Hi Ben: Thank you for agreeing to participate in this Q&A. I must say that you made a fan out of me when you left that gracious comment on my blog.
Even though I was unable to complete more than one paragraph in the first Chapter of Android Karenina, I thought that you managed to capture an amazing amount of angst and subtext in the opening lines. Did you want readers to learn anything from your book?
Well, yes and no. First and foremost, it’s a work of popular entertainment, so the goal is for readers to have a good time — to laugh, to be drawn in by the characters and pulled along by the story.
At the same time, there is some food for thought to be had here, if a reader is up for it. For example, Tolstoy’s original is full of anxiety about how technologies like the steam engine and the telegraph are transforming society. By vastly accelerating the pace of that technological change, and deepening the violence that surrounds it, I’ve juiced that anxiety, and (potentially) asked the reader to consider how rapid technological innovation is changing our contemporary society.
You should try reading it again. The second paragraph is amazing.