Anna Karenina Anna Karenina discussion


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The best russian book ever written..

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message 1: by Aurora Valentina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aurora Valentina Zenkl I ADORED this one, it's beautifully written, with incredible balance on every sentence, and it's also extremely interesting, you can't put it down easily!, it's complicated but I think that's what adds it's charm to it. This book's one of my favourites! I reccomend it to everyone.
Also normally one in a story has the hero and villain, right? well this one is so genuine in this aspect, because when you're going to get on someone's side, Tolstoy describes this person's life and then you see this person's reasons and ways of thinking, so you can't really blame them anymore, and so on. For me.. it helped me a lot on moral circunstances, exactly because of this previous point that I explained.
Tolsoy is a wonderful writer, so I'm looking forward to his other books like War and Peace.
And again, Please read it if you have the chance! it's really worth it!.


message 2: by Nadiah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:08AM) (new)

Nadiah Believe it or not, I was craving for this book when I was pregnant. I only had read less than half of the book.

But, I promiss my self to continue reading. I hope ASAP.


message 3: by Otherjockey (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Otherjockey Also, if you want to read more Russian Literature check out Chekov's short stories. He's more well known in the US for his plays, but I've come to believe that his short stories are really where he shines.


Kitty If you read this book, be sure to pay attention to the translators. Pevear and Volokonsky's translations of this book (and all the great Russian books) truly sing.


Cheryl S. I love stories--usually the more convoluted the better--but this one was a slog for me. I finished--I thought--okay I read it--but it just didn't catch my imagination.


Kelli I just finished Anna last night and I share your enthusiasm about Tolstoy's writing, Aurora!
Did you read the recent translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky? I have friends who really didn't like the book and I wonder if the reason may be because of the loss of some of Tolstoy's linguistic power in the editions past.
The translation is so important, I believe, because the excitement of the story comes from Tolstoy's skill as a writer and his ability to capture the universal qualities of human nature in a way that I haven't read with such consistency ever before. As I mentioned in my brief review of the book, I wouldn't care if the story itself was about plowing fields in mid-August--I just loved the character descriptions, their inner dialog, and the universal themes that were able to come through as a result of Tolstoy's writing.


message 7: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Tolstoy,is wonderful, complex and heartbreaking. He is one of best 3 or 4 novelists, I believe. I have loved every one of his novels. I agree thatChekov's short stories are a wonderful way to feast on another type of Russian Literature.


message 8: by Debra (last edited Jan 27, 2008 07:02AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Debra I absolutely adore this novel. I fell into it's arms and found myself completely content there.


Bill This is my review and thoughts about this book.

I'm continually trying to understand Polish culture and society. My readings into Russian culture have proven highly instructive, and enormously helpful. This book has proven to be vexing, instructive, and quintessentially Russian.

Stylistically, this book is interesting, quite a bit of "inner dialog" and 3rd person observation which I find slightly annoying. I'm told this sort of "omniscient narrator" is normal for the time this book was written - but as mentioned above, at times I found it a bit much ("to the depths of his soul, Vronsky wanted to kiss her").

The characters and settings are delightful. I sense the place and people quite clearly. Especially the portrayal of Russian aristocracy - it's magnificent and disturbing - the relationship between the peasantry and the aristocracy.

The book is dripping in symbolism (the guy who gets cut in half by a train, the horse who breaks his back, the sexual / ecstatic mowing of the field) - it's almost to obvious for me. Why does Tolstoy point so strongly at these things? Perhaps he is pointing less strongly at things I've missed!

I found Anna Karenina to be a quiet and silent presence in the book - she loved another man, and that was a central plot point, but it's almost like she was the center of gravity around which this book moved. She didn't say a whole lot. Patriarchal? I don't know.

I'm so happy I read this book - it's like a very rich dinner that I need to eat slowly, and savor. But as I continue to struggle to understand Polish culture (and Russian culture) I realize the more I know, the less I know.




message 10: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Anna Karenina is my absolute favorite book. I read it every 4 0r 5 years & my latest read was the newest translation. This has become my favorite edition!


message 11: by Michelle (new)

Michelle MacNeill Once you finally complete this book, you will be glad. It took me about 6 months to read it but well worth it.


message 12: by Michelle (new)

Michelle MacNeill If you enjoy reading about Russia; I have a book that I am reading now The Charm School by Nelson DeMille. And I want to go and visit Russia now!!


