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Anna Karenina

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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  314,095 ratings  ·  13,518 reviews
One of the greatest novels ever written, Anna Karenina sets the impossible and destructive triangle of Anna, her husband Karenin, and her lover Vronsky against the marriage of Levin and Kitty, thus illuminating the most important questions that face humanity. The second edition uses the acclaimed Louise and Alymer Maude translation, and offers a new introduction and notes ...more
Paperback, 872 pages
Published June 25th 1998 by Oxford Paperbacks (first published 1877)
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  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    Anna Karenina
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    Release date: Nov 15, 2014
    Rosamund Bartlett's new translation of Anna Karenina, published by Oxford World's Classics.

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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    Nataliya
    Dec 04, 2012 Nataliya rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to Nataliya by: The annoying movie ad on Goodreads - the blinking and flashing and seizure-inducing one
    As a daughter of a Russian literature teacher, it seems I have always known the story of Anna Karenina: the love, the affair, the train - the whole shebang. I must have ingested the knowledge with my mother's milk, as Russians would say.

    ............

    My grandpa had an old print of a painting hanging in his garage. A young beautiful mysterious woman sitting in a carriage in wintry Moscow and looking at the viewer through her heavy-lidded eyes with a stare that combines allure and deep sadness. "Who
    ...more
    Brad
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Terry
    Jun 20, 2008 Terry rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to Terry by: Rich Moran
    In the beginning, reading Anna Karenin can feel a little like visiting Paris for the first time. You’ve heard a lot about the place before you go. Much of what you see from the bus you recognize from pictures and movies and books. You can’t help but think of the great writers and artists who have been here before you. You expect to like it. You want to like it. But you don’t want to feel like you have to like it. You worry a little that you won’t. But after a few days, you settle in, and you fee ...more
    Sammy
    People are going to have to remember that this is the part of the review that is entirely of my own opinion and what I thought of the book, because what follows isn't entirely positive, but I hope it doesn't throw you off the book entirely and you still give it a chance. Now... my thoughts:

    I picked up this book upon the advice of Oprah (and her book club) and my friend Kit. They owe me hardcore now. As does Mr. Tolstoy. This book was an extremely long read, not because of it's size and length ne
    ...more
    Trevor
    Not since I read The Brothers Karamazov have I felt as directly involved in characters' worlds and minds. Fascinating.
    I was hooked on Anna Karenina from the opening section when I realized that Tolstoy was brilliantly portraying characters' thoughts and motivations in all of their contradictory, complex truth. However, Tolstoy's skill is not just in characterization--though he is the master of that art. His prose invokes such passion. There were parts of the book that took my breath because I re
    ...more
    Christopher
    In lieu of a proper review of my favorite book, and in addition to the remark that it would be more aptly named Konstantin Levin, I present to you the characters of Anna Karenina in a series of portraits painted by dead white men.


    Anna Karenina (Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent)



    Alexei Karenin (Portrait of Edouard Manet by Henri Fantin-Latour)



    Alexei Vronsky (Study of a Young Man by John Singer Sargent)



    Konstantin Levin (Robert Louis Stevenson and His Wife by John Singer Sargent



    Kitty Sch
    ...more
    Brett
    Jul 03, 2008 Brett rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Everyone
    Alright, I'm going to do my best not to put any spoilers out here, but it will be kind of tough with this book. I should probably start by saying that this book was possibly the best thing I have ever read.

    It was my first Tolstoy to read, and the defining thing that separated what he wrote from anything else that I've read is his characters. His characters are unbelievably complex. The edition of this book that I read was over 900 pages, so he has some time to do it. His characters aren't static
    ...more
    K.D. Absolutely
    Jun 23, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die; Top 10 Books by Living Writers; Newsweek's Metalist 100; Oprah Book of the Month
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Kelly
    So, I have this ongoing etiquette problem. Though sometimes I think it is a matter of respect. Or maybe social awkwardness. I’d consult my Emily Post on the issue, but it’s a unique bookworm sort of problem. I don’t think Ms. Post got that deeply into the protocol of neurotic bibliophiles.

    Anyway, the question is.. why do I unconsciously call an author by their first name sometimes? In some respects, I’ve had this conversation before in the context of gender. That is, are discussants more likely
    ...more
    Dia
    What turned out to be the most interesting to me as I devoured this lush book was Tolstoy's amazing ability to show how we change our minds, or how our minds just do change -- how enamored we become of a person, a place, a whole population, an idea, an ideal -- and then how that great love, which seemed so utterly meaningful and complete, sours or evaporates just days, hours, or even minutes later -- in short, how truly fickle we are. And at the same time, each of the characters was in some way ...more
    Jenn(ifer)
    Read the end of Anna Karenina and listen to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mUmdR...

    It’ll break your heart.

    When I first completed this book, I sat down at my computer and attempted to review it, and all I could come up with was,

    “F*ck you, Tolstoy!!”

    I know that sounds juvenile, but I still have that feeling. I’m so ANGRY with him for what he did to Anna. I’m so angry that we were barely given a chance to know her. (Yes, I'm aware that she's a fictional character who never actually ex
    ...more
    sckenda
    What is it you want from me? “I want your love."

