Anna Karenina

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Anna Karenina

by Leo Tolstoy

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | April 28, 1992 | Hardcover

Anna Karenina is rated 3.65 out of 5 by 20.

A famous legend surrounding the creation of Anna Karenina tells us that Tolstoy began writing a cautionary tale about adultery and ended up falling in love with his magnificent heroine. It is rare to find a reader of the book who doesn’t experience the same kind of emotional upheaval. Anna Karenina is filled with major and minor characters who exist in their own right and fully embody their mid-nineteenth-century Russian milieu, but it still belongs entirely to the woman whose name it bears, whose portrait is one of the truest ever made by a writer. Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
 

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 1024 pages, 8.39 × 5.3 × 1.86 in

Published: April 28, 1992

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679410007

ISBN - 13: 9780679410003

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Epic. This book is known as one of the greatest novels in the history of literature and rightly so. I was expecting to hate it. I was expecting to trudge through it. Boy was I wrong! This book was a total page turner aside from a few more uneventful sections. I was expecting to take months to read this, but finished Anna Karenina in 2 weeks.
Date published: 2014-01-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from a must read It took me about two months to finish reading this book but it was worth the time.I enjoyed reading it but I'm not going to lie, it was kind of dull at some points. It is hard to follow when Tolstoy penetrates on the political issues of the time even though it was well described and written. What really stood out to me about the book is how Tolstoy illustrates the characters and the surrounding and the way the characters develop. Tolstoy illustrates the characters so well that you understand why they do the things they do. Even though Anna’s death is devastating, Tolstoy portrays it in a way that I could understand why she did it. I wish i read this book in the actual language it was written, maybe someday.
Date published: 2013-06-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic Translation! This particular translation of Anna Karenina is astounding. Fresh and modern without imposing it's own voice. Definitely my favorite version.
Date published: 2012-09-25
Rated out of 5 by from "Happy Families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" With that opening line, I knew I was in for a roller-coaster ride of emotions, and the book did not disappoint. It is definitely a struggle to read (it took me a few months) since the Russian-to-English translation can sometimes feel disjointed but if keep at it you will be rewarded with a richly woven story of one woman's struggle to find pure romantic happiness.
Date published: 2012-06-15
Rated out of 5 by from Astounding! “Happy Families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” - It is with these true words that Tolstoy’s immortal tale beings. My first attempt to read ‘Anna Karenina’ was at the age of twelve, yet the length of the novel astounded me, so I did not read it. In those days, I was too obsessed with the works of P.G. Wodehouse, Agatha Christie, Evelyn Waugh and political biographies. Poor ‘Anna Karenina’ was just sitting there amid my books. Now at the age of nineteen, I finished these almost thousand delightful pages in less than ten days; furthermore, I truly wished that it was longer. I wished the story would go on and on and will never end. I have never actually felt this way about any work of fiction. This is a great psychological drama which must be read. It is a tale of not merely love and adultery but ideas, philosophy and pain. What truly astonishes one is the flow and lucidity of Tolstoy’s writing; the details of the every jewel or dress or hat, yet one does not feel overwhelmed or bored. I am not a sentimental person, but my favourite part in the entire novel was when Kitty gave birth to a child. It was written with such vividness that I cannot find words to express the scene. Another great Russian writer, Vladimir Nabokov, once described ‘Anna Karenina’ as “One of the great love stories in world literature.” In my opinion, he could not have been more wrong, for calling this novel a mere “love story” is a profound mistake for the reasons described above. You will be struck by Tolstoy’s perspicuity. Many a time while reading, I said to myself, “This is just how felt.” This is one of the books which must be in every house. Exceedingly recommended!
Date published: 2012-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Contributes to a GREAT cause too! Classic book. RED line of books helps fight AIDS and HIV in Africa... to learn more here's a link: http://samaritanmag.com/dracula-little-women-anna-karenina-part-new-red-products-indigo-books
