Showing posts with the label Leo Tolstoy

Book review: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Described as the best novel ever written by several authors and critics, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy feels at times like a remarkably contemporary story dealing as it does with illicit affairs, frustrations with bureaucracy, the shallowness of popular culture and the struggle between reason and faith. Yes, there is a love story, or two, woven through the story and the compelling attraction of Alexis Vronsky and Anna Karenina is masterfully drawn and surprisingly intimate despite the dominance of manners and 19th century propriety. So too the love lost, love regained relationship of Levin and Kitty which, unlike the tense and tragic dilemma faced by the scandalous adulterers, ends in a picture of relative domestic bliss. But if you have put off reading this book because you think it is a Russian romance novel then it's time to load it on to your iphone like I did and add it to your list of reading accomplishments. It has earned the respect of readers and writers over th

The amazing books behind this year's Oscar movies

If an original idea is the starting point for a great movie, then one day there may be an Academy Award for Best Book, given how many Oscar-nominated movies are based on books. Authors often spend years developing an idea that turns into plot, characters and story and even if the book is a best-seller, authors rarely achieve the same acclaim or financial return as is attached to a successful movie. So to redress this imbalance, let's honour the amazing books behind some of this year's Oscar winners and nominees. Best picture Oscar winner, Argo , is directed by Ben Affleck and tells the true story of a CIA agent who rescues six American caught up in the Iranian revolution in November 1979. Argo is based on events chronicled in Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio. Mendez is the CIA central to the film and his re-telling of the events was published in October 2012. He was written two previous sp