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Affairs In Literature: The 11 Most Unfaithful Protagonists In Books

2011-09-30-Screenshot20110930at3.08.55PM.jpeg   First Posted: 10/04/11 01:15 PM ET Updated: 12/03/11 05:12 AM ET

Story courtesy of Barnes And Noble Review.

By Amy Hertz

The love that leads to marriage begins with so much promise. But, in books as in life, the minute the spotlight shines on the happy couple, the cockroaches scatter for cover. Problems surface -- boredom, obsession, or hormonally induced mistaken identity (oops you’re not who I thought you were), and those of us watching are riveted by the consequences -- especially in the case of infidelity. Hence its perennial appearance in some of the world's greatest fiction.

It’s hard to stay married, as these authors will attest, and if you’re in the throes of a break up, you’ll probably recognize yourself in one or more of these narratives. If a book gave you a kick in the pants to leave a marriage -- or kept you from making a disastrous choice -- let us know on Facebook or Twitter, #litsplit.

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Anna Karenina

Reads like an opera libretto (no surprise: nine operas have been based on the novel), and it's the same old story: man falls for nanny, woman falls for aristocrat whose moral compass seems to have lost its magnet, and evil omens everywhere predict the tragic end. Word of caution: if you feel yourself about to cheat, stay away from trains.