Date published: 2010-11-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Had it's Moments When I decided to take the plunge and read Anna Karenina I was expecting a challenge. And a challenge I got. I found it took me a while to get into it. Once I did I was able to imagine myself there in 19th century Russia. While I agree Tolstoy did an amazing job, and deserves much praise. I think a lot of people will find it difficult to read. Each character is called by more than one name. While the list at the beginning of the book was very helpfull. At somepoints I would still find myself wondering "who was who". There was also a lot of political talk I had a hard time keeping up with. This book is definitly not an easy read. So overall I would only recommend this book to a select few. I really did enjoy the first 600pgs. But the last 200pgs really dragged on for me.
Date published: 2009-10-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Beautiful, Difficult, and Moving J. Peder Zane’s “The Top Ten” is a compilation of 125 individual lists, each from a celebrated writer picking their top ten books of all time. What does this have to do with Tolstoy? Anna Karenina ranked number one on the definitive list. The question is: is it deserving? You’ll have to read it to form your own opinion. The Pevear/ Volokhonsky translation is beautiful and refreshing, and vividly recreates Tolstoy’s text. The story itself is both personal and distant, allowing the reader to engage with the lives of characters while painting a broad landscape of 19th century Russia. In this way, Anna Karenina appeals to a wide audience. It is no doubt epic in scale, literally and figuratively; definitely a triumph. The characters are beautifully flawed, and so human that I sometimes forgot Levin, Anna, and Vronsky were fictional. I dreamt of trains. I found myself sketching ladies on train platforms. I kept thinking “God is so cruel” before checking myself: in this case, god is Tolstoy. I was wholly moved. It was a story to be immersed in, and has all the elements of a literary masterpiece, but does it deserve its position of number one? In my opinion: yes. But would I recommend it to a friend for a guaranteed enjoyable read? No. Its brilliance, for me, was witnessed in brief moments through a shifting fog; I could sense it, but could hardly grasp the entire meaning of what I saw. Much of the historical information went completely over my head. Anna Karenina is not for everyone. However, it is definitely a must read for anyone willing and wanting to come in contact with a type of literary genius which can’t be found in contemporary works.
Date published: 2009-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Anna Will Haunt You Anna Karenina is the story of two different members of Russian society in the late 19th century. Anna is the privileged wife of a high government official, a cold and unaffectionate man. She is resigned to being in a loveless marriage and finds joy in her young son, Sergei. One night at the train station, she meets a dashing army officer named Count Alexei Vronsky. The two quickly begin a scandalous affair. Anna is given a choice by her husband - end the affair and stay with her son or leave and never see her son again. The choice Anna makes and its consequences are tragic and highlight the double standard applied to adulterers. Society gave permission for men to have affairs but a woman who had an affair was labeled a harlot and risked never being allowed into "polite" society again, especially if she left her husband. The second character is a rather dull land owner named Konstantin Dmitrievich Levin. He is in love with Kitty, who is in love with Vronsky at the beginning of the novel. After Vronsky leaves her for Anna, Kitty begins to notice Levin’s many noble qualities. Tolstoy uses this character to share his views on the Russian peasantry, society, and economy. These speeches can be rather long and tiring, especially if you don't know (or care about) Russian history. Although Levin is noble in his beliefs, his personality is void of any colour. Don’t let Levin scare you away from this novel. Anna Karenina deserves to be on your must-read list. Anna is one of the most compelling characters in literature, and she will stay with you for a long time. Her story, told masterfully by Tolstoy, is deeply moving in its description of a woman trapped by a society full of double-standards for its female members.
Date published: 2008-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Anna Will Stay With You Forever Anna Karenina is the story of two different members of Russian society in the late 19th century. Anna is the privileged wife of a high government official, a cold and unaffectionate man. She is resigned to being in a loveless marriage and finds joy in her young son, Sergei. One night at the train station, she meets a dashing army officer named Count Alexei Vronsky. The two quickly begin a scandalous affair. Anna is given a choice by her husband - end the affair and stay with her son or leave and never see her son again. The choice Anna makes and its consequences are tragic and highlight the double standard applied to adulterers. Society gave permission for men to have