Rebeca I just watch the movie The last station, with Mirren and Plumber, and that gave me a more wide understanding about the life and porpuse of Tolstoy and the movement, and also gave me an unpleasant view of his leader, seems to me that things werent exactly as Tolstoy want it...and at the Russia gave his wife the rights of his books...and that i think was the right thing to do.


message 14: by Çili (new) - added it

Çili         I guess this is true,it is the best book of the russian literature.


message 15: by Drew (new) - rated it 5 stars

Drew Why bring Russia into it?


Robin Anna Karenina is good, but I am liking The Brothers Karamazov even better. I am not getting confused with names either, not like One Hundred Years of Solitude, now there you could get lost with all the names.


Rebeca Robin wrote: "Anna Karenina is good, but I am liking The Brothers Karamazov even better. I am not getting confused with names either, not like One Hundred Years of Solitude, now there you could get lost with al..."

OMG, totally agreed with you about the Russian names, it seems everyone is Alexi,Alexander, Alexandre, and one person can have abosut two o three diferent names...aww!!so confuseing.....


message 18: by Lily (last edited Jul 19, 2011 03:11PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lily If you like Tolstoy and Russian literature, don't overlook Alexander Pushkin and his Eugene Onegin . I especially liked Nabokov's translation, but some consider a number of the word choices arcane (they are, to some extent). Others prefer translations that preserve some of the rhyme and poetry of the original. (I played with about five translations on this one.) In any case, it is a wonderful, lyrical story.

Of course, there are numerous wondrous Russian authors besides Tolstoy, Pushkin, and Chekhov, such as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ivan Turgenev, Nikolai Gogol, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Boris Pasternak.

(I don't know why these don't lead to decent author pages, which I believe do exist on Goodreads for these authors. I have tried twice now. Well, I have been messing around with these to the point where they sometimes seem to work, sometimes not. If you can't get to the author directly, try one of his works for more information.)


message 19: by N. (new) - rated it 5 stars

N. Primak Yama: The Pit by A. Kuprin is also brilliant. Yama: The Pit I took a class in 19th century Russian literature in college last semester and we read Anna Karenina (among other far less known works). It was probably my favorite work among everything we read. I bet I could read it a dozen times and still feel I was only scraping the surface of this novel.


Maria Some parts are especially memorable to me even though I read it a while back. I really love this book because it is so deatiled and I just love how he dips into people's lives and social status.


David Lentz "War and Peace" also is obviously a Russian genius work: it's miraculous that one man could publish both "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" in one lifetime. Tolstoy's shorter, spiritually centered works are also wonderful and inspiring. I went on a reading jag a few months ago to catch up on the great lesser read Russian novelists who were prohibited in the lifetimes from publication by the censors of Soviet era dictators. These genius novelists suffered unimaginably for their art. In addition to Dostoyevski, who wrote from debtor's prison, consider reading the novels of lesser known Russian geniuses like Bulghakov's "Master and Margarita", Zamyatin's "We", Vasily Grossman's "Life and Fate", Goncharov's "Oblomov", Platynov's "Foundation Pit", Pushkin's "Eugene Onegin", Gogol's "Dead Souls", Solzhenitsyn's "Ivan Denisovitch"and Turgenev's "Fathers and Sons." "Life and Fate" by Vasily Grossman is a true genius novel of the scope of "War and Peace." The Russians clearly are brilliant novelists -- thank you for posting this highly constructive and enlightening thread.


Maria David wrote: ""War and Peace" also is obviously a Russian genius work: it's miraculous that one man could publish both "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" in one lifetime. Tolstoy's shorter, spiritually centered..."

what did you think of Master and Margarita ? I loved the series :)... and the oil spills and she falls on the rail tracks... or the man claiming he sees the devil and then confined. Also every memorable how it starts , when the man talks about how he has been around for ages as if he was never dead.


David Lentz Loved it.


Linda Cheryl S. wrote: "I love stories--usually the more convoluted the better--but this one was a slog for me. I finished--I thought--okay I read it--but it just didn't catch my imagination."


Linda I did enjoy most of it but have to admit the detailed discriptions of the agricultural activities and landscape drove me a little nutty.


Robin I liked this book very much, the movie is quite good as well.


Sonya Wanvig Ive read it twice. That means its a five star. Someday i may read it again


Maria David wrote: "Loved it."

Well I was also talking about Russian TV series that was made out of the work. It was really really good :)


David Lentz I wish American TV would do more with its masterpieces of which we are blessed to have so many.


Maria David wrote: "I wish American TV would do more with its masterpieces of which we are blessed to have so many."

Likewise Sir :)


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I am fascinated at how real Tolstoy made their thoughts and emotions. Being with them as they change, as their life opens up (or falls apart)was such a vivid experience. Pieces of the story that come to my mind, come so naturally, they are like a memory.
David wrote: ""War and Peace" also is obviously a Russian genius work: it's miraculous that one man could publish both "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" in one lifetime. Tolstoy's shorter, spiritually centered..."
Thank you for the recommendations.


