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Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
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Anna Karenina (1877)

by Leo Tolstoy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,51539547 (4.16)5 / 1337
  1. 143
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (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)
  2. 111
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (roby72)
  3. 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.
  4. 60
    The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (roby72)
  5. 51
    Emma by Jane Austen (roby72)
  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. 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.
  8. 20
    Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (Henrik_Madsen)
    Henrik_Madsen: To romaner af murstensstørrelse der analyserer og beskriver overklassefamiliernes komplicerede liv.
  9. 42
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (alalba)
  10. 10
    La Regenta by Leopoldo Alas (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
    The Maias by Eca de Queiros (Anonymous user)
  13. 13
    Eine Frage der Schuld: Roman - Mit der «Kurzen Autobiographie der Gräfin S. A. Tolstaja»: Anläßlich der "Kreutzersonate" von Lew Tolstoi. Mit einem Nachwort von Ursula Keller by Sofja Tolstaja (Monika_L)
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English (364)  Italian (8)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (5)  French (4)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (396)
Showing 1-5 of 364 (next | show all)
Wow. That was a slog. I'm reading/re-reading the classics. Some I've liked, some I've loved, some I've loathed. This one was the latter. ( )
  bherner | Jul 24, 2014 |
Once this story actually got going, it was like a Russian soap opera. I quite liked it, although I'm pretty sure it could have been at least 100 - 200 pages shorter. The contrast between Levin's family and the mess that was the Kerenin/Vronsky family was essential, but sometimes, I think there were too many superfluous moments and details that really didn't contribute much to the story. Also, this WAS (to my understanding) supposed to be predominantly about Anna, and yet, at the end,It's all about Levin and his religious epiphany. Nothing is said of what happens to the Kerenins, although Vronsky and the rest are wrapped up rather nicely. There are SO many points where this story could end, and yet it doesn't! Tolstoy keeps most of it interesting, but it really drags in parts, and when I say drags, I'm talking a snail's pace.

One thing I will say in the negative, and this is nothing against Tolstoy personally. It's more of a comment on all classic Russian novelists... pick one name, maybe two for the main characters, if someone uses a pet name or something, and STICK WITH IT! That's always bugged me about Russian literature. Levin, for example. Sometimes, they refer to him as Levin. Others, it's Konstantin Dmitrievitch; others still, it's Kostya or just Konstantin. I think there was another name used to address or reference him, but I can't remember. It's quite confusing and it drives me bananas! *end rant* ( )
  cebellol | Jul 22, 2014 |
קצת היסטרי אבל עדיין מרתק ( )
  amoskovacs | Jul 19, 2014 |
I'm done! I'm done! I'm done done done!

Ah, now that that much needed release has come, I can review this monster of a novel. You can see I only gave it 2 stars--which I will remind you means "it's ok". If I could translate that to my own slang, it would be "meh". Meh. As in: it has a story line, some characters, some action...but meh. None of it is all that interesting, compelling, engaging. It is 1000 pages of meh. 1000 pages of wondering where the story will go, and getting 100, 250, 600 pages in and realizing at each step it will not get anywhere. Meh.

I picked this book up because 1) It was on my bookshelf--a present of some kind from someone who had never read it themself? 2) The movie is out and looks interesting. 3) I needed to read a translated book this year.

Results? 1) I wish I knew who gave me the book so I could politely ask them never to buy me books again. 2) The book was so bland I don't know that I even want to see the movie now. Even though I would definitely say they could condense the ENTIRE story to 90 minutes or so. 3) I read a translated book--my challenge for the year is complete!

What's so bad about this book? Besides the pages upon pages of endless (needless?) details, I felt like I was reading the same scene over and over again. Woman and man fight. They both hold terrible, resentful feelings toward each other, refuse to admit it to the other person or 'society', tell at each other saying it is he last straw, girl runs to room, man follows her, she cries in his arms and is soothed. Every fight. Every relationship.

But it's not a one star book. I didn't hate every minute of it....just felt it could have been about 70% shorter without losing anything of value.

There is more I could gripe about this book, but I would rather move on to another book. It is the opposite of a book hangover (where you find yourself unable to leave the characters behind)--I need to read something else to get the taste of this book out of my head. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
I'm done! I'm done! I'm done done done!

Ah, now that that much needed release has come, I can review this monster of a novel. You can see I only gave it 2 stars--which I will remind you means "it's ok". If I could translate that to my own slang, it would be "meh". Meh. As in: it has a story line, some characters, some action...but meh. None of it is all that interesting, compelling, engaging. It is 1000 pages of meh. 1000 pages of wondering where the story will go, and getting 100, 250, 600 pages in and realizing at each step it will not get anywhere. Meh.

I picked this book up because 1) It was on my bookshelf--a present of some kind from someone who had never read it themself? 2) The movie is out and looks interesting. 3) I needed to read a translated book this year.

Results? 1) I wish I knew who gave me the book so I could politely ask them never to buy me books again. 2) The book was so bland I don't know that I even want to see the movie now. Even though I would definitely say they could condense the ENTIRE story to 90 minutes or so. 3) I read a translated book--my challenge for the year is complete!

What's so bad about this book? Besides the pages upon pages of endless (needless?) details, I felt like I was reading the same scene over and over again. Woman and man fight. They both hold terrible, resentful feelings toward each other, refuse to admit it to the other person or 'society', tell at each other saying it is he last straw, girl runs to room, man follows her, she cries in his arms and is soothed. Every fight. Every relationship.

But it's not a one star book. I didn't hate every minute of it....just felt it could have been about 70% shorter without losing anything of value.

There is more I could gripe about this book, but I would rather move on to another book. It is the opposite of a book hangover (where you find yourself unable to leave the characters behind)--I need to read something else to get the taste of this book out of my head. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 364 (next | show all)
Each time I reread Anna Karenina, picking my way past the attics and cellars and rusting machinery of Tolstoy's obsessions and prejudices, a new layer of his craft emerges, to the point where, for all my admiration of Joyce, Beckett and Kelman, I begin to question whether the novel form isn't too artisanal a medium for the surface experimentation of the modernist project ever to transcend the flexing of space and time that apparently conventional language can achieve in the hands of a master.
 

» Add other authors (93 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolstoy, Leoprimary 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, AylmerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maude, LouiseTranslatorsecondary 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
Troyat, HenriIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volohonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.

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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Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:46 -0400)

(see all 7 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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28 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Four editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451528611, 0140449175, 0141194324, 0141391898

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