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Android Karenina (Quirk Classic) Paperback – June 8, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I wasn't sure what to expect. Even the previous Quirk Classics I'd read - 'Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters' and 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' - didn't really prepare me for this. I knew the Jane Austen source material of the other two, but I didn't know Tolstoy.
I thought 'Android Karenina' might be funny, based on the others. Injecting zombies and ninjas into Austen's romances of culture was a wacky move, and at first blush adding robots and aliens into Tolstoy's tale of 19-century industrializing Russia would seem to be too. In the end it wasn't funny, but somehow it works.
'Android Karenina' is an alternate-history version of Russia seen through the lens of a vague sort of steampunk science, where the mysterious element of groznium makes advanced technology possible, everything from clean and efficient anti-gravity trains to simple mechanical aides (Class I robots) to semi-intelligent robotic companions (Class III robots). Interleaved with the science-fiction elements is a complex tale of romance and political intrigue involving multiple characters, locations, and walks of life across industrialized and robotically-enhanced Russia. From the dashing Count Vronsky to the sinister Alexei Karenin and his metallic, intelligent Face. From the honorable Levin to the tragic, yet strong, Anna Karenina and her beloved-companion, Android Karenina. From the simple Class Ones to the mythical Honored Guests, who will appear to humanity in three ways.Read more ›
Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is the original high maintenance drama queen. She falls in love with a dashing soldier, deserts her husband and child for him and complains when he doesn't dote on her every minute of the day. We all know that Russian novels tend to have a gazillion characters, so what does Winters do? He adds more!
The author introduces us to the world of Groznium, which is the essential ingredient for the new classes of robots. There are Class I robots acting as toys, candles and self-extinguishing ashtrays. Class II robots perform the functions of domestics, train drivers and miners. Upon reaching their majority, the upper classes receive a Class III, a beloved-companion robot. That robot is part alter ego, part Jiminy Cricket, part personal valet/maid. They provide a memory bank and communication, as well as protect, groom, mimic, nudge and commiserate with their human counterparts. Eventually, we meet the humanoid Class IV robot, the ubiquitous "toy soldiers".
Count Vronsky's Class III is shaped like a wolf; Anna's is sveltely shaped but still robotic.Read more ›
This is a big book, 538 pages with a handful of illustrations. It is too large a tome to spend a lot of time in this forum to go over plot, so I made a challenge to myself. How can I sum up this seven part effort, where any one part is greater in size than many books published today, in a single sentence. Here we go... Android Karenina details lives of Anna Karenina and her sister-in-law Kitty, their men, their families, and their beloved class three robots in an alternate-world Russia of the late 1800's where a wonderful metal called groznium has allowed society to make machines of incredible capacity, centering on the effects of Anna's betrayal of her powerful, and power mad, half-mechanized husband Alexei Alexandrovich when she chooses her lover, Vronsky, over her duty to family.
When I got Android Karenina for review I was skeptical. I pre-anticipated a sci-fi story wedged into a Tolstoy romance and did not foresee anything working well in that admixture, but Ben H. Winters surprised me with a really enjoyable collision of the worlds. In fact, I was enjoying the myriad of robots, the religious faith in aliens, the descriptions of "beloved companion" class three robots like the name sake Android Karenina so much that when the book fell too deeply into the lamentations and joyful reverence about love and loving, I started to miss them greatly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love all the quirk classics, this is the last one i read, now i need to own them all!Published 15 months ago by Elisha Adkins
A spoof which will primarily be of interest to sci-fi fans. Since it is a paraphrase of the entire original book, it is a bit too long for fun reading. Read morePublished 16 months ago by steamduck43
Wilson's prose is tauter than Constance Garnett's translation. And he gets to tailor the story in little nips and tucks.Published 24 months ago by Roger Sperberg
The writing is so good you'll be able to remember why you loved the original Anna Karenina, with a little zombies and droids thrown in. Read morePublished on December 23, 2013 by SporkSkort
I admit that I had not read the original before diving into this retelling of the classic Anna Karenina (shh! Don't tell) - however! Read morePublished on May 2, 2013 by Stefohnee
I had read the previous satiric send-ups of two of Jane Austen's novels: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Deluxe Heirloom Edition (Quirk Classics) and Sense and Sensibility and... Read morePublished on April 10, 2013 by Michael Birman
Not so good. But the original by Tolstoy either. o o o o o o o o o o oPublished on December 6, 2012 by Alex Loginov
I finished this book last year, and it keeps taunting me from my bookshelf, teasing me so that I'll read it again. Read morePublished on October 17, 2012 by Cannot upload links, banners, etc.