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Anna Karenina (1877)

by Leo Tolstoy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
36,33060459 (4.15)8 / 1658
A famous legend surrounding the creation of "Anna Karenina" tells us that Tolstoy began writing a cautionary tale about adultery and ended up falling in love with his magnificent heroine. It is rare to find a reader of the book who doesn't experience the same kind of emotional upheaval. Anna Karenina is filled with major and minor characters who exist in their own right and fully embody their mid-nineteenth-century Russian milieu, but it still belongs entirely to the woman whose name it bears, whose portrait is one of the truest ever made by a writer. Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude… (more)
  1. 212
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (roby72, kjuliff)
    kjuliff: adulatory, bored wife
  2. 163
    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)
  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. 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. 62
    Emma by Jane Austen (roby72)
  7. 40
    La Regenta by Leopoldo Alas (alalba)
  8. 40
    Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (Henrik_Madsen)
    Henrik_Madsen: To romaner af murstensstørrelse der analyserer og beskriver overklassefamiliernes komplicerede liv.
  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. 10
    Eirelan by Liam O'Shiel (snarkhunting)
    snarkhunting: Both books build complex stories that delve into the nature of loyalty in relationships.
  11. 21
    The Maias by José Maria de Eça de Queiroz (Anonymous user)
  12. 21
    Whose Fault? by Sofja Tolstaja (Monika_L)
  13. 43
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (alalba)
  14. 00
    Káťa Kabanová [libretto] by Leoš Janáček (JuliaMaria)
  15. 11
    A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (uri-starkey)
AP Lit (256)
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English (546)  Italian (14)  Spanish (11)  Dutch (8)  French (5)  Catalan (4)  Swedish (3)  German (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hebrew (1)  Czech (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (600)
Showing 1-5 of 546 (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 | May 1, 2023 |
  BegoMano | Mar 5, 2023 |
Anna Karenina is one of the two main characters in the novel she is an aristocrat from St. Petersburg, Russia. This story takes place in the 1800s, where adultery and divorce was illegal. She captures the attention of everyone in society by the way she carries herself. She commits adultery; she cannot live without her lover. She is well mannered and outspoken. She is a young married woman, who has one young son. Unfortunately she sees a very handsome young man, named Vronsky, and she instantly becomes attracted to him, when their eyes meet. Vronsky is wealthy, he is a military officer. He is passionate, and caring for Anna. He becomes charmed by her beauty upon meeting her. She has an affair with him and commits adultery. She cannot live without her lover, even though her husband tells her to leave him. She is now pregnant with her lovers child, and her husband loves her so much that he is willing to raise the child as his own, as long as she leaves her lover, Vronsky. Her husband Karenin is a high-ranking Government Minister, who forgives her of committing adultery.

Anna is the beautiful, passionate, and educated wife of Alexei Karenin, a cold and passionless government official. Her character is rich in complexity: she is guilty of desecrating her marriage and home, for instance, but she remains noble and admirable nonetheless. Anna is intelligent and literate, a reader of English novels and a writer of children's books. She is elegant, always understated in her dress. Her many years with Karenin show her capable of playing the role of cultivated, beautiful, society wife and hostess with great poise and grace. She is very nearly the ideal aristocratic Russian wife of the 1870s.

Her affair throws her into social exile, misery and eventually makes her commit suicide, because her love moves on with someone else.

The other main character is Levin. He is independent-minded and socially awkward. He is truly an individual character who fits into none of the obvious classifications of Russian society. Levin is his own person. He follows his own vision of things, even when it is confused and foggy, rather than adopting any group's prefabricated views. Moreover, Levin prefers isolation over fitting in with a social set with which he is not wholly comfortable. In this he resembles Anna, whose story is a counterpart to his own in its search for self-definition and individual happiness.

He falls in love with Kitty, Anna's friend, despite that they are from different social classes. Kitty being a Princess, and Levin being a Peasant. The two, struggle to find each other and happiness as they create a life together. . She gives up being a princess because she loves him, and she moves to his farm and becomes a peasant.


Social issue
Society will react negatively to this adultery
Karenin > willing to overlook Anna's affair as long as she doesn't want to get a divorce
Anna tries to escape society in Italy and on the country side
Social criticism/marital betrayal


Forgiveness are sometimes compromised >Dolly forgiving Stiva for cheating
When Anna begs Karenin [has little effect> Anna continues loving Vronsky]
Ongoing process that may grow or diminish
Anna begs for forgiveness before committing suicide
Overall, I really enjoyed both the novel and the film. I usually don't read novels in this genre, but I really liked this one. If you get a chance, you should definitely check this book out! I highly recommend it!

Happy Reading!

-Ana @SoManyBooksSoLittleTime

This review will is also posted on my blog ( )
  AnaCarter | Feb 15, 2023 |
What a beautiful book, I’ve a had a wonderful time reading it. (Actually, listening to it.) I guess I need to read more Tolstoy! What a great understanding of personality, psychology, etc. Also a lot of humor mixed in with sadness, struggle, etc.

Enjoyed Maggie Gyllenhaal’s reading - a little flat, subtle, not terribly dramatic, not very distinct voices or anything — but I think that let the writing and story really show through. ( )
  steve02476 | Jan 3, 2023 |
Among the strangest classics, Anna Karenina follows a rare, even unique format, that modern publishers would balk at on first glance. Shows what they know. ( )
  NathanRH | Dec 4, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 546 (next | show all)
De nieuwe vertaling van Anna Karenina leest als een trein, dankzij allerlei knappe vondsten van vertaler Hans Boland.

» Add other authors (179 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolstoy, LeoAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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
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)]
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
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC
A famous legend surrounding the creation of "Anna Karenina" tells us that Tolstoy began writing a cautionary tale about adultery and ended up falling in love with his magnificent heroine. It is rare to find a reader of the book who doesn't experience the same kind of emotional upheaval. Anna Karenina is filled with major and minor characters who exist in their own right and fully embody their mid-nineteenth-century Russian milieu, but it still belongs entirely to the woman whose name it bears, whose portrait is one of the truest ever made by a writer. Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude

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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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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451528611, 0140449175, 0141194324, 0141391898

The Planet

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Voland Edizioni

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An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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HighBridge Audio

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Tantor Media

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Urban Romantics

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