Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Anna Karenina Fix, written and read by Viv Groskop - a literary self-help memoir about using the Russian classics to find the answer to life's most important questions.
Viv Groskop has discovered the meaning of life in Russian literature. As she knows from personal experience, everything that has ever happened in life has already happened in these novels: from not being sure what to do with your life (Anna Karenina) to being in love with someone who doesn't love you back enough (A Month in the Country by Turgenev) or being socially anxious about your appearance (all of Chekhov's work).
This is a literary self-help memoir, with examples from the author's own life that reflect the lessons of literature, only in a much less poetic way than Tolstoy probably intended, and with an emphasis on being excessively paranoid about having an emerging moustache on your upper lip, just like Natasha in War and Peace.
And that was a thoughtful, erudite but entertaining run through Russian literature. This is that.
The self-help hook is a useful way of choosing a path through some pretty long and complex books. It also helps in using the authors experience as a lodestar to centre things.
I'm not an expert in Russia or particularly well read in it. This will help my next choice. Ace further reading tips at the end, too - remember to pause on the audiobook!