.
I found bits of this novel to be quite dull, but I am hesitant to blame that on Tolstoy. I am really just not a fan of being read to, unless it's by a shirtless James Marsters. Still, I don't think this was as strong as War and Peace. The secondary characters were nowhere near as rich and I ended up finding Levin's story rather tiresome. I wanted more tawdry descriptions of Anna's affair, not endless details about Levin's moping.
In any case, I think if you are going to dedicate yourself to a long Russian novel, it should be War and Peace. Still, it's Tolstoy so it is worth a read.
Praised by Dostoyevsky, Nabokov, and Faulkner.
Trailer from YouTube:
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