Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Android Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters

I received an advance review copy for Android Karenina from the lovely people at Quirk Classics. As part of the blogger review explosion of Android Karenina Quirk Classics is offering a few prizes along the way today.
Readers have a chance to win over one of twenty-five Quirk Prize Packs. Each Prize Pack, with a retail value of nearly $100, will include:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

How to Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith

Dracula's Heir: An Interactive Mystery by Sam Stall

Extreme Encounters by Greg Emmanuel

How to Tell if Your Boyfriend is The Antichrist by Patricia Carlin

An Android Karenina Poster

And more!

So check out the links and mention my blog and I hope you win some good stuff!

Genre: classic mash-up, steampunk, sci-fi, Russian lit.
FTC Disclosure: Received ARC from Quirk Classics
Published: 2010
Pages: 538
Content: PG, for some robot and alien violence

Maybe it takes a lover of Tolstoy to really enjoy this work, I'm not sure since I've never read Tolstoy before. I had a really hard time getting into the characters. They never spoke to me.

Many times the events happened slowly and the next we have a paragraph describing a few years. I especially had a hard time with Anna Karenina. She's very complex, I'll give you that, but she was pretty messed up. She's willing to leave her son behind to run off with her lover and in the meantime she says she doesn't really love that son. She has a daughter with her lover and ends up trying to love that daughter. Just weird.

The steampunk version was fun. I enjoyed reading all the nuances of a groznium-filled world and robots. I also enjoyed how Winters ties in the title character Android Karenina with the character Anna. It's an interesting twist, for sure.

But overall, the book was just OK for me. I had a hard time following all the characters and all the events. Just because something is a classic doesn't necessarily mean I'll enjoy it. And Tolstoy may be one of those writers I won't be able to get into. Oh well. It looks like other authors who appreciate Tolstoy say they enjoy it and think Winters did a superb job of splicing this mash-up together.

But I think it opens up the classics to more people and I think that's important as well.

Rating: 3/5


  1. I just adore that cover, it's so sweet! :)

  2. Hmm...I just won a copy. I'm nervous now. Hopefully I will like it.

  3. Thanks for the review. I love the original classic, so maybe I will enjoy this one. Hope so! I am going to go over and enter the giveaway. Thanks for the link.

  4. Love some of those titles! One of my boyfriends (back just after the ice age) was definitely the anti-Christ!

  5. Well, I'm not familiar with steampunk at all! Not sure I'm missing anything?

  6. Interesting... I think I would want to read the original version first.


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