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Anna Karenina

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  775,446 ratings  ·  30,499 reviews
'Everything is finished. I have nothing but you now. Remember that'

Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their subsequent affair scandalizes society and family alike and soon brings jealously and bitterness in its wake.
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 838 pages
Published January 30th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 1878)
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Carly Tia I know that he stated that Kitty was modeled after his own wife, so it would make sense that Levin is modeled after himself on some level. I absolutel…moreI know that he stated that Kitty was modeled after his own wife, so it would make sense that Levin is modeled after himself on some level. I absolutely loved that character and the last chapter of the book left me feeling like I will name my first son Levin. I liked the juxtaposition of Anna and Levin - ego vs. love, pride v. humility. Levin was the star and presented a great moral story.(less)
Joanna Lloyd The best rendition I've ever seen is the 2000 series by (I think) channel 4 with Helen McCrory as Anna, Douglas Henshall as Levin and Mark Strong as O…moreThe best rendition I've ever seen is the 2000 series by (I think) channel 4 with Helen McCrory as Anna, Douglas Henshall as Levin and Mark Strong as Oblonsky. Really good casting especially McCrory. I first read the book in my mid teens and every 3 or 4 years since and this series respects all the relationships in the book. Not a cheap dvd although every couple of years, Yesterday channel repeats the series. Hope you enjoy it. (less)

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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
Jeffrey Keeten
***Spoiler alert. If you have read this book, please proceed. If you are never going to read this novel (be honest with yourself), then please proceed. If you may read this novel, but it may be decades in the future, then please proceed. Trust me, you are not going to remember, no matter how compelling a review I have written. If you need Tolstoy talking points for your next cocktail party or soiree with those literary, black wearing, pseudo intellectual friends of yours, then this review will c ...more
Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 29, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: d-the-bad
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
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As part of my reading challenge this year, I wanted to read at least one or two classics, and Anna Karenina was high on my list. It's considered by many to be one of the best novels ever written, and I've never read any Tolstoy. So even though it's a monster at more than 800 pages, I decided it's time I conquered it.

The story starts out so strong, with what seems to be an insightful treatise into the family and romantic life of several characters, including title character Anna. The domestic str
Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 840 From 1001 Books) - Анна Каренина = Anna Karenina = Anna Karenin, Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger.

A complex novel in eight parts, with more than a dozen major characters, it is spread over more than 800 pages (depending on the translation and publisher), typically contained in two volumes.

It deals with themes of betrayal, faith, family, marriage, Imperial R
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
goodness me, russians are dramatic. and i wouldnt have it any other way.

tolstoy is a master character creator. and although he is very skilled at conveying pre-revolution life and society, i have found much more enjoyment in his characters (shoutout to my boy, levin) than the plot. that being said, there is a certain complexity in tolstoys method of storytelling. there isnt a clear resolution in sight for most of the novel, so it left me eager to see what the characters would do and how the sto
Petra is off to Miami - book & art fairs & dates!
What is the most important thing about Anna Karenina? Is it the first line, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"? This sounds so true but it isn't really.

Is it that Anna experiences much more intolerance for her unfaithfulness and leaving her husband than does her brother who screws around like a dog? Is it Konstantin Levin's attempts to marry into the aristocracy and his problem with religion? Or is the entire story just Tolstoy's way of seducing the r
Kevin Ansbro
"Leo Tolstoy would meet hatred expressed in violence by love expressed in self-suffering."
—Mahatma Gandhi

Through reading this praiseworthy classic, I have been forced to recalibrate my previously unreliable view of this celebrated author.
You see, I was force-fed Tolstoy at college (his writing, not his flesh, silly! Mine wasn't a college for cannibals!) and at the time only carried War and Peace under one arm so I might appear cleverer than I actually was.
So, how amazed was I that Anna K has
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am happy to have discovered this little marvel of deciphering nature and human passions, not in my 'Russian classics' around 20 years! At the time, I found significant serenity there, especially with Dostoievski. Today, regarding the question of maturity or only of work, I see something quite different: a magnificent painting, both beautiful and tragic, of the human condition, with a lot of ironies and even more finesse in the analysis psychological. In short, a masterpiece.
As the title sugges
Tolstoy draws a portrait of three marriages or relationships that could not be more different. Anna Karenina is rightly called a masterpiece. Moreover Tolstoy does not spare on social socialism and describes the beginnings of communism, deals with such existential themes as birth and death and the meaning of life.
Tolstoy’s narrative art and his narrative charm are at the highest level. He also seems like a close observer of human passions, feelings and emotions.
All in all I was touched by his b
Carolyn Marie Castagna
I don’t know where to start...I guess at the beginning. “All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” -Leo Tolstoy

Exactly one month ago, scared out of my mind, I opened up this book and read that first line. After that it was all over for me because I was completely HOOKED!!! I had to fight with myself about putting the book down so I could get enough sleep. I brought it with me everywhere in case there was a spare moment when I could escape into
Jul 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1877
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
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A few months ago I read Anna in the Tropics, a Pulitzer winning drama by Nilo Cruz. Set in 1920s Florida, a lector arrives at a cigar factory to read daily installments of Anna Karenina to the workers there. Although the play takes place in summer, the characters enjoyed their journey to Russia as they were captivated by the story. Even though it is approaching summer where I live as well, I decided to embark on my own journey through Leo Tolstoy's classic nineteenth century classic novel. Altho ...more
Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Another classic in the books!

