Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

A Novel in Eight Parts

Book - 2002
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The must-have Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of one of the greatest Russian novels ever written

Described by William Faulkner as the best novel ever written and by Fyodor Dostoevsky as "flawless," Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness.

While previous versions have softened the robust and sometimes shocking qualities of Tolstoy's writing, Pevear and Volokhonsky have produced a translation true to his powerful voice. This authoritative edition, which received the PEN Translation Prize and was an Oprah Book Club(tm) selection, also includes an illuminating introduction and explanatory notes. Beautiful, vigorous, and eminently readable, this Anna Karenina will be the definitive text for fans of the film and generations to come. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition also features French flaps and deckle-edged paper.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Uniform Title: Anna Karenina. English
Publisher: New York : Penguin, 2002, c2000
Characteristics: xxi, 837 p. ; 22 cm
Edition: Deluxe ed
ISBN: 0143035002 (pbk.)
9780143035008
Call Number: FICTION TOLSTOY
Alternative Title: Anna Karenina

Opinion

From Library Staff

Anna Karenina is Tolstoy's classic tale of love set against the backdrop of high society in Moscow and Saint Petersburg in the late nineteenth-century. A rich and complex masterpiece, the novel charts the stories of several love affairs, including the disastrous course of a love affair between An... Read More »


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gomiami1972
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

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FoxLarkin
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.

"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.

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dollface_1
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 is....so to speak...in the books. Torture.

j
Janice21383
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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lnikolai22
Sep 29, 2015

This took quite a while to read, but it was worth it... Anna herself was, maybe somewhat ironically, my least favourite character in the book. Luckily, she isn't really the main character, or at least she isn't the only main character. (Konstantin Levin is the character who, I think, most redeems Anna's moral indecency.) Still, this book was one of the best I've read in the past year, and most unexpectedly so.

Kereesa Jul 22, 2015

This was my first Tolstoy novel. It will not be the last.

s
stepha89
Jun 09, 2014

The relationships the book developed were a highlight. However, it dragged in many places, especially in the parts that dealt with the Russian peasantry and agriculture. If you like a slow pace and a lot of character introspection, you'll probably have better luck than I did.

a
anahperic
May 05, 2014

I loved this book

patienceandfortitude Jan 13, 2014

I first read Anna Karenina over 30 years ago, and am so glad that I have taken the time to re-read it. I love Tolstoy. His writing speaks to my heart. His characters are deeply sympathetic, in their struggles to find love, happiness, justice and meaning in their lives. Perfect way to start my reading in the new year.

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gomiami1972
Jul 18, 2018

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

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geraldine9
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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gomiami1972
Jul 18, 2018

gomiami1972 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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ecarr1212
Jul 21, 2016

ecarr1212 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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