The trouble with Anna Karenina is that everybody knows the story - Anna's anyway - from one source or another. I remember watching at least 2 film versions (one with Greta Garbo and another one with Sophie Marceau) so I never really felt the need to read the book until this year when I made a list with books on my bookshelves that should be read one day (this year, if possible), cause I find it really annoying to own books and not read them. Well.
The good thing about films is they can skip the annoying parts (I was really surprised Garbo's version is only about 90 mins long), because, yes, the book has plenty of those too. Now, if you're into hunting or elective systems, social / philosophical blah, good for you; I'm too shallow for that kind of stuff so I skipped them gracefully.
I didn't have a favourite character. I liked Levin a little at the beginning, I despised Vronsky from the start (no reason) and I found Anna as bland as a bowl of rice. I'm sure I would have felt differently if I had read it earlier, like, say, 15 years ago.
(I involuntarily compared Anna and Emma - reading what I said about Madame Bovary I noticed using "bland" as well. I'm terribly insensitive towards these women or insensitive in general. Must have myself checked.)
, read it. I think you'll like Levin, esp. the end. So you must get there, haha :))