Kitty Maria A.J wrote: "David wrote: ""War and Peace" also is obviously a Russian genius work: it's miraculous that one man could publish both "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" in one lifetime. Tolstoy's shorter, spirit..."

I would like to read War and Peace, but, it's such a big literature to conquer, not sure if I could make it to the end. for now, the book is looking nice on my bookshelves.


Kerem Mermutlu Anna Karenina is a really beautiful book. What surprised me the most was how 'warm' it was to read. I thought it would be quite difficult and tough, but it was actually a real page turner. It deals with big themes and it's one of those books that's more like 'life' than anything else. I read half of war and peace, will get back to it one day :)


Rebeca Kitty wrote: "Maria A.J wrote: "David wrote: ""War and Peace" also is obviously a Russian genius work: it's miraculous that one man could publish both "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" in one lifetime. Tolstoy..."

I feel exactly the same, that book is a GIANT both in size and masterpiece.


Damira I am originally from Russia and after living in Canada for 5 years I went back to visit my sister. After spending two amazing months there, I didn't want to leave (and cried all the way home), especially after having reconnected with my sister. I came back and was in a complete depression. I didn't want to go back to work, so I spent a whole week just reading Anna Karenina that I grabbed from my parents' library back in Russia. This was one of the most rewarding books that I've read. I felt like I was transformed into that time and place. The way Tolstoy's writing touches the soul is incredible. I can't wait to read War and Peace one of these days, and hope that it has as much of an impact on me as did Anna Karenina.


Robin I enjoyed reading Anna Karenina as well. I have yet to tackle War and Peace, have heard good things about that book as well.


Kiragu My first and only copy of Russian literature. It's beautifully done by a very observant writer. I'm not sure how long Leo took to complete it but good time must have gone into the job.


message 38: by Huw (new) - rated it 4 stars

Huw Evans I would take War and Peace to a desert island, not Anna Karenina. If she had jumped in front of the train in the first chaptes she would have saved me a great deal of pain. Tolstoy exposes the personalities and their connivances, Dostoevsky the soul.


Karen While I very much enjoyed Anna Karenina, the best part of it was Levin's story concerning the conflict between the aristocracy and the agricultural system (serfdom). Anna's story is pure soap opera. Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment," on the other hand, is a masterpiece of Russian literature.


Rebeca Huw wrote: "I would take War and Peace to a desert island, not Anna Karenina. If she had jumped in front of the train in the first chaptes she would have saved me a great deal of pain. Tolstoy exposes the pe..."

like it


Robin @Karen, I am reading The Brothers Karamazov and finding that it is a grueling read, but well worth it. Have not read Crime and Punishment as of yet. I liked Anna Karenina.


message 42: by Tina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tina I LOVE Anna Karenina. It definitely is one of my top 5 favorite novels of all time.


message 43: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Stachniak I keep returning to Anna Karenina. I read it first in the Polish translation when I was a teenager (in Poland) and was utterly captivated by Kitty and Anna, two fascinating women, choosing such different and opposing versions of femininity. I could not fully understand Anna then--fathom the depth of her tragedy. How could she have been unhappy if Vronsky loved her..
Now wiser and much much older, I read Anna Karenina in English (in Canada). I know love is not everything--and I know much more of Tolstoy and Russia. And yet every time I pick the novel up and open it on any page, it lives for me with the same force as it did so many years ago. And I think of Tolstoy's gift..to be able to create life on a page, with such power..what joy!!!


message 44: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Eva, thank you for your comments on Anna K. Most people never even mention Kitty, & she's such an important contrast to Anna's complications & ending.


Sivamaniyan I had ventured into reading Russian novels only 6 months before. So far i read "The idiot" and currently reading English and Tamil versions of "Anna Kareina" simultaneously. The characterization and the plot details conceding with my views and expanding my vision to unimaginable extent. In spite of being slow reader, looking forward to read the "Crime and Punishment" and "War and Peace" in next 6 months.


amanje kalahari i am currently reading this book and i cant put it down


Tatyana I love this book. Have read it many times in English and Russian. Great Read!!!!!!


David I loved Anna. I think she was a victim of her times.


A Miuda Geek Didn´t knew that the alternate title to W &P was that - it suits it perfectly! It´s like P&P´s original title "First Impressions" - it´s very suited.


Michele Thank you for suggesting other Russian authors the same caliber as Tolstoy. I loved Anna and didn't want it to end, but now I have some other Russian authors to look forward to. Thanks again.


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