Very long - couldn't wait for it to end as it just could not hold my interest. I really enjoyed Part 1 and 2 but as the two main characters Anna and Levin seemed to descend into madness it got more and more tedious and boring. I really do not understand why this is considered by many to be the "greatest novel of all time".
As other reviewers have said I could not wait for Anna to end it all as it just seemed to go back and forth over and over and over. As I have read that Levin is based somewhat on Tolstoy's own life it makes me wonder what strange things were going on in his mind in his own life. Definitely a good example of what one says is not necessarily what one is thinking.
I have never listened to an abridged audiobook as I prefer to know all the details but I found it really hard to concentrate on this book as many parts were just so boring and seemingly pointless with regards to the actual storyline.
If I had it to do over I would buy the abridged version of this book.
I was impressed with Tolstoy's style of writing as it was easy to follow when my mind wasn't wandering. It did get a little tedious though how he always refers to everyone by their full names. Would have appreciated English translation of the French dialogue also.
And of course Davina Porter is an excellent narrator which is why I chose this version of the book.
I will definitely NOT be buying War and Peace.
Originally, I chose this version of Tolstoy's classic because I am so fond of Davina Porter's narration, and she did (once again) magnificently. I try to stay away from abridged versions of anything, not wanting to miss any detail the author deemed important. Having said this, I'm not sure I could handle reading any more of Tolstoy unabridged. Holy crow, the man goes on and on at times! There were times when his writing was magical and I felt the emotion of it so powerfully, it overwhelmed me. However, I think you can take description too far, like exaggerated montages on agricultural processes or political maneuvers. If you dislike contention, do not attempt this book. From what I gathered of Tolstoy's perspective, until the last few pages anyways, all that the intellectual people do when they are together is argue. I couldn't help but wish I could have shared my prescription Zoloft with Anna and Levin on many occasions; if those two aren't perfect candidates for anti-anxiety medication, I don't know who is. In Levin, his overactive mind and self-reflection seemed, in the end, to bring him to a peaceful place, but he nearly drove me insane getting there. And, I'll be honest, Anna's descent into madness near the end got more and more difficult for me to listen to; as another reviewer mentioned, I, too, couldn't wait for her to off herself so I could get out of her painfully warped mind. She was so pitiful! I am curious about the lack of closure for many of the important characters, and why Tolstoy didn't tie things up at the end for several of the people critical to the story. Overall, it was worth listening to, even though I am exhausted and relieved it is finally over. I'm not sure I would recommend it to others as highly as many reviewers have, but if you've got over forty hours in which you'd like to indulge in some excessively lengthy and serious Tolstoy reflections, then by all means, go for it.
Tolstoy is a master storyteller who can of bring the full sweep of human drama down to the moment-to-moment level. His characters live the history and you live it through their eyes and hearts. Vivid descriptions of the inner and outer lives of these aristocrats living in pre-revolutionary Russia animate his story, and help you to feel their manners, inhibitions, challenges, and passions. Anna is so deserving of love, so pure in her own love, yet even she cannot sustain the ideal. Her unjust ruin in the eyes of society, the loss of Vronsky's love, and the madness that loss inspires lead to an ending that is sad and unforgettable.
I am currently making my way through the classics and felt that Anna Karenina was a must. This is the first I've read of Tolstoy The work translates well into English I think. I recommend this audio book.
My one complaint is that given the lenght of the book, I had hoped to finish with the feeling that I just wrestled with a "big idea". This was not the case. It is simply great storytelling.
The narration is very clear and consistent and by itself deserves 5 stars.
A brilliant narration of this timeless classic. Anna Karenina is a must-read for everyone at least once. Leo Tolstoy realistically portrays an evolution of human emotions and behavior in relation to romance, marriage, religion, business..
I am an avid reader, having read hundreds of books in my lifetime. I love the classics, but I found this to be extremely boring, disconnected, and preachy. It seems that Tolstoy used every character's thoughts to portray his own political, religious, and economic views. Over and over and over, I lost track of the plot, wrapped up in some blathering soliloqy. Davina Porter was the one saving feature to this novel. She is one of the absolute best narrators and she did a fabulous job with even this boring dribble. I actually purchased this book simply BECAUSE Davina Porter was the narrator. She didn't let me down, but this book did. I had to push myself to finish it. Boring, boring, boring.
I have always wanted to read Anna Karenina but was intimidated by the length of the book. The audible format was appealing and I thought I could take it in pieces. While I overall enjoyed the writing, and the narrator did a fine job, there were many, many sections that dragged horribly and in retrospect seemed to detract from the themes and messages of the book, such as the dreadful passages discussing the mechanics of the political process. I usually prefer unabridged, but in this case I'd make an exception.
I normally love books considered a Classic. However, now I am afraid to even try "War and Peace" by the same author. If this is considered a classic, I do not understand why.
It goes on and on and on it tedius detail about the Russian society classes, such as peasants, poitical and social reform, religion, mental illness, everything is told in minute detail and very repetitive. I really don't see a plot after I read the whole 50 hour book.
For example on the repetition of the author. He will use Anna Karenina and other long Russian names 25 times in one paragraph. Instead of calling people by their first name or last name, this author will use their whole name in every sentence in the same paragraph and does not use pronowns like she or her much. It is very odd and tedius to listen to this style.
The only thing that helped me get to the end of the books was the great narrator, Davina Porter! She is great and I highly recommend her narration. This is probably the worst story ever told. I can't go into detail without spoiling the story for people who still plan on reading it, but why does it say Audible Kids before each segment of the book? This is the last book that should be read by kids with adultery as one of the main topics.