affairs but a woman who had an affair was labeled a harlot and risked never being allowed into "polite" society again, especially if she left her husband. The second character is a rather dull land owner named Konstantin Dmitrievich Levin. He is in love with Kitty, who is in love with Vronsky at the beginning of the novel. After Vronsky leaves her for Anna, Kitty begins to notice Levin’s many noble qualities. Tolstoy uses this character to share his views on the Russian peasantry, society, and economy. These speeches can be rather long and tiring, especially if you don't know (or care about) Russian history. Although Levin is noble in his beliefs, his personality is void of any colour. Don’t let Levin scare you away from this novel. Anna Karenina deserves to be on your must-read list. Anna is one of the most compelling characters in literature, and she will stay with you for a long time. Her story, told masterfully by Tolstoy, is deeply moving in its description of a woman trapped by a society full of double-standards for its female members.
Date published: 2008-10-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I couldn't get into this one Normally I like the Oprah book club selections, but this one was a challenge to finish. The list at the front of the book of all the various names each character went by was used frequently. I don't recommend this one unless you have a personal interest in Russian history.
Date published: 2008-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Chekhov? Austen? Tolstoy. In parts Chekhov for its humour,in parts Austen for its social criticism, Anna Karenina covers a lot of ground: from religion to politics to war to adultery to death to family. Um, and more. The joy of reading a novel like Anna Karenina, is that the reader gets to marinate in such a rich and long work; a work that deals with so many aspects of real life, that it eventually comes to life itself. But, arm yourself with patience as you approach it, because it IS plenty long. I love the play between the two love stories in the novel, that rarely meet in terms of plot but constantly resonate with each other throughout the work. As well as all of the other parallels that Tolstoy creates between ideas and characters: Vronsky vs. Levin, Anna vs. Kitty, Anna vs. Vronsky's mother, Levin vs. his brothers, Levin vs. Oblonsky, death vs. life, single life vs. family life, passion vs. obligation - the list goes on, and makes for aesthetically pleasing reading. At times, Tolstoy does get carried away. Levin's rhetoric about agriculture and peasantry in the middle of the novel almost lost me completely, and Part VIII seems somewhat tacked on (although I do understand that phillosophizing is often the result of death and change). Undeniably, one of the most incredible novels ever written. It is beautiful, intricately structured, gorgeous, luscious. A masterpiece. This is a novel that stays with you, even when you've closed the book.
Date published: 2008-03-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Difficult read This was definitely the hardest book I have ever read. Although I found the plot very interesting, I was completely lost in all the Russian politics in the book. I actually had to put the book down for a few months before going back to finish it and I have never done that with any book before. Still a good story though, and I liked the various stories that were all connected in some way.
Date published: 2008-01-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It's okay I wanted to read this book because I have heard a great deal about it. Anyway, in the beginning it was really interesting up to the part where Anna meets Count Vronsky...and then it just dies out. It just goes TOO much in detail that it gets annoying but I guess some people like that kind of stuff and it's written through every character's point of view, even a dog's! It's okay...it's not as great as I thought it would be. It also focuses on a lot of Russian politics and other issues that were going on around the time the author had written this book so it focuses on a lot on his political views... I wish though that it mainly or only focused on Anna and Vronsky's lives vs the lives of other characters in this novel.
Date published: 2007-06-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book, bad edition I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read. It is complex and long but if you just get into it and plug through the slow stuff it will get good. The only thing I would tell and person considering this book is to NOT GET THIS EDITION. It was spelling error after grammatical error. Sometimes it got so bad that I had a hard time understanding what was being said and plus saying on the front cover that it is the best love story of all time is so false. Leo Tolstoy is not telling us a love story but rather asking us what love is.
