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Anna Karenina (1877)

by Leo Tolstoy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
38,44462759 (4.14)8 / 1672
In nineteenth-century Russia, the wife of an important government official loses her family and social status when she chooses the love of Count Vronsky over a passionless marriage.
  1. 222
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (roby72, kjuliff)
    kjuliff: adulatory, bored wife
  2. 164
    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. 100
    The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (roby72)
  4. 60
    The Princesse de Clèves 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. 50
    Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family 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. 62
    Emma by Jane Austen (roby72)
  8. 40
    La Regenta by Leopoldo Alas (alalba)
  9. 53
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (alalba)
  10. 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.
  11. 21
    The Maias by Eça de Queirós (Anonymous user)
  12. 21
    Whose Fault? by Sofja Tolstaja (Monika_L)
  13. 10
    Eirelan by Liam O'Shiel (snarkhunting)
    snarkhunting: Both books build complex stories that delve into the nature of loyalty in relationships.
  14. 11
    A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (uri-starkey)
  15. 00
    Káťa Kabanová [libretto] by Leoš Janáček (JuliaMaria)
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English (563)  Italian (15)  Spanish (11)  Dutch (8)  French (6)  Catalan (4)  Swedish (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  German (2)  Czech (1)  Hebrew (1)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (619)
Showing 1-5 of 563 (next | show all)
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 | Apr 21, 2024 |
  PlayerTwo | Apr 20, 2024 |
Too angsty for me. ( )
  mimji | Apr 20, 2024 |
More than any other writer, Tolstoy had this almost otherworldly ability to present people as they really are with a certain bird's eye perspective, and also with an X-ray lens, he could see inside people right down to the marrow of their souls. I think Faulkner pretty much says it all when he lists the three greatest novels as: "Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina." This book is really the only one that matters, like the Clash (which I don't exactly get, I mean, they're a good band, but really, the only one that matters?). If ever there were a perfect novel, it would either be this one or War and Peace (which is coincidently also by Tolstoy), and it may in fact be my favourite novel. Though it isn't so much Anna's story which really captivates me, though it is outstanding and masterful, but rather Konstantin Lenin's. He is an exceedingly complex and emotive character, so personal and vivid, and so graphically sketched out of Tolstoy's own consciousness. His spiritual awakening and romance with Kitty are among the most discerning and heartfelt in literature, and it's so thorough, wellrounded and intricate that one is led to wonder why we really need any more romance novels after this one. ( )
  TheBooksofWrath | Apr 18, 2024 |
(spoilers) Like all of Tolstoy's big books this has taken a chunk out of my life but many were the moments that I wanted to give-up on Anna Karenina because I found sections of it fairly tedious and plodding. Nevertheless, I ploughed on to the end, like one of the diligent peasants, and was rewarded by passages of great lyrical beauty, especially where the countryside entered the story. Although Anna's death ultimately has no meaning or significance and her 'tiny hands' and Vronsky's 'straight teeth' were a repetitious form of cultural (perhaps temporal) dissonance, I felt as though I'd only been given a tantalising glimpse of Anna. She seemed to have come from nowhere (unlike the other characters). Just as the power of her full womanhood came to assert itself, she began a descent onto a deranged path of delusional self-destruction. She could so easily have found happiness. But maybe that was the point: that happiness was a delusion. Certainly, Levin believes there is 'nothing for every man to look forward to except suffering, death, and everlasting oblivion'. However, right at the end of the book he manages to arrive at what could be a durable moment of realisation related to an unconditional and innate 'goodness'. Although accompanied by revelation and even lightning, he claims this comes quietly. He struggles a little to separate it from religion but manages to do so just as the novel enfolds its ending in a form of domestic bliss.

What I missed in this book written with Tolstoy's author omniscience was the way he was able to stand aside from the action and comment as he did in 'War and Peace'. Nevertheless, almost a similar effect is achieved (with wry comment) when many of the characters appear to respond to some will of their own, almost beyond the author's control. A character would intend to say or do one thing but instead say or do another. For example,

'Anna looked at Dolly's thin, careworn face with its wrinkles filled with dust and was about to tell her what she was thinking, namely, that Dolly looked thinner; but remembering that her own looks had improved and that Dolly's eyes had told her so, she signed and began talking about herself.'
( )
  simonpockley | Feb 25, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 563 (next | show all)
De nieuwe vertaling van Anna Karenina leest als een trein, dankzij allerlei knappe vondsten van vertaler Hans Boland.

» Add other authors (352 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leo Tolstoyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Arout, Gabrielsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barrett, AngelaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bayley, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carmichael, JoelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carmichael, JoelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dole, Nathan HaskellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunmore, HelenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edmonds, RosemaryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farrell, James T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallero, VíctorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibian, GeorgeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ginzburg , LeoneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Greenwood, E. B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gurin, JacobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gurin, Morris S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gyllenhaal, MaggieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hašková, TatjanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horovitch, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, JennyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huisman, WilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, W. GarethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kool, Halbo C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leclée, JacobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magarshack, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mandelker, AmyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcoff, AlexisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matulay, LaszloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maude, AylmerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maude, Louise ShanksTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nin, AndreuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pyykkö, LeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reimann, RolfIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roseen, UllaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwartz, MarianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trausil, HansContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Troyat, HenriIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volohonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zinovieff, KyrilTranslatorsecondary 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)]
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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.

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.
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In nineteenth-century Russia, the wife of an important government official loses her family and social status when she chooses the love of Count Vronsky over a passionless marriage.

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Book description
Considered by some to be the greatest novel ever written, “Anna Karenina” is Tolstoy’s classic tale of love and adultery set against the backdrop of high society in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. A rich and complex masterpiece, the novel charts the disastrous course of a love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer. Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together the lives of dozens of characters, and in doing so captures a breathtaking tapestry of late-nineteenth-century Russian society. As Matthew Arnold wrote in his celebrated essay on Tolstoy, “We are not to take Anna Karenina as a work of art; we are to take it as a piece of life.”
Haiku summary
The moral of this:
Adultery drives one mad.
And watch out for trains.

Peasants have it grand.
A day labouring with them.
Then three-course dinner.

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