I have to say, Anna Karenina is the most spoiled book I have ever encountered. I was not surprised by the ending because I have seen dozens of books, movies, etc. where the climax of this book is discussed with reckless abandon. If this book has not been spoiled for you yet, and if your luck is anything like mine, read it soon!

Russian names:

Have you read any Russian authors before? If so, you know that not only are names repeated over and over, they are also often sa
Dave Schaafsma
Levin (which is what the title should be, since he is the main character, the real hero and the focus of the book!) (But who would read the book with that title, I know!)

If you don't want to know the ending, don't read this review, though I won't actually talk about what happens to Anna specifically, something I knew 40 years ago without even reading the book. I didn't read the book to find out what happens to her. I knew that. Probably many of you know or knew the ending before reading the book
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

This opening sentence sums up the main theme of this great work: family relationships. Tolstoy has chosen three families to work on the different aspects of this theme. The first family is that of Anna and the second family is that of Levin and Kitty. The third and a little less prominent than the other two is the family of Dolly and Stepan.

Anna's story, for which the book is well known and loved, occupies a great
Nov 09, 2021 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
sometimes i like to pretend i'm capable of reading thousand-page books. just for fun ...more
Roy Lotz
Anna Karenina,” my friend told me, “is one of the few books that have influenced how I live my life from day to day.”

This statement touches on a question I often wonder about: Can reading great fiction make you a better person? I don’t mean to ask whether it can improve your mental agility or your knowledge of the world, for it undoubtedly does. But can these books make you kinder, wiser, more moral, more content? The answer to this question is far from self-evident. And maybe we should be do
[Turn the volume up;
open me in new tab]


There is a well-known belief that, brimming with the romanticism of bygone days to which reason acquiesces in silence, attempts to explain the elusive nature of human relations. According to this myth, the gods get involved in our existence by using a red cord. In Japanese culture, such cord is tied around the little finger; in China, around the ankle. Be it as it may, that string binds one person to the other; people who were always destined to meet, regar
When Tolstoy’s work comes to mind, I think not of books but of life. It’s hard to explain, but I don’t think I ever feel as alive as I do while enveloped in his work; it’s as if the very spirit of living has been written on the page, and I’ve caught it just by reading. No book I’ve read has ever captured the essence of humanity so perfectly as in his writing, and ‘Anna Karenina’ is no exception. In this vast yet intimate novel, we explore the delicate intricacies of human relationships and how l ...more
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, favorites
Everyone has their crazy reasons for reading a book. I was never really planning to read "Anna Karenina" in my lifetime at all. Alas, I saw a trailer of the 2012 film recently and it was breathtaking! Something about Keira Knightley is art. Something I cannot pinpoint as a mere mortal, but she always has the knack to make me believe that characters could live and breathe beyond the books. So why didn't I watch the full movie? For the stupid reason that I can't sit still just being a passive audi ...more
At the lunch table today in school, a colleague asks me:

"So what are you reading at the moment?"


This is obviously not my staple answer, being a voracious reader and also the diehard school librarian, so I feel I have to give some context:

"I am having a book hangover, or no, I am in mourning! Anna Karenina just died on me, for the second time! I read the last pages yesterday and still feel the physical pain in my body. I can't pick up anything else right now!"

How many books leave you ac
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
Brett C
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can say I really enjoyed this story. It was a captivating story about the parallel lives centered roughly on four people. The first is a down-to-earth, even naive, and relatively quite man (Konstantin Levin) who gets rejected by the young woman ('Kitty') he deeply loves.

Levin grows as a character, moves back out into the country, and eventually finds himself together with Kitty in the end. They are happy and content with how life has turned out.

The second is a beautiful woman (Anna Karenina)
Helene Jeppesen
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for the first time about 5 years ago and I loved it back then. I picked it up again last week and was very curious to see if it would still be amongst my favourite classics. Now that I have finished it, I can say with confidence that it is!
One of the things that appeals to me the most about this amazing - however huge - classic is the fact that it deals with such a large variety of emotions, and as a reader you feel like you are on a rollercoaster. Love, despair, doubt, jealous
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой; most appropriately used Liev Tolstoy; 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 pinnacl ...more

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“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” 7543 likes
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