Date published: 2006-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant Having received this book as a gift I was a skeptic, due to its size, of ever getting around to read it. Having never explored much Literature by Russian authors before, I figured Anna Karenina was an excellent place to start. The different stories in the novel parallel one another tied together by common themes and elements, but apart from each other, hold their own, captivating the reader making them want to read on. Tolstoy's characters have unique personalities, and although the names make it slightly confusing, the story is irresistable and the read cannot help but continue. The ups and downs of the different personalities such as Levin or Anna, even Alexi Alexandrovich who is described as awkward and seemingly opposite to the passionate and energetic Anna Karenina make them come alive/ The reader cannot help but feel as they feel through the heartache, fear, and joy. Just when you think when a situation seemed doomed, unable to repair, such as the relationship between Levin and Kitty, and Vronsky (in the beginning), it turns into something completely different. The different elements entwined with the fictional story of the characters: politics, history, economic conditions, and generally the opinion of Russian citizens of the time of both upper and lower classes, adds another layer to the text. If you have the time and patience, and a love for great lituerature, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is an excellent choice.
Date published: 2006-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Forever Let me begin my review by stating that I do not acclaim myself, an avid reader, I am just a teenager who happened to watch an episode of Gilmore Girls, which made me interested in this book. After picking up this book, it was daughting in sheer volume alone, but once when you start reading the world that Tolstoy creates is like no other. His characters and their stories keep you going through the entire book. It takes place and is written in 1800's Russia, and the world which Anna Karenina lives in, is so beautiful and rich in words that it creates a sense of emotion in the reader that allows for it to be read forever.
Date published: 2006-05-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bad This book was worse than poor . Tolstoy is suposed to be a great writer so i was looking forward to reading this book. I read a lot and faster than the average person but this book is boring and doesn't flow well. It took me a month to get throught 611pages and i couldn't even finish! It was the first book i disliked so much i couldn't finish in 10 years and I pride myself for being able to get through even 6 pahges of that horrible book.
Date published: 2005-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spiritual Read This book has such a spiritual flow to it. Anna is looking for love and true happiness as most of us are and she can't find it because instead of seeking God who IS love she turns to temporary earthly comfort and passion. Grass always looks greener on the other side. Levin's life relates so closely to Anna, he is also desperately looking for a life worth living, but through hardship and self examination he finds what he is looking for.
Date published: 2005-08-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from anna karenina Definatley a good summer bach read. i can't believe this was written in the 1800s by a man! I've heard of soaps with less plot turns and cheating spouses. It took me a total of three years to read it, and I have been known to read a 300-400 page book in 1sitting (at the most a day) heavy reading to be sure. and not exactly srawberry shortcake but a good read one the less.
Date published: 2005-07-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Overrated Completing this book was a goal for myself. I am an avid reader but I felt like getting through this book was a chore. There plot line took a very long time to get to. The character of Anna Karenina was not the most interesting part of the book...I was more interested in the plot lines surrounding the other characters. Once you get to about the last 100 pages of the book...you get a real shocker....and it's not a good one. I just felt like this book lacked a plot and was a serious bore to try and get through....I will not recommend this book
Date published: 2005-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A true classic Anna Karenina is one of the most interesting books I have read in a while. When I first started, I must admit I was a little intimidated by the size and number of pages of this novel. But by the first page, I was suddenly captivated and enthralled into the story of high society Russian families. At the beginning of the novel, the reader sees Anna, an amazingly beautiful woman with a happy and fulfilled life. As the novel continues, the breakdown of her life is chronicled and the reader can't help but become enthralled and captivated by the storyline. Tolstoy captures so many different emotions in this novel: happy, sad, fulfilled, confused, depressed... And by the end of Anna Karenina everything seems to fall into place. Therefore, Anna Karenina is one novel that readers everywhere should pick up. It is without a doubt a true classic.
Date published: 2004-12-25

