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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
28,57749554 (4.15)5 / 1515
  1. 162
    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. 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. 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 (457)  Italian (10)  Spanish (8)  Dutch (7)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (495)
Showing 1-5 of 457 (next | show all)
I never thought I would finish this book! Finally. It took me almost 2 weeks to finish it. The classics always take me longer. I was not impressed with this book. I felt like they spent more time talking about others such as Kitty and Levin, than they did talking about Anna and her whole situation. They spent page after page, chapter after chapter talking about things that had no bearing on Anna and her situation, such as Levin's farming and Levin's hunting and Levin's meetings. Though I realize these things explain the type of person Levin is, I believe they could have been summed up in less pages. I did find the ending of Anna's story rather surprising. I was not expecting that. Though I probably will not read this book again, it will remain on my bookshelf. It is a classic after all. ( )
  kkranig | Sep 4, 2018 |
Just because you can take 800 pages to say something about the human condition doesn't mean you should.

I'd rather be reading Chekhov. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Sep 1, 2018 |
I really did enjoy this book. I freely admit that it would've taken me 5 years to read in print. Thank goodness I listened to this one instead. I really found the story captivating and the characters engaging. The only drawbacks were that I couldn't stay focused during some of the parts related to politics and theology. I think my substandard background knowledge about Russian history might have something to do with that. I had 2 different editions of the audiobook. I preferred the one performed by to the one performed David Horovitch to the one performed by Davina Porter. Question: Why not also translate the French in the book? What makes them think I need the Russian translated but not the French? Every time someone spoke French I heard, "We are well to-do Russians and we don't want the hoi polloi to understand us." Eh, that's pretty much what they were saying, I think. Now I have to consider my cousin's recommendation to start with Dostoevsky rather than Tolstoy... (I did follow this advice.) ( )
  CSKteach | Jul 20, 2018 |
1073/1500 ( )
  Drfreddy94 | Jul 17, 2018 |

After several months of procrastinating and putting off listening to this book, I finally dived in, deciding that I would finish this before the end of the year. Surprisingly, I ended up finishing it in a little over a week! I enjoyed almost every bit of the book, and the Audible narrative by Maggie Gyllenhall is very good. She is about as far from being my favorite actress as she can get, but she read this classic admirably.

This book is known as the “single greatest novel ever written”, and it is very good. Tolstoy's narrative moves easily from stage to stage and scene to scene; the characters’ lives progress naturally through Russian society in the 1870s.

The story focuses on just a few main characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina and her husband Aleksey Alexandrovich Karenin; Count Aleksey Kirilich Vronksy, Konstantin Dmitrich Levin, and Kitty Scherbatskaya. These characters propel the story, and it is their lives and relationships that are followed most closely. Supporting characters include Prince Stepan Arkadyevich Oblonsky, his wife Darya Alexandrovna Oblonskaya, and Levin's brothers, truly a small cast for such a grand Russian novel.

The novel’s theme centers on relationships, specifically, the relationships in 19th Century Russian aristocratic society of St. Petersburg and Moscow. Anna Karenina is an elite, beautiful woman married to a powerful government official, Aleksey Karenin, with whom she has a son, Seryozha. She has an extended affair with the rich, dapper Count Aleksey Vronksy, and has a child with him, a daughter. Their story follows her inability to divorce her husband, and her increasing unhappiness in the relationship with Vronsky, as she is bannished by society and resents the freedom he has as a man to move in his old circles. Her jealousy and insecurity grow throughout the course of the novel, rendering her nearly mad.

The other relationship, which serves as contrast Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky, is that of Levin and Kitty Scherbatskaya. Levin is several years older than the young and beautiful Kitty, daughter of one of Moscow's many princes. He is an aristocratic farmer and meticulously cares for his family's vast agrarian holdings in the country. At the beginning of the novel, he was courting Kitty, but had returned to the country. When he returns to ask her to marry him, he sees that she is infatuated with Vronksy, whom he doesn't trust. Vronsky meets Anna Karenina at a ball and stops calling on Kitty, breaking her heart. After a long separation, Kitty and Levin meet again and she happily agrees to marry him. Their storyline follows their marriage and the birth of their son, Dimitry.

This novel is a slice out of life. The characters are incredibly realistic and complex, as is the pace and plot of the novel. The true artistry, however, lies in Tolstoy's effective setting of one relationship against another. The "good couple" Levin and Kitty have difficulties in adjusting to each other and in their relationship. Levin, like Anna, is jealous, but unlike Vronsky and Anna, he is motivated by love and generosity to overcome his angry feelings for the benefit of a harmonious home. Other aspects of the two different relationships greatly contrast one another. A very compelling character is made of Aleksey Alexandrovich Karenin, whom Anna despises, but who undergoes a convincing and sad degeneration of self as Anna leaves him and he maintains custody of the son that she loves. He gets caught up with a society woman who has converted to a fundamentalist, ecstatic Christianity and gives him advice, ultimately leading him to allow a French faux-mystic to decide the fate of his marriage to Anna.

The novel has a well-known climax, beautifully written, which allows the reader to come through the shock and pain to what Levin discovers beyond the love of the family life he craved. This is definitely a masterpiece, worth the time spent on every page. ( )
1 vote ssimon2000 | May 7, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 457 (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
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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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.
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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».
(piopas)
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 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 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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