Any serious reader knows the beginning of Anna Karenina... but it does not hurt to repeat it.
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
After all it is one of my absolute favorite books. I think I could have never understood Anna Karenina when I was younger, how could she throw away her life like that? But now after having lived a life with faults of my own, I have less to blame on others and more to understand. Therefore I felt like I lived and breathed with Anna Karenina while reading this fantastic novel. We even named our first son Konstantin Levi after the other protagonist, supposedly a character based a lot on Tolstoy himself.
Here comes a couple of quotes from the book, a tiny bobble from a large glass of Champagne...
He was on familiar terms with everyone with whom he drank champagne, and he drank champagne with everyone.
...And as soon as these words were spoken, both he and she understood that the matter was ended, and that what was to have been said would not be said, and their excitement, which had reached its highest point just before then, began to subside.
So he lived, not knowing and not seeing any possibility of knowing what he was and why he was living in the world, tormented by this ignorance to such a degree that he feared suicide.
But I looked for miracles, I was sorry that I´d never seen a miracle that would convince me.
And here it is, the only possible miracle, ever existing, surrounding me on all sides, and I never noticed it!
"No, I can´t argue with them " he thought, "they are wearing impenetrable armour, and I am naked"