Android Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters ~ Review

by Gwen


Tolstoy isn’t for everyone. I have even written about Russian Literature and why it confuses me. Still, when I heard that Quirk Books and Ben H. Winters were coming out with Android Karenina, a mash-up of a story that I love, I just had to read it. I have read all of the mash-ups and if they can make me like Jane Austen, certainly they can make reading Tolstoy palatable.

Was Android Karenina more palatable? Yes and no. No, because it was still hard to get into; I think I was in over 100 pages before it felt less like work and more like fun. Yes, because all of the android craziness adding many interesting facets to the story and once I got into it, it was like a cool glass of water.

Things that usually bother me about Russian classics didn’t faze me, which I was grateful for. Characters were easy to identify and Winters kept the switch of patronymic names, nicknames, and other names to a minimum. Thank you!

Is this new mashup for everyone? No, sorry, it is still Tolstoy and a chunkster at 538 pages. Do I think that it will appeal to a new group of readers? YES, if you like steampunk, please try this. Android Karenina is a great introduction to Russian Literature for those that have run the other way in the past.

One funny thing that kept hitting me while reading…My favorite movie version of Anna Karenina is the 1948 one starring Vivien Leigh. The whole time I was reading, I was picturing her as Anna. If only she could play the part when and if they make a movie of Android Karenina….

Want to win a Quirk prize pack? (I won one of these when they released Dawn of the Dreadfuls and it is cool! To win, go to the Quirk Classics blog and let them know that you read your review here at Chew & Digest Books.

Prize pack includes:

· 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

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Don’t forget, go to the Quirk Blog, and say that you saw it at Chew & Digest Books to win.

I want to thank Quirk Books for their striving to make classic literature fun and bring it to the masses. They sent me the book as well, thanks.



6 Comments to “Android Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters ~ Review”

  1. I’m guessing this genre is one of those things that you just have to try, to understand and appreciate it? I keep hearing of these stories and think….WHAT??? I just don’t get it.

    Well, guess I’m just going to have to bite the silver bullet and try it one.

  2. The Jane Austen ones are fun and fairly easy reads. If you want to try one, go for those. Android Karenina was a toughie, even for me.

  3. I love that you mentioned you normally have read Russian Classics! I can’t even imagine. I know, I’m terrible. Classics and me just don’t usually mix. Although, the new mash-ups have been intriguing and I may have to give one of the Austen ones or Little Vampire Women a try. I might be able to get into them a little better.

    Fabulous review! Thanks!

  4. I just saw this one at Borders nad was wondering how it was. I still have Pride & Prejudice & Zombies in my TBR pile but I couldn’t get into Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters so not sure yet how I feel about these spin offs.

  5. I have read or listened to all of them now and my favorite is Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls. The Sea Monsters one was hard to get into, I am with you there.

    I think that the spinoffs are great if they get people to read classics and enjoy them. They don’t really replace the classics, just enhance them for a newer audience.


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