(by Leo Tolstoy)
That part of this huge novel taken up with Anna, Karenin and Vronsky is a work of art, startling in its modernity. The bucolic pages concerning Constantine Levin, on the other hand, are the highest schlock. O for an editor with the spine to suggest to a nobleman the wielding of shears and a blue pencil!
Anna is a great flesh-and-blood character, in a situation not dissimilar to Madame Bovary or Hedda Gabler. But being Tolstoy, the rich inner drama is cast on an epic scale.