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Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
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Anna Karenina (1877)

by Leo Tolstoy, Leo Tolstoy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
28,80350754 (4.15)5 / 1530
  1. 172
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (roby72)
  2. 143
    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. 40
    Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (Henrik_Madsen)
    Henrik_Madsen: To romaner af murstensstørrelse der analyserer og beskriver overklassefamiliernes komplicerede liv.
  6. 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.
  7. 40
    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. 21
    The Maias by Eca de Queiros (Anonymous user)
  12. 10
    Eirelan by Liam O'Shiel (allthesepieces)
    allthesepieces: Both books build complex stories that delve into the nature of loyalty in relationships.
  13. 11
    A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (uri-starkey)
  14. 22
    Een zuivere liefde by Sofja Tolstaja (Monika_L)
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English (464)  Italian (10)  Spanish (8)  Dutch (8)  French (4)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (504)
Showing 1-5 of 464 (next | show all)
Longest book ever!
I found it hard to follow with all the switching around but it was a nice story. I love that time period and enjoy the history lesson as well as they describe life. ( )
  cfulton20 | Dec 5, 2018 |
Longest book ever!
I found it hard to follow with all the switching around but it was a nice story. I love that time period and enjoy the history lesson as well as they describe life. ( )
  cfulton20 | Dec 5, 2018 |
(Original Review, 1981-02-24)

If you're not familiar with the The Orthodox Church's intricacies, don't bother reading the novel. It might also to understand the social context in which Anna Karenina is set, which Tolstoy doesn't explain because he was writing for fellow members of the Orthodox Church who would have understood the particular nuances. For Russian society at the time, an immoral act was one that offended all Creation and therefore God himself - it is quite common for Russian priests even now to admonish those confessing to serious sins by telling them that they are 'spitting in Christ's face'. Yet there are subtleties to Anna's predicament that are probably lost on Westerners: unlike the Roman Catholic Church, which forbids divorce for any reason, the Orthodox Church permits this where a marriage has irrevocably broken down, on the basis that it was never based on true love in the first place and thus null and void. So in the novel it is only Karenin's pride (which for the Orthodox is the greatest sin of all) that stands in the way of dissolving his tragically unhappy marriage. Anna's action challenges the hypocrisy of society and she brings down the anger of the hypocrites upon herself because she has the barefaced cheek to expect people to behave towards her as they did before her "fall" from grace. Her "friends", such as the poisonous Princess Betsy, desert her because she is an uncomfortable reminder of their own failings.

In fact, I'd go a little further and suggest that the absence of clearly defined mores has led to the proliferation of petty judgementalism infiltrating every aspect of life. It's like Jacques Lacan said about Dostoyevsky's famous quote, ('If God is dead, everything is permitted'), accurately turning it around to say "If God is dead, nothing is permitted." And so we all throw the first stone at one another...

The great Victorian judge and political philosopher James Fitzjames Stephen said that the main deterrent to crime is not the law, but public opinion. He was right. One of the reasons Arab countries have such a low crime rate is that a thief would be shunned by his family and wider community. The most judgmental people I know are self-described non-judgmentalists: they hate (straightforwardly) judgmental people, i.e. people with personalities, who don't have to cling on to PC BS in order to create a persona for themselves.

PS. Something I didn't know until recently was that Vronsky, like Levin, was based on Tolstoy's own experiences. He represented Tolstoy's own shallow, artificial lifestyle that he gave up and was ashamed of. Vronsky is mature, attractive and amoral. He sees nothing wrong with pursuing a married woman because society's hypocrisy allows for that, but he gets in deeper than he intended. Not the deepest of characters, but Vronsky's casting in this film was absolutely ridiculous. ( )
  antao | Dec 3, 2018 |
Warning: this review contains spoilers.

****

This is a classic that many (at least in the trivia world) know primarily for the ending, where Anna throws herself in front of a train. When I finally came to this story after hearing about the ending for so long, I was surprised to find that the story continued after that, with more from the world of Kitty and Levin on the farm as Levin tries to figure out whether he believes in anything and what governs his soul. I found those chapters something after an anticlimax, although there was probably a point to be made about everyone seeming to forget Anna so quickly.

I read a public-domain translation by Constance Garnett, which is said to not be the best in terms of fidelity to the source text, but it did the job for me in terms of getting the plot. I may decide to read another translation someday for the fun of it. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Nov 9, 2018 |
I would consider War and Peace the greater novel, but gosh, isn't this a fantastic piece of work? What author so successfully places us inside the head of each of its characters, moving them forward with an unrelenting pace while also tying them so closely to the fortunes of their nation? Wondrous. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 464 (next | show all)
De nieuwe vertaling van Anna Karenina leest als een trein, dankzij allerlei knappe vondsten van vertaler Hans Boland.
 

» Add other authors (238 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolstoy, Leoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolstoy, Leomain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayley, JohnPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bayley, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carmichael, JoelTranslatorsecondary 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
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horovitch, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, JennyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huisman, WilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kool, Halbo C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leclée, JacobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magarshack, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mandelker, AmyIntroductionsecondary 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
Zinovieff, KyrilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
Vengeance is mine; I will repay. ~ Deuteronomy 32:35
Dedication
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)
Quotations
"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.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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.

Please keep the Norton Critical Edition 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.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Book description
«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».
(piopas)
Haiku summary
The moral of this:
Adultery drives one mad.
And watch out for trains.
(hillaryrose7)

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 9 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 66 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451528611, 0140449175, 0141194324, 0141391898

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