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Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina (1877)

by Leo Tolstoy, Leo Tolstoy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
27,37647936 (4.15)5 / 1475
  1. 151
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (roby72)
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    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Booksloth, luzestrella)
    luzestrella: when I got to the middle of the book I was shocked. It seens like the climax of all the main conclicts were already there. Why didn't the author cut the novel right there with that happy ending? Unnusual for a ficcion novel indeep. But for that particular reason, for me it has it's charm. The other half of the novel goes on describing what happened with the characters after they got what they wanted.… (more)
  3. 70
    The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (roby72)
  4. 60
    The Princesse de Cleves by Madame de La Fayette (andejons)
    andejons: Similar premises: married, upper class women fall in love with men of less than perfect moral standing. The outcomes are very different though.
  5. 51
    The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (pingdjip)
    pingdjip: Like Tolstoy, Faber goes under his characters' skin, ponders their social manoeuvering, and follows the pitfalls and triumphs of their lives. Difference: Faber is funny and sometimes provocative and teasing in a "postmodern" way.
  6. 30
    Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (Henrik_Madsen)
    Henrik_Madsen: To romaner af murstensstørrelse der analyserer og beskriver overklassefamiliernes komplicerede liv.
  7. 30
    La Regenta by Leopoldo Alas (alalba)
  8. 52
    Emma by Jane Austen (roby72)
  9. 31
    What Happened to Anna K.: A Novel by Irina Reyn (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: Irina Reyn updates the classic _Anna Karenina_ to the Russian diaspora of New York City.
  10. 42
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (alalba)
  11. 10
    Eirelan by Liam O'Shiel (allthesepieces)
    allthesepieces: Both books build complex stories that delve into the nature of loyalty in relationships.
  12. 11
    A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (uri-starkey)
  13. 11
    The Maias by Eca de Queiros (Anonymous user)
  14. 22
    Een zuivere liefde by Sofja Tolstaja (Monika_L)

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English (444)  Italian (10)  Spanish (7)  Dutch (6)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  All (1)  Danish (1)  All (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  All (479)
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The tragic novel of Anna Karenina, a lovely lady of society and her affair with Vronsky. Anna's husband, Alexy Alexandrovitch, is a cold, logical and and yet it seems Anna was perfectly content with him and their son, Seryozha until Count Vronsky came along. They fall in love and Anna eventually tells Alexey about the affair. She is pregnant with Vronsky's child and almost dies in childbirth. She survives only to realize the awful position she's in. She is a "fallen woman" and an outcast now from her normal society life. Vronsky deals with her being shunned by moving to an area where no one knows their past and they live as husband and wife. (Luckily Vronsky's wealthy too). It seems Anna has started taking opium for her pain and anguish. Her mental stability slowly leaves her. She becomes extremely moody and paranoid. She knows Vronsky's fooling around (which he is not). Ultimately the way she "gets back " at Vronsky is jumping in front of a train.
Tolstoy does a good job getting into the women's mind and I really felt the confusion Anna had in the end and could follow her thinking.
  camplakejewel | Sep 18, 2017 |
Well, I finished Anna Karenina. Should I not get some sort of reward? It only took two attempts. I finished this attempt in 40 days.

What can one say about a 900 page novel? This is the way cultured people enjoy their soap opera. Anna is married to Alexis but has fallen in love with Vronsky. Anna’s brother Stiva cheats on his wife Dolly. She knows it, but there is nothing she can do.

Stiva’s best friend Levin has been in love with Dolly’s younger sister Kitty, but he is too shy to do anything about it. Finally he gathers up his courage to propose marriage to Kitty, but Kitty is in love with Vronsky. (He is a tall dashing cavalry captain who has nothing to do but make love to pretty women)

Kitty is expecting Vronsky to pop the question at the next big ball, but instead, Anna shows up and knocks the socks off Vronsky.

Anna and Vronsky have a wild passionate love affair. Kitty has her heart broken and has to go away to recover. Levin is broken hearted too, and goes back to his plantation and swears to have nothing to do with women ever again.

