Anna online sale Karenina sale

Anna online sale Karenina sale

Anna online sale Karenina sale

Reading copy. May have signs of wear and previous use. Missing dust cover.
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This edition, the famous Constance Garnett translation, has been revised throughout by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova.

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."  So begins Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy''s great modern novel of an adulterous affair set against the backdrop of Moscow and St. Petersburg high society in the later half of the nineteenth century.  A sophisticated woman who is respectably married to a government bureaucrat, Anna begins a passionate, all-consuming involvement with a rich army officer.  Refusing to conduct a discreet affair, she scandalizes society by abandoning both her husband and her young son for Count Vronsky--with tragic consequences.  Running parallel is the story of the courtship and marriage of Konstantin Levin (the melancholy nobleman who is Tolstoy''s stand-in) and Princess Kitty Shcherbatsky.  

Levin''s spiritual searching and growth reflect the religious ideals that at the time Tolstoy was evolving for himself.  Taken together, the two plots embroider a vast canvas that ultimately encompasses all levels of Russian society.  "Now and then Tolstoy''s novel writes its own self, is produced by its matter, but its subject," noted Vladimir Nabokov.  " Anna Karenina is one of the greatest love stories in world literature."  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."  

Review

"One of the greatest love stories in world literature."
--Vladimir Nabokov


From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

This edition, the famous Constance Garnett translation, has been revised throughout by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova.

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."  So begins Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy''s great modern novel of an adulterous affair set against the backdrop of Moscow and St. Petersburg high society in the later half of the nineteenth century.  A sophisticated woman who is respectably married to a government bureaucrat, Anna begins a passionate, all-consuming involvement with a rich army officer.  Refusing to conduct a discreet affair, she scandalizes society by abandoning both her husband and her young son for Count Vronsky--with tragic consequences.  Running parallel is the story of the courtship and marriage of Konstantin Levin (the melancholy nobleman who is Tolstoy''s stand-in) and Princess Kitty Shcherbatsky.  

Levin''s spiritual searching and growth reflect the religious ideals that at the time Tolstoy was evolving for himself.  Taken together, the two plots embroider a vast canvas that ultimately encompasses all levels of Russian society.  "Now and then Tolstoy''s novel writes its own self, is produced by its matter, but its subject," noted Vladimir Nabokov.  " Anna Karenina is one of the greatest love stories in world literature."  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."  

From the Back Cover

"Tolstoy is the greatest Russian writer of prose fiction....Tolstoy''s prose keeps pace with our pulses, his characters seem to move with the same swing as the people passing under our window while we sit reading his book....No wonder, then, that elderly Russians at their evening tea talk of Tolstoy''s characters as of people who really exist, people to whom their friends may be likened, people they see as distinctly as if they had danced with Kitty and Anna at that ball or dined with Oblonsky at his favorite restaurant, as we shall soon be dining with him. Readers call Tolstoy a giant not because other writers are dwarfs but because he remains always of exactly our own stature, exactly keeping pace with us instead of passing by in the distance, as other authors do."

--Vladimir Nabokov

About the Author

The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library''s seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch-bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world''s best books, at the best prices.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Since Anna Kareninawas published in 1877, almost everyone who matters in the history of literature has put in his two cents (and a few who stand out in other realms--from Matthew Arnold, who wrote a cogent essay in 1887 about "Count Tolstoy''s" novel, to Lenin, who, while acknowledging his "first class works of world literature," refers to him as "a worn out sniveller who beat his breast and boasted to the world that he now lived on rice patties").

Dostoyevsky, a contemporary, declared Anna Karenina perfect "as an artistic production." Proust calls Tolstoy "a serene god." Comparing his work to that of Balzac, he said, "In Tolstoi everything is great by nature--the droppings of an elephant beside those of a goat. Those great harvest scenes in Anna K., the hunting scenes, the skating scenes . . ." Flaubert just exclaims, "What an artist and what a psychologist!" Virginia Woolf declares him "greatest of all novelists. . . . He notices the blue or red of a child''s frock . . . every twig, every feather sticks to his magnet."

