Anna Karenina, small-screen version

I finished Anna Karenina this week. On my iPhone. All 4087 pages.

Crazy as it seems to read Anna Karenina on the iPhone screen, it was… well, okay, it was crazy. I admit it. I downloaded the book thinking I’d occasionally attempt reading it while waiting outside the kids’ classrooms at 2:55. I didn’t believe I’d like it, and I didn’t expect to get through half of it, let alone 4087 pages.

Shockingly, I did like it. There wasn’t a strong narrative arc, but I enjoyed it as a collection of wonderfully drawn, gentle portraits of highly messed-up people. Mixed with some amazing metaphors, plus masses of political discussion of which I understood very little.

In fact, I now realize that my entire knowledge of Russian history stems from:

Oh, and maybe:

Wait, there’s also:

Yeesh — I’m practically a Russia expert!

Or maybe not. While I loved all five of these books, my background knowledge has gaps as big as Siberia. If I decide to read a second classic Russian novel (which I might, but probably not via iPhone), I’ll have to do a little (LOT) more research along the way.

удача!

Confession time

I was chatting to Rachelle last night about e-book reading, and now I’m here to confess my most ridiculous reading decision, ever.

I downloaded Anna Kerenina… on my iPhone.

When displayed on a 17-line screen, Anna Karenina has 4087 pages.

This is possibly not the most realistic way to read a Russian novel. BUT, I’m loving it! I’ve never read a Russian novel before because (a) they’re Russian, which sounds hard; and (b) they’re thick, which looks hard. But Anna Karenina (translated, obviously) turns out to have balls, and beaux, and ice skating parties, and mansions and estates, and late-night soirées, and basically anything else I might want in a historical novel.

Rachelle hasn’t read Anna Karenina either, because her Russian-novel-loving dad said nothing ever happens. And I have to admit, nothing much has happened in the first seventeen chapters. But the gowns, and the balls, and the beaux… those are enough to keep me reading.

I’m on page 848. I’ll let you know how it goes with the next 3239.