    Leo Tolstoy portrays the search for love and the ways in which love are found and lost. His famous opening sentence—“All happy families are alike but an unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion” -– predicts the symmetrical structure of his story and the comparison and dissimilarity of multiple couples searching for elusive happiness. Each character must face a desire that liberates or enslaves, enlightens or dims, and which bestows happiness
    ...more
    Tyler
    When the Russian elite first read this idyll to their vanity, they must have fallen headlong into the reflecting pool right after Narcissus. For now, you see, not only are they rich and powerful, but according to Tolstoy they’re also supremely virtuous. The theme of this book does the trick.

    Say a painter decides to do a Madonna and Child. Looking around, he frowns as he sees that this subject has already been painted thousands of times in every possible way over the ages. To stand out, he decide
    ...more
    Emily May
    This is a book that I was actually dreading reading for quite some time. It was on a list of books that I'd been working my way through and, after seeing the size of it and the fact that 'War And Peace' was voted #1 book to avoid reading, I was reluctant to ever get started. But am I glad that I did.
    This is a surprisingly fast-moving, interesting and easy to read novel. The last of which I'd of never believed could be true before reading it, but you find yourself instantly engrossed in this kind
    ...more
    Dolors
    Apr 13, 2014 Dolors rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Intrepid mind travellers
    In front of me a glittering pond of rough oceanic waters protesting in silence in apparent stillness. Only the gentle swaying of casual waves crackling with the briny droplets of condensed breeze preludes the forthcoming storm. For below the surface, swirling undercurrents swell like lungs breathing in air of confusion and exhale the sea-secrets of the human soul.
    Things are not what they seem and Anna Karenina is not only the doomed love story of a woman trapped in her own mind whose life is ens
    ...more
    Elena
    This is obviously a masterpiece, no point in denying it.

    [There may be spoilers ahead]

    To me, Anna Karenina felt like the slow destruction of a woman.
    Anna is a respectable Saint Petersburg woman.
    Married, a son, and unmistakable wealth.
    She's strong and decisive--at least at the beginning.
    That's all until she meets Alexey Vronsky.
    She falls into this spiral of passion; she leaves her husband and her son, to live it at the fullest.
    But this only worsen her situation, that becomes more and more unstable
    ...more
    Collin
    Sep 08, 2008 Collin rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: nobody who didn't already want to read it.
    Recommended to Collin by: implied recommendation from my dad.
    There are two problems with reading anything by Leo Tolstoy. 1) That guy seriously needed an editor with a forceful personality, as his most famous books are far too long. 2) It's nearly impossible to keep the characters apart, because they all have something like 10 different names depending on the situation and social setting (this is true of much of Russian literature, though for me it's worst by far with Tolstoy).

    I don't remember much about this book, to be honest, as I read it in the summer
    ...more
    Sean
    “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” One of the most famous lines in the history of literature. A phrase that sets the tone for the events that unfolds in this massive tome from one of Russian’s most famous novelist, Leo Tolstoy. This author is mostly famous for his double fisted pair of epics which feature a panoramic view of 19th century Russian society. This book, Anna Karenina rests in one hand as a tragic love story whereas the other complex war ep ...more
    Shauna
    This was an amazing book. Shakespearean in its ability to create living, breathing characters who walk off the page. I never doubted for a moment that Levin, and Anna, and surprisingly, Oblonsky were people that I might bump into on the streets of Moscow back in 1850 or whenever the book was written.
    But, really, the reason the characters seem so real is that they are not restricted to their time. Their concerns and feelings represent the human dilemma and it is easy for me to empathize with them
    ...more
    Jason Koivu
    Anna, oh Anna...what have you done?!

    In Anna Karenina there are multiple examples in which one love is fostered at the expense of another. On the one hand the reader clearly sees the wrong being done and rails against it, but if a moment of further reflection is indulged, we wonder if we too might not have done the same. Should true love be grasped at any cost? What price is too high?

    However, Tolstoy didn't just write a tragic romance, he had social issues he wanted to discuss...and discuss he di
    ...more
    Jan-Maat
    At the end of Gogol's Dead Souls a Troika gallops off leaving the author to ask with a flourish where it is speeding off to. Gogol on his death bed was struck by a severe case of religion and had the rest of the novel put on the fire (a few pages were rescued), but symbolically, as a question about Russia and which direction the country should be travelling towards the image hangs over the literature and politics of nineteenth century Russia, above all perhaps in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.


