Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

eBook - 1998
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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 which provide completely up-to-date perspectives on Tolstoy's classic work.
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1998, 1995
ISBN: 9780191586231
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xxxiv, 831 p.)


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Nov 29, 2020

It is not often that many are able to peer into the lives of Russian nobility while still covering a wide range of universal truths applicable to every individual in a variety of different situations. However, the novel Anna Karenina by renowned author Leo Tolstoy is able to do this. It is set in the late 19th century in Imperial Russia and focuses on the parallels of three different couples, whose lives are all intertwined. Both the Oblonsky and the Karenin families are torn apart by adultery, most prominently when Anna Karenina leaves her husband, Karenin, for the young, dashing soldier Vronsky. Drama ensues as these couples must resolve their issues while still maintaining their facade of revered nobility in society. It ultimately comes down to these matters revolving around the heart that forever change the course of their lives.

This novel is a classic, and for good reason. While some people may believe that it is simply a love story, it is so much more. The romances in the novel serve as vessels to convey the pain and affliction the characters endure as a result of their social status. Many characters also debate important and interesting topics such as politics, philosophy, and art, which makes for an interesting read, especially considering the setting and time period of the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel because it allowed me to view a different way of life and was surprisingly pleased by the variety of different topics discussed. However, the novel is extremely lengthy, and will take a long time to read. I would not recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick read or is simply interested in romance without any extraneous details. Furthermore, it does contain mentions of self-harm, so it is not suitable for anyone who this may serve to trigger.

Age rating: 15+
Star rating: 4 stars

Sep 21, 2020

I read this book to fulfill the goal read a book that passes the bechdel test. the bechdel test (according to google) is when two girls talk about something as friends other than a man. I didn't think this was a super great example because the only eligible conversation was about kids or balls. Some of the conversations were implied not recorded. It was one of the books recommended for the prompt though on popsugar

Jun 19, 2020

Test comment on completed list book.

Feb 04, 2020

A classic, which I decided to tackle no matter what. While I focused on the romantic part of the plot, I dismissed the talks about society. It wasn't something that interested me. I have to admit that Anna was probably my least favorite of characters. While I wasn't upset with the ending, I felt like the whole was for nothing if it was going to end that way. So useless.

Oct 03, 2019

I was so absorbed by this book that I read through my bus stop several times.

Jul 17, 2018

Wow. Anna Karenina is very well written, the characters are true to themselves, you get keen insight into what Russian upper class society was like in the 1870s, an interesting and essentially believable plot and (everybody's favorite Tolstoy habit) 800+ pages of it to digest.

All of the above are compliments. Tolstoy was a genius and it was is in full force in this book. The main criticism I would bring to light is that, while beautifully written, the book never compelled me to finish it. I would read a section and then would sometimes let it lie for a week untouched. Every great book pulls you into the story and you must know how it ends. With Anna Karenina, I came and went as I pleased.

For the second straight Tolstoy book (War and Peace being the other,) I found myself liking the main characters the least. In W&P, I couldn't stand Pierre. Here, I found both Levin and Anna unpleasant. That I wanted to finish the book is a testament to its quality. While I don't favor the idea that Anna Karenina is the best novel ever written, it is well worth the time investment

Jun 07, 2018

This was my 4th reading of AK: Many aspects of the book resonated with me in ways that didn't occur on previous readings: that being said, I was furious with the ending. AK's suicide was not acknowledged in any significant way by any of the other main characters. Instead, it focused on Levin's philosophical musings about the meaning of suffering and faith.

Jan 29, 2018

"Koznyshev, experienced in dialectics, made no reply to Levin's question, but at once switched over the conversation to another aspect of the subject." If you are doing a term paper on the relative greatnesses of French and Russian authors, you could do worse than to compare/contrast Anna and Emma.

Aug 06, 2017

I waited until now (retirement) to read Tolstoy's Anna Karenina...on my reading bucket list.

My first Tolstoy, and definitely my last. I'm looking forward to everything else on my list, and glad this one to the books. Torture.

Apr 05, 2016

Poor Anna. It is perilous to be neither good nor useful. It's not like AK is an unknown story, so just a few observations that surprised me: compared to the film versions, Vronsky is egotistical and empty-headed, but improves as the story goes on; Anna is a selfish pill a lot of the time, and is much like her sensual brother, without his easygoing nature. Tolstoy notices the hypocrisy of the toleration of male adultery versus the female kind, without completely disapproving of it. He contrasts Anna and Vronsky with another young couple, Levin and Kitty: charming, well-meaning, and a little wearisome. If you're pressed for time, you can skim the parts about their souls, or farming, without missing much. Tolstoy wants to be Levin, but he really is Anna. Anyone beginning AK should note that it is NOT primarily about anyone's romance, but about Russia's floundering transition into a modern, European nation, and why people like Tolstoy thought this was not a good idea.

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Laura_X Feb 22, 2019

Spring is the time of plans and projects.

Jul 18, 2018

Anna “clearly understood that he was disgusted by her hand, and her gesture, and the sound her lips made.”

Aug 26, 2016

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

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 05, 2016

Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.


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Jul 10, 2020

eryka_vernon thinks this title is suitable for 20 years and over

Jul 18, 2018

gomiami1972 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jul 21, 2016

ecarr1212 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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