Anna and Vronsky have a wild passionate love affair. He leaves the Army for her. But all the proper ladies of Anna’s circle will have nothing to do with her. Anna gets pregnant with Vronsky’s child, and almost dies. Anna’s husband is devastated and cannot understand Anna.

Stiva continues to cheat on his wife, but he is really a likable guy.

Levin and Kitty meet again, and fall in love again. Kitty is a perfect woman, unlike any woman you or I have ever known. They get married and have a happy marriage.

Anna and Vronsky move to Italy to set up a new life without all her pesky friends telling her that she is a fallen woman. But that doesn’t last long and Anna becomes unhappy. Anna says it is all Vronsky’s fault; he doesn’t love her as much as she loves him. They move back to Moscow and attempt to get Anna’s husband to grant her a divorce. That plan doesn’t work, and Anna starts to lose her marbles. Finally Anna jumps under a speeding train and dies. Vronsky is broken hearted, so he joins a war effort to defend some Slavs against the Turks. Presumably he will be killed.

Levin, with a perfect wife and perfect child, and perfect peasants, discovers a reason for existence. After struggling for the entire book with various different philosophies, Levin discovers it is just best not to over-think the problem, just love and be loved in return. The End.

In a nut-shell, that’s about it. It is really a very good book. I understand why some people consider one of the best novels ever written. Tolstoy gets us into the heads of his seven major characters and makes us see them as humans with good qualities and bad qualities. It was not an easy read, and the Russian names drive you crazy. I think it works best if you see the 2012 Keria Knightly film first or concurrently so you get used to the names and what the characters look like.

Russian names here are a real problem. The Russians at this time had a middle name that was the mother’s maiden name. Thus Anna’s name is Anna Arkadyevna Karenina; her borther Stiva is Stepen Arkadyevna Oblonsky. Tolstoy often refers to his characters by their first two names, so Anna is often called Anna Arkadyevna.

Levin’s full name is Konstantin Dmitrievich Lëvin. He is mostly referred to as Levin but his wife calls him Koystya.

The Shcherbatskaya sisters Dolly and Kitty are most difficult. Kitty is Ekaterina Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya. And Dolly is Darya Alexandrovna Oblonskaya; because she is married to Stiva, she drops her Shcherbatskaya last name, and takes a female version of her husband’s last name Oblonskaya. ( )
  ramon4 | Sep 7, 2017 |
If Anna Karenina were alive today, she would be in the music industry.... which is why people still hate her, even today, after all that we have been told has happened.
  smallself | Aug 29, 2017 |
Truly one of the benchmarks against which any work of fiction may be measured. I got so much out of a second reading that I missed in the first pass...age and experience changes the book. ( )
  albertgoldfain | Aug 7, 2017 |
translation by Joel Carmichael
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 444 (next | show all)
Eindelijk Anna Karenina gelezen. Ik vond het een heftig boek. Soms wat lastig te lezen met al die Russische namen en bijnamen en familieverbanden. Sommige stukken waren heel intens, over geboorte en dood. Maar ik blijf achter met het gevoel dat ik het boek niet goed snap. Het duurt heel lang voordat het perspectief van Anna wordt gekozen (steeds staat iemand anders centraal, maar Anna blijft vooral iemand waar anderen omheen cirkelen. Wat haar gevoelens zijn, blijft lang onduidelijk). Pas op het laatst zijn er wat Eline Vere-achtige scenes (Couperus moet dit boek gelezen hebben), waarin waan en werkelijkheid door elkaar lopen. Het einde snapte ik absoluut niet. Reacties op de zelfmoord van Anna zijn er nauwelijks; de laatste 30 blz zijn een soort filosofische verhandeling. Het boek eindigt optimistisch. Als het boek zou herlezen (maar voorlopig niet), zou ik zeker de nieuwe vertaling nemen. Deze vertaling vond ik niet geweldig.