A few cranks, of course, weigh in on the other side. Joseph Conrad wrote a complimentary letter to Constance Garnett''s husband and mentioned, "of the thing itself I think but little," a crack Nabokov never forgave him. Turgenev said, "I don''t like Anna Karenina, although there are some truly great pages in it (the races, the mowing, the hunting). But it''s all sour, it reeks of Moscow, incense, old maids, Slavophilism, the nobility, etc. . . . The second part is trivial and boring." But Turgenev was by then an ex-friend and Tolstoy had once challenged him to a duel.

E. M. Forster said, "Great chords begin to sound, and we cannot say exactly what struck them. They do not arise from the story. . . . They do not come from the episodes nor yet from the characters. They come from the immense area of Russia. . . . Many novelists have the feeling for place . . . very few have the sense of space, and the possession of it ranks high in Tolstoy''s divine equipment."

After finishing Anna Karenina, Tolstoy himself said (to himself, in his journal), "Very well, you will be more famous than Gogol or Pushkin or Shakespeare or Molière, or than all the writers of the world--and what of it?"

More great essays than I can recount here have been written about the book, especially those by George Steiner, Gary Saul Morson, Eduard Babev, and Raymond Williams.

Tolstoy criticism continues to thrive, and now includes its own home called the Tolstoy Studies Journal. Resorting to any library today, one can page through recent articles with titles like "Tolstoy on the Couch: Misogyny, Masochism, the Absent Mother," by Daniel Rancour-Lafarriere; "Passion in Competition: The Sporting Motif in Anna Karenina," by Howard Schwartz; "Food and the Adulterous Woman: Sexual and Social Morality in Anna Karenina," by Karin Horwatt; and even "Anna Karenina''s Peter Pan Syndrome," by Vladimir Goldstein.

What''s left, in the year 2000, for me to say?

Once, when I was a girl of eleven or twelve, sprawled on a sofa reading, an adult friend of the family noticed that I went through books quickly and suggested that every time I finished one, I enter the name of the author and title, publisher, the dates during which I read it, and what my impressions were on a three-by-five index card.

That kind of excellent habit is one we can easily imagine cultivated by the young Shcherbatsky princesses, when we first meet them "wrapped in a mysterious poetical veil." Levin wonders from afar, "Why it was the three young ladies had to speak French and English on alternate days; why it was that at certain hours they took turns playing the piano, the sounds of which were audible in their brother''s room . . . why they were visited by those professors of French literature, of music, of drawing, of dancing; why at certain hours all three young ladies, and Mademoiselle Linon, drove in the coach to Tverskoy Boulevard, dressed in their satin cloaks, Dolly in a long one, Natalie in a shorter one, and Kitty in one so short that her shapely little legs in tight red stockings were exposed."

Of course, I was an American girl, not a Russian princess, and instead of foreign languages and piano tutors what I had was outside. From dawn to dusk, all summer, we ran to the woods, scavenging lumber, hauling boards, digging holes to build forts that were rarely completed; but we became muddy and tired.
I never followed the family friend''s good advice.

Now I wish I had. A reason to keep a reading journal would be to compare the experience of the same book met at different ages. It could provide the deepest kind of diary. Anna Karenina, War and Peace, In Search of Lost Time and Middlemarch hold sway over a reader for weeks, months, a whole summer, and so we tend to remember our lives along with them, the way we would someone we''d roomed with for a period of months and then not seen again. I remember Tolstoy''s novels personally--where I was when I first read them, for whom I was pining or from whom I was recovering. (For me, the novels were a bit long to read in the throes.)

Tolstoy himself kept just such a diary, his biographers tell us, a journal of "girls and reading. And remorse." He presented these journals, with all their literary impressions and squalid confessions, to his young fiance, Sofia Behrs, as Levin does to Kitty in Anna Karenina.

In the novel, as in Tolstoy''s life, the squalor got all the attention from the young bride to be. But for history, as it might have been for Tolstoy later in his life, his youthful writing about books proves to be not only more important but more personal.

Though I didn''t keep a journal of reading, I did keep journals of "feelings," largely of boys whose names the black-bound volumes record. A list of those names no longer conjures the faces or characteristic gestures.

But I remember where I was the first time I read Anna Karenina. I was at Yaddo, a writers'' colony in upstate New York, during the high season, and I felt distinctly outside the community''s social world. Another young female writer arrived with, it seemed to me, a better wardrobe. I found myself checking what she was wearing at every meal. I hadn''t considered that I was visiting a town that for more than 150 years had been a summer "watering hole." A small backpack held all my clothes for the summer. A pretty orchestra conductor with whom I jogged examined a pin-sized stain on my best white blouse. "I wouldn''t wear it," she said.

