Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky.
Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude.
©1994 BBC Audiobooks Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I enjoyed the book immensely and thought Horovitch was excellent in his French, but .... please correct his Russian pronunciation of Seryozha!!!! It was quite distracting in the otherwise superb reading!
A seeker of wisdom, a theorist of husbandry, a traveler of distant lands - a bit eclectic...
1) A penetrating analysis of human nature
2) A heartfelt search for the true meaning of life
3) A beautifully written story that evokes the full spectrum of one's emotions
4) An incredible performance by David Horovitch
5) One of the rare audiobooks I plan to listen to again, and perhaps again
Reason and observation, says the wise Qoheleth of old, compels one to admit that there is no enduring satisfaction under the sun. The whole of natural life per se, he proceeds to elaborate, offers only an enticing, and often very believable, mirage, viz., that some cause or some ambition or some ideal state, will somehow attain some lasting value, will somehow provide complete and enduring fulfillment. Upon recognition