    The Ideo
    ...more
    Madeline
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Melanie
    May 14, 2007 Melanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: everyone, everyone
    Shelves: alltimefavorites
    OK people...This is the BBE (best book ever)...I think I’ve read this three times; on my own and once the classroom setting. Though it’s famous for the first line, (“All happy families are alike…”) I actually have a tough time getting through the first 400 pages (JUST KIDDING!). Actually, this is the type of book that you love for 100 pages, hate for 100 pages, love for 100 pages, etc. I can see how this could deter readers, but I’ve found that the love/hate dynamic keeps me interested and makes ...more
    Mark
    Levin, Levin, Levin, you are a conceited monkey. Why you worry so much?? Is it because you think your problems are bigger than everyone else's? Is it because you don't have enough to fill your days? I would think planting and harvesting would be enough to make a guy dog-tired at night. Dog-tired enough that his infernal mind would shutty uppy for even half a page. Or is it because you think your problems are greater than others'? That you as landowner are the sole decider of everyone else's fate ...more
    Paul
    Sep 30, 2011 Paul marked it as assorted-rants-about-stuff  ·  review of another edition
    For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament round 2.

    ****

    The ball was only just beginning as Anna walked up the great staircase, flooded with light, and lined with flowers and footmen in powder and red coats. From the rooms came a constant, steady hum, as from a hive, and the rustle of movement; and while on the landing between trees the ladies gave last touches to their hair and dresses before the mirror, they heard from the ballroom the careful, distinct notes of the fiddles of the orchestr
    ...more
    Ahmed

    ريفيو فى ذكرى تولستوى :
    فى ذكرى تولستوي : لابد لى أن اعترف أنى لم أنبهر برائعته (الحرب والسلام ) بقدر انبهاري ب(آنا كارنينا)
    ولمن لم يقرأ آنا كارنينا , فله أن يشاهد (نهر الحب) للعظيمة فاتن حمامة , ففى هذه الحاله سيكوّن فكرة سطحية جداً عن الروايه. ورغم عظمة الفيلم (حقيقة) وإبداع الفاتنة فاتن والعملاق : ذكى رستم , إلا أنهم أجرموا بحق الرواية عندما قدموها بشكل سطحى (والذنب الأكبر يقع على عاتق المخرج والسيناريست عز الدين ذو الفقار) . المهم انه رغم عظمة الفيلم فقد ظلم الرواية فما بالك بعظمة الروايه نفس
    ...more
    JG (The Introverted Reader)
    This is primarily the story of Anna Karenina's troubled affair with Alexey Vronsky. It's also the story of Konstantin Levin's search for love and truth in society.

    While reading this book, I kept wishing that I could just read a "good parts version" as William Goldman called The Princess Bride. I kept getting bogged down in Tolstoy's reflections, mostly through Levin's eyes, of how decadent, silly, redundant, and complicated life in the upper class of 19th-century Russian society was. There would
    ...more
    Mariel
    Oct 06, 2011 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Jay Gatsby
    Recommended to Mariel by: Pat Benatar
    Celebrity Death Match versus Jane Eyre. This review is a sequel to Manny's review that is a sequel to Paul's review.
    Jane Eyre and Anna Karenina in The Bloody Paper Cut, or was it the Spineless Book Fights Back or was it the Revenge of the Dog-Eared? Jane Eyre and Anna Karenina in the Dance of Lover's Death. Or was it... Hell, I don't know.
    Fog rises up from the ground and remains shin level. Well, shin level for an average genteel lady. A tall elf would be able to see their own ankles all the sam
    ...more
    Muhammad Galal
    الجحيم خُلقَ لأمثالك يا "أنّا"!




    -- بداية قراءاتي في الأدب الروسيّ بشكل عام ، ول"تولستوي " بشكل خاص .
    -- رواية خلّدت تولستوي اجتماعيًا وإنسانيًا ، وتخطّت شهرته بها حدود روسيا الشاسعة إلى أطراف العالم كلّه .
    -- حزنت على التعليم المصري أنّ رواية مثل هذه تدرّس للصف الأوّل الثانوي في لبنان منذ عام 1998 ، لماذا لا نُعامل بالمثل ؟!
    -- بداية أنصح كل من لم يقرأها أن يبتعد تمامًا عن نسخة " مكتبة الأسرة " ، مختصرة جدًا ، والترجمة سيّئة ، لاحظت أنّ أغلب الروايات الأجنبيّة المترجمة من قبل نفس الهيئة ترجمتها لي
    ...more
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    topics  posts  views  last activity   
    Heroines of Class...: Parts 1-4: Oct 27 - December 31 17 13 11 hours, 1 min ago  
    The Book Vipers: Anna Karenina Readalong Thread 87 85 22 hours, 37 min ago  
    Anyone else feel that Tolstoy hates women? 49 484 Nov 14, 2014 05:03PM  
    Thoughts on the book? 9 92 Nov 07, 2014 12:41PM  
    Did anyone else absolutely loathe Anna? 299 1802 Nov 02, 2014 10:47PM  
    Catching up on Cl...: 3rd Qtr: Anna Karenina - Discussion for Part 2, spoilers 18 80 Nov 02, 2014 10:21AM  
    Catching up on Cl...: 3rd Qtr: Anna Karenina - Discussion for Part 1, spoilers 38 130 Oct 28, 2014 11:43AM  
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    128382
    Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой; commonly Leo Tolstoy in Anglophone countries) was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist fiction. Many consider To ...more
    More about Leo Tolstoy...
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    “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” 4942 likes
    “If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.” 3725 likes
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