I was twenty-four years old and, I''ll admit it, I read the novel to learn about love. I was at the beginning of my life and I''d come from one of the unhappy families Tolstoy mentions. I was, in my own oblique way, writing about that circus in all its distinction. But I wanted my own life to be one of the happy ones and I felt at peace there, in my studio on the second story of an old wooden, formal house. I had the time to lie on my white bed with the pine fronds ticking the window and learn how.

I felt enchanted, as any girl might be, with the balls, the ice-skating parties, most especially with Kitty''s European tour to recover from heartbreak. I identified with Anna and with Kitty, never for a second with Varenka, whose position might have actually been closest to my own.

In fact, I was young enough to remember a particular magazine I''d read while in a toy store as a child, no doubt published by the Mattel Corporation, that chronicled a holiday week in the life of a doll called Barbie. Like the characters in Anna Karenina, Barbie also went to an ice-skating party and wore a muff. Barbie also owned formal gowns. Barbie, too, sat to have her portrait painted.

I mention this not to call attention to the rather girlish and unsophisticated imagination I still had but rather to show how far into a child''s fantasy Tolstoy ventures before then shocking us by rendering our heroine''s aversion to touching her husband. And here I''m not talking only about Anna. He makes mention of Kitty''s "revulsion" toward Levin as well.

I read--that first time--for the central characters, to see whom they married; to decide what was dangerous in a man, what fulfilling; what kind of love to hope for, to fear.

I didn''t like Vronsky. Or I did, but I was afraid of him. Vronsky says something at the beginning of the novel that the repeat reader will never forget. We meet him, in his first appearance, as Kitty''s suitor, and already fear--as her mother will not quite let herself--that he will turn out to be a cad. The conversation in the parlor turns to table-rapping and spirits, and Countess Nordston, who believed in spiritualism, begins to describe the marvels she has seen.

Vronsky says, " ''. . . for pity''s sake, do take me to see them! I have never seen anything extraordinary, though I am always on the lookout for it everywhere.'' " He says this in Kitty''s living room, in her presence. Of course, he has not yet seen Anna.

That night, after flirting with Kitty, he goes straight home to his rented room and falls asleep early, musing, "That''s why I like the Shcherbatskys'', because I become better there."

His yearning for the extraordinary, the small account he gives to the peace-giving quality of the Shcherbatskys, tells his whole story, the way a prologue often announces the great Shakespearean themes. Kitty''s father has never liked or trusted Vronsky, while her mother favors him, considering Levin only a "good" match, but Vronsky a "brilliant" one.

The dangers and glory of that kind of exceptionalism--in love--were for me, that first time, the subject of the novel.

That question of the viability of extraordinary and ordinary loves was even more riveting for me, at twenty-four, th...

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4.3 out of 54.3 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

Ryan
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good book
Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2016
I feel I''m not qualified to review this book. I''m just a regular guy, not a literature professor, but maybe my comments will be helpful to some. This book is really good. It''s all about the characters. Many times while I was reading I wondered how all of this was going... See more
I feel I''m not qualified to review this book. I''m just a regular guy, not a literature professor, but maybe my comments will be helpful to some. This book is really good. It''s all about the characters. Many times while I was reading I wondered how all of this was going to end. It wasn''t like a regular story where there''s a pretty clear end goal, like get the bad guy, or solve the mystery. It was more like things are just happening and I wonder what''s going to happen next. I thought maybe it''s just going to stop abruptly, as if Tolstoy would just suddenly be done writing about all these characters, but it really did have a solid ending to conclude everything. Thinking back on the story I remember many ups and downs and tense moments and light hearted moments, it was very enjoyable and pretty easy to read.

One thing that really amazed me was how well Tolstoy could switch between different characters and settings. Everyone had distinct personalities and the way they were all portrayed was with so much compassion and understanding that as a reader I could really see parts of myself in everyone. There was no one character that I related to more than any other. I was able to relate to every single one of them differently. I believe this is the reason Tolstoy is considered a master.

The pace of the book is a little slow for me because I''m a slow reader, but in retrospect I feel like the pace was actually pretty good and it only felt slow because I had absolutely no idea where the story was going. Every chapter had something new happening and the story just strolled right along. Probably like riding a tractor for 50 miles. You''ve got plenty of time to look at all the flowers and clouds and barns and animals along the way, it takes forever, but it never stops moving.

It helped a lot to have this book on my kindle because towards the end there was more and more french that was easy to translate with the kindle. The port to the kindle was perfect. I saw no strange spacing or oddly misspelled words.

Overall I recommend giving this book a shot. Don''t be discouraged by the length. I realize a reader may feel compelled to read this particular book just so they can say that they did. It''s got that trophy book status. I feel like that''s a bad thing though. If you find yourself a few hundred pages in and are interested in what''s going on, then keep going. If however after a few hundred pages you feel like it''s a chore to read, then don''t bother, it''s not going to suddenly become more interesting after any point in the book. It''s very consistent, you can trust this author and the translation, the ending won''t let you down, there will be no long lulls. What you get in the beginning is what you get through the entire book, it''s very steady and very high quality writing.
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BrizeBooks
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Best book I ever read
Reviewed in the United States on March 5, 2017
I have never enjoyed a book more than this one. From beginning to end, every part, every sentence, every word. It was surprisingly easy to read as well, although I suppose some credit should go to the translator for that aspect. The Russian names are a bit tricky, of... See more
I have never enjoyed a book more than this one. From beginning to end, every part, every sentence, every word. It was surprisingly easy to read as well, although I suppose some credit should go to the translator for that aspect. The Russian names are a bit tricky, of course, i usually said them out loud to try and get them down. Actually I read most of the book aloud, just to slow me down and make sure I didn''t miss anything, plus it sounds so good hearing the elegance of his writing. As a matter of fact, when I heard that they made this into a movie, my idea of the best way to appreciate this book in a movie was to have a microphone, a chair and and excellent reader just reading the words into the camera. Nothing else, because you don''t NEED anything else.
If you looking for a thrilling story line with lots of twists and unexpected turns, this is probably not the book for you. I mean it''s an interesting enough story, but it''s involves things that happen all the time to ordinary people. What''s so enjoyable is the way he DESCRIBES what''s going on in each scene, each conversation, the thoughts and emotions of the characters as they deal with whatever unfolds in their lives. Especially I like he way he jumps around in his descriptions, what''s going through her mind, what she says, what''s her body language, what he sees, what he thinks, how it affects him, descriptions of the little physical clues to their feelings. He''s moving around from character to character, from dialogue to thoughts to physical descriptions, and as you read, all of a sudden YOU''RE THERE! Actually you''re more than there, because you see it from many different perspectives, and you just know exactly what they''re feeling, thinking. It''s really breathtaking is the best way to describe it as he''s moving you around the scene seeing both the surface and deep into the character''s thoughts and feelings. He even gets into the mind of the damn hunting dog, and after I got done rolling on the floor with laughter I got up and said "YES, YES, that''s exactly how they think!"
This was my first Russian novel (other that something on Crime and Punishment years ago that I never finished and can''t really recall) but it won''t be my last, I''ll read this again at least once, then will explore whatever else is out there. In fact the only down side to reading this book is that it may have ruined me for less compelling writers. Charles Dickens has always been one of my favorite writers, but I can''t seem to get through David Copperfield all of a sudden...maybe happy people ARE all pretty much the same.
87 people found this helpful
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Ron Webb
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Much more than a novel
Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2017
This is much more than a novel, it is a view into 19th century Russian society from top to bottom. We see the lives and work of peasants, the intellectual struggles of the well-informed, and the financial challenges facing wealthy city-dwellers and landed gentry. It all... See more
This is much more than a novel, it is a view into 19th century Russian society from top to bottom. We see the lives and work of peasants, the intellectual struggles of the well-informed, and the financial challenges facing wealthy city-dwellers and landed gentry. It all becomes very personal and three-dimensional. You see what people say, what people really mean, and how it is interpreted by others. The story of Anna Karenina is actually not a summary of the book, but only a part of a larger tapestry.
28 people found this helpful
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Review
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not professionally printed
Reviewed in the United States on April 28, 2018
The text is very poorly formatted and full of typos. The paragraphs aren''t even properly separated. It looks like someone copy-and-pasted an online version into a Word doc. (Since this work is in the public domain, that might be exactly what happened.) It''s also freakishly... See more
The text is very poorly formatted and full of typos. The paragraphs aren''t even properly separated. It looks like someone copy-and-pasted an online version into a Word doc. (Since this work is in the public domain, that might be exactly what happened.) It''s also freakishly large: This book is 10 inches tall by 7 inches wide by 2 inches thick. AND it''s a flimsy paperback, so its huge size makes to flop around terribly. It''s a crude copy, not professional at all.
14 people found this helpful
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Aran Joseph CanesTop Contributor: Philosophy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Thoughts on Reading Anna Karenina
Reviewed in the United States on June 17, 2021
George Saunders once opined that we write the best part of ourselves. That is, we write the moral life we aspire to, not the rather mundane ethics we actually live. I also remember a similar line from Jonathan Franzen; he said he felt like he best knew David... See more
George Saunders once opined that we write the best part of ourselves. That is, we write the moral life we aspire to, not the rather mundane ethics we actually live.

I also remember a similar line from Jonathan Franzen; he said he felt like he best knew David Foster Wallace when reading Infinite Jest even though he had known him personally for years.

The same can be said for Lev Tolstoy. You can read a biography and learn of his many inhumanities to his wife and other moral misdeeds. Or you can read Anna Karenina and see the life he aspired to.

Essential goodness above all worldly concerns, the primacy of human love and the ethical teachings of Jesus as the acme of morality. Styling himself a modern day prophet he saw in the simple faith of the Russian peasantry the antidote to many of the modern world’s many ills.

That he didn’t live up to this could be ascribed to his rejection of any form of historical or embodied Christianity; or, more likely, the difference between anyone’s ascent to ideals and the messiness of human life. I believe readers are closer to the real Lev Tolstoy when reading Anna Karenina than in the many biographies enumerating his ethical breaches. It enfleshes the life he wanted to lead far beyond his moral achievements (or lack there of).

Worth reading by all who are open-minded enough to think that some of the problems of modernity may actually be healed by those who may be lowly but who contain thousands of years of wisdom.
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Gorilichis
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fascinating but too long.
Reviewed in the United States on October 4, 2019
This classic offers a wonderful look into Russian society. I loved the romantic subplots. It''s amazing how a male writer in the XIX century could reflect female psychology so well. What I didn''t like was all the dialogues about politics, Mother Russia, the Slavs, the... See more
This classic offers a wonderful look into Russian society. I loved the romantic subplots. It''s amazing how a male writer in the XIX century could reflect female psychology so well. What I didn''t like was all the dialogues about politics, Mother Russia, the Slavs, the Northern tribes, blah, blah, blah. I ended up skipping those parts altogether. Granted, a more cultured or historically-oriented reader may love those chapters. And just an observation, if the characters weren''t referred to and addressed by their full, long, Russian names every single time, the novel would be half as long.
4 people found this helpful
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Michael Weldon Kelley
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wow, simply Wow
Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2021
If I could rate this 10 stars, I would. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I knew going in that this was a tragedy, but what I did not know was that such was only partly true. Yes, Anna''s story is tragic, but Tolstoy does not merely tell a tale about the... See more
If I could rate this 10 stars, I would. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I knew going in that this was a tragedy, but what I did not know was that such was only partly true. Yes, Anna''s story is tragic, but Tolstoy does not merely tell a tale about the repercussions of adultery. He tells a tale about life itself filled with laughter, sorrow, hard-work, deep philosophy, polarized political opinions, this book has it all, and is really about how to walk through this world by faith in a higher power. My favorite portion of the book I soon realized seem to most most peoples favorite portion, the few chapters on the quite simple, menial task of scythe-mowing which were an absolute joy to read, celebratory of a hard day''s work. The section itself is Levin''s means of dealing with the heartbreak of rejection. I felt as though I were in the fields with Levin, such a tangible part of the story and when Levin realized that, despite how good such a life of simplicity and toil feels, he still loves Kitty and cannot be truly happy without her.

The main premise of the story as a whole, as I said, is about how we are to walk through this world by faith. This is seen primarily in the contrasting paths of Anna and Levin. Anna, toward the end of the book, we learn did not really fall in love with Vronsky but instead, through the novel, had been chasing the excitement that comes with a new relationship. It is initial lust that never grows into settled love. Therefore, she becomes increasingly clingy and selfish, afraid that Vronsky will leave her like she left her husband. Levin, on the other hand, struggles with a lack of faith in God, but gradually, through his life with Kitty in marriage, grows to understand love and faith until in the last few chapters we get a picture very much like Dante''s Divine Comedy, Levin making his way through his own Hell, past the frozen core of his own ego, and comes out to behold the stars. He is finally on the right path, ready to ascend the blessed Mountain and then to the stars themselves.

This book really is about life itself and will make you want to live. If you haven''t read, don''t let its length scare you away. Anna Karenina should be required reading to be considered truly human.
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S. Ramachandran
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Details details details
Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2018
This is my third or fourth attempt at reading Anna Karenina. As a wannabe writer, I’m simply in awe of Tolstoy is able to articulate the inner voice and the conflicts that arise inside each one of us in such a believable manner. That said, this book with its vast... See more
This is my third or fourth attempt at reading Anna Karenina. As a wannabe writer, I’m simply in awe of Tolstoy is able to articulate the inner voice and the conflicts that arise inside each one of us in such a believable manner.

That said, this book with its vast cast of characters is a tough read. There is no one protagonist - not even Anna - and the entire book feels like a soap opera where the story is moved forward by different people at different points of time.

One also marvels at the strength of Tolstoy’s imagination where he is able to narrate inconsequential incidents - like Levin’s visit to his wife’s aunt’s house to ask after someone’s death - with the same attention to detail as other, more important events.
17 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

bookmuncher
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Tolstoy''s characters are endearingly human
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 26, 2016
I read War and Peace because I wanted to read it before watching the recent adaptation. I loved it so much that I wanted to keep reading Tolstoy and so, logically, turned to Anna Karenina. For me, Tolstoy''s strength is in his immediately engaging and flawed characters, and...See more
I read War and Peace because I wanted to read it before watching the recent adaptation. I loved it so much that I wanted to keep reading Tolstoy and so, logically, turned to Anna Karenina. For me, Tolstoy''s strength is in his immediately engaging and flawed characters, and their vulnerability forces me to take them under my wing. Because it''s such a famous book, I knew how it ended before I picked it up. Nevertheless I was intrigued to see how that ending came about, and the story did not disappoint. He is still very relevant in terms of the secret to a happy and fulfilling life and focusing on what is important. I skipped the parts about agriculture in nineteenth century Russia as this did not interest me and I didn''t see what bearing it had on the fates of the characters.
3 people found this helpful
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Mondoro
5.0 out of 5 starsVine Customer Review of Free Product
A good adaptation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 31, 2012
Trying to adapt a novel so rich in character and detail as ''Anna Karenina'' in such a short compass is a daunting task, and inevitably there must be omissions. The secondary plot line of Levin and the Princess Kitty was chosen, and they are referred to only briefly on the...See more
Trying to adapt a novel so rich in character and detail as ''Anna Karenina'' in such a short compass is a daunting task, and inevitably there must be omissions. The secondary plot line of Levin and the Princess Kitty was chosen, and they are referred to only briefly on the third disc. This is a pity, as their relationship makes an important contrast to that of Anna and Vronsky. However, the adaptation successfully tells the central story of three essentially good people, Anna, Vronsky and Karenin, who become victims of a repressive social order that enshrines propriety and honour, and yet employs double standards to judge the behaviour of men and women. It uses Tolstoy''s own technique of using multiple narrators providing different perpectives on the actions of the main characters, while linking together the various short scenes that make up the story. I would single out Alison Pettit''s portrayal of the maid Annushka, a warm and sympathetic commentator on her mistress''s plight. Turning to the three main characters, Teresa Gallagher has the dramatic range to move from peacemaker to her sister in law Dolly and her husband on the first disc to the woman driven to the depths of despair in the last disc. The last fifteen minutes of the recording are dramatically and brilliantly realised. Toby Stephens'' presentation of Vronsky catches the complexity of the character suggested by Tolstoy; he is far from being the typical army officer. But it is Nicholas Farrell who emerges as the star in his portrayal of the conscientious but emotionally detached Karenin, labouring to create the new Russia in a period of repid change. To these principals I would add Cartolyn Jones'' Princess Lydia, exhibiting the disngenuous piety of someone determined to do good, and the brittle nature of the sophisticated aristocratic milieu represented by Janet Maw''s Princess Betsy. Credit should be given to Ed Thomasonm for including not just Tolstoy''s remark about happy and unhappy families, but his observations about marriage relationships and the nature of Russian society, and indeed in conveying the esence of the novel in such a short space. I was minded to award four stars when Levin did not make an appearance, but the quality of the performance on disc has inclined me to give five stars.