– More About This Product –

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

by Leo Tolstoy

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 1024 pages, 8.39 × 5.3 × 1.86 in

Published: April 28, 1992

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679410007

ISBN - 13: 9780679410003

About the Book

A famous legend surrounding the creation of "Anna Karenina tells us that Tolstoy began writing a cautionary tale about adultery and ended up falling in love with his magnificent heroine. It is rare to find a reader of the book who doesn't experience the same kind of emotional upheaval. Anna Karenina is filled with major and minor characters who exist in their own right and fully embody their mid-nineteenth-century Russian milieu, but it still belongs entirely to the woman whose name it bears, whose portrait is one of the truest ever made by a writer.
Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude

Read from the Book

I Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Everything at the Oblonskys’ was topsy-turvy. Oblonsky’s wife had found out that he had been having an affair with the French governess who used to live with them, and told him she could no longer stay under the same roof with him. This was the third day things had been this way, and not only the married couple themselves, but the family and the whole household were painfully aware of it. Everyone in the house felt that there was no sense in their living together, and that people who had casually dropped into any inn would have more connection with each other than they, the Oblonsky family and household. Oblonsky’s wife refused to leave her rooms; he himself hadn’t been home for three days. The children were running around the house as though lost; the English governess had had a quarrel with the housekeeper and written to a friend of hers asking her to look out for a new job for her; the day before the cook had picked dinnertime to go out; the kitchen maid and coachman had given notice.   The third day after the quarrel Prince Stephen Arkadyevich Oblonsky—Stiva, as he was called in society—woke up at his usual time, that is, eight in the morning, not in his wife’s bedroom but in his own study, on the leather-covered sofa. He twisted his plump, well-kept body on the springy sofa as though he wanted to plunge into a long sleep again; he hugged the pillow on the other side and p
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From the Publisher

A famous legend surrounding the creation of Anna Karenina tells us that Tolstoy began writing a cautionary tale about adultery and ended up falling in love with his magnificent heroine. It is rare to find a reader of the book who doesn’t experience the same kind of emotional upheaval. Anna Karenina is filled with major and minor characters who exist in their own right and fully embody their mid-nineteenth-century Russian milieu, but it still belongs entirely to the woman whose name it bears, whose portrait is one of the truest ever made by a writer. Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
 

From the Jacket

A famous legend surrounding the creation of Anna Karenina tells us that Tolstoy began writing a cautionary tale about adultery and ended up by falling in love with his magnificent heroine. It is rare to find a reader of the book who doesn't experience the same kind of emotional upheaval: Anna Karenina is filled with major and minor characters who exist in their own right and fully embody their mid-nineteenth-century Russian milieu, but it still belongs entirely to the woman whose name it bears, whose portrait is one of the truest ever made by a writer.

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.

From Our Editors

A famous legend surrounding the creation of Anna Karenina tells us that Tolstoy began writing a cautionary tale about adultery and ended up by falling in love with his magnificent heroine. It is rare to find a reader of the book who doesn't experience the same kind of emotional upheaval: Anna Karenina is filled with major and minor characters who exist in their own right and fully embody their mid-nineteenth-century Russian milieu, but it still belongs entirely to the woman whose name it bears, whose portrait is one of the truest ever made by a writer.

Editorial Reviews

“In a novel as good and as spacious as Tolstoy’s all things are possible. It must contain, as it does, the muddle and unpredictability of life, its refusal to supply endings or neat situations. And indeed this is where the greatness of the novel will be found to lie. Of all authors Tolstoy is the one whose art most contradicts his own views, and yet the one whose true personality is most revealed in his art. And what is Anna’s 'true personality'? It remains to the end not an enigma, but a factor and a phenomenon that is infinitely variable, like life itself.”
–from the Introduction by John Bayley