» Add other authors (94 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolstoy, Leoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolstoy, Leomain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayley, JohnPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bayley, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dole, Nathan HaskellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edmonds, RosemaryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farrell, James T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallero, VíctorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ginzburg , LeoneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gurin, JacobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gurin, Morris S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hašková, TatjanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horovitch, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huisman, WilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kool, Halbo C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leclée, JacobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magarshack, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matulay, LaszloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maude, AylmerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maude, Louise ShanksTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pyykkö, LeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roseen, UllaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwartz, MarianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Troyat, HenriIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volohonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Vengeance is mine; I will repay. ~ Deuteronomy 32:35
First words
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. (C. Garnett, 1946) and (J. Carmichael, 1960)
Все счастливые семьи похожи друг на друга, каждая несчастливая семья несчастлива по-своему. Всё смешалось в доме Облонских.
All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
All happy families resemble one another, every unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion. (N. H. Dole, 1886)
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. (Pevear, Volokhonsky, 2000)
"Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be." [Anna, p744 (2000)]
"He has long ceased loving me. And where love stops, hatred begins." [Anna, p763 (2000)]
Every minute of Alexei Alexandrovich's life was occupied and scheduled. And in order to have time to do what he had to do each day, he held to the strictest punctuality. 'Without haste and without rest' was his motto. [p109 (2000)]
Every man, knowing to the smallest detail all the complexity of the conditions surrounding him, involuntarily assumes that the complexity of these conditions and the difficulty of comprehending them are only his personal, accidental peculiarity, and never thinks that others are surrounded by the same complexity as he is. [p302 (2000)]
Vronsky meanwhile, despite the full realization of what he had desired for so long, was not fully happy. He soon felt that the realization of his desire had given him only a grain of the mountain of happiness he had expected. It showed him the the eternal error people make in imagining that happiness is the realization of desires. [...] He soon felt arise in his soul a desire for desires, an anguish. [p465 (2000)]
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Disambiguation notice
This is the work for the complete Anna Karenina. Please do not combine with any of the works representing the individual volumes (see combination rules regarding part/whole issues for details), or with abridged versions. Thank you.

The original Russian title was “Анна Каренина”.

Please keep the Norton Critical Edition books un-combined with the rest of them - it is significantly different with thorough explanatory annotations, essays by other authors, and reviews by other authors. Thank you.
This is the work of Leo Tolstoy, not Henri Troyat.
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«In Anna Karenina è rappresentata la colpa come ostacolo, anzi come barriera invalicabile al raggiungimento della felicità. Accanto ad Anna e a Vronskij, che non possono essere felici insieme, vediamo come Levin e Kitty ottengono in fondo con facilità, nonostante qualche dibattito interiore, quello che è negato agli altri due: ma Kitty ha saputo dimenticare Vronskij e, rinunciando a lui, rinunciare agli ideali poetici, ricchi di fascino e di bellezza esteriore, ricchi di pregi mondani, della sua giovinezza. Rinunciando a questi ideali, Kitty scopre che la realtà usuale e consueta, lungi dall'essere meschina e squallida, è assai preziosa e bella. È questa la storia di molti personaggi di Tolstoj».
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0143035002, Paperback)

Some people say Anna Karenina is the single greatest novel ever written, which makes about as much sense to me as trying to determine the world's greatest color. But there is no doubt that Anna Karenina, generally considered Tolstoy's best book, is definitely one ripping great read. Anna, miserable in her loveless marriage, does the barely thinkable and succumbs to her desires for the dashing Vronsky. I don't want to give away the ending, but I will say that 19th-century Russia doesn't take well to that sort of thing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:39 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness. While previous versions have softened the robust, and sometimes shocking, quality of Tolstoy's writing, Pevear and Volokhonsky have produced a translation true to his powerful voice. This award-winning team's authoritative edition also includes an illuminating introduction and explanatory notes. Beautiful, vigorous, and eminently readable, this Anna Karenina will be the definitive text for generations to come.… (more)

» see all 35 descriptions

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