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Katie Stevens
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A wonderfully true, insightful classic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 1, 2010
This book was my first foray into Russian literature, and I could not have had a better introduction. Tolstoy has a way of phrasing the thoughts and feelings of the characters that is so insightful, precise and identifiable that it easily transcends the innumerable...See more
This book was my first foray into Russian literature, and I could not have had a better introduction. Tolstoy has a way of phrasing the thoughts and feelings of the characters that is so insightful, precise and identifiable that it easily transcends the innumerable differences between a modern reader and the selection of people he focuses on living in nineteenth century Russia. They are all incredibly psychologically developed and I felt as if I knew them all personally and could predict how they might react in any given situation. Tolstoy also colours his narrative so that it is seen through the eyes of the different characters, giving the reader many different viewpoints from which to perceive events and settings and so making the novel very rich. A scene from the perspective of Oblonsky, for example, is light, frivolous and faintly cynical, whereas the same situation seen through Levin''s eyes is thoughtful and earnest. Unfortunately, while the human drama of the novel has stood the test of time admirably, much of Tolstoy''s social commentary has not fared so well. The sections on social economy, agriculture and political systems may have ben fascinating to a contemporary Russian reader but I found them lengthy, tedious, unnecessary and, dare I say it, dull. However, I''m more than willing to ignore the effect of these passages in light of the sheer brilliance of the rest of the book. This particular translation (Penguin, 1954, this edition 2000) by Rosemary Edmonds is fantastic. Her prose is readable and appropriate, so that the book does not read like translated literature at all, but like any other nineteenth century novel. The illusion was so well-executed that the only time I was made aware that I wasn''t reading original language literature was when characters discussed which pronouns to use to refer to one another, an aspect of language which is absent from modern English. Both the translation and the original writing make this a thoroughly excellent book.
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Sarah KL
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Kindle Edition - Wonderful!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 5, 2010
I''m reading this book due to being part of a book club. I probably would never have read it if it wasnt a)for the club and b) its a free download on the kindle. While I appreciate that the free edition is probably not as well translated as the more expensive editions, the...See more
I''m reading this book due to being part of a book club. I probably would never have read it if it wasnt a)for the club and b) its a free download on the kindle. While I appreciate that the free edition is probably not as well translated as the more expensive editions, the story itself that Tolstoy creates goes beyond the mere difference in translation. The way he weaves a very complex yet deeply stimulating image of Russian society, politics, economics, history, values etc, and how that impacts on the normal lives of various people is incredible and realistic. How I wonder what Tolstoy would make of our modern society now! What I also love is how Tolstoy gives us not just the actions of the characters, but there innermost thoughts and feelings as well - including the odd dog or two!!! Utterly wonderful to feel and know exactly what each character is going through and when a character such as Anna does not think of something, it shows just how far into denial she really is. I''m totally spellbound by this book and encourage others to eat it up too. Its a free kindle download, so you''d be daft not too!
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Kumar Avyaya
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The character of Anna attract me most
Reviewed in India on August 29, 2018
Anna Karenina is a novel that beguiles and intrigues, I have read Anna Karenina many times, yet I always fall in love with Anna on first sight, just as Vronsky and Kitty fall in love with her when they first see her. Anna is intelligent and charming and beautiful and...See more
Anna Karenina is a novel that beguiles and intrigues, I have read Anna Karenina many times, yet I always fall in love with Anna on first sight, just as Vronsky and Kitty fall in love with her when they first see her. Anna is intelligent and charming and beautiful and wonderfully dressed and clearly fundamentally good. She has come to Moscow on a mission of mercy: she is here to comfort Dolly, whose unhappiness with husband Stiva’s faithlessness is understandably overwhelming. Anna eventually helps reconcile the two of them; she is all-conquering, often without meaning to be.  In Moscow, Anna Karenina meets the charming Vronsky, and together they indulge in an affair despite her husband Karenin. One might argue that Anna is selfish in her passionate romance, having to choose between Vronsky and her young son. Nevertheless, I can’t help but pity her desperate actions as she is trapped in a marriage full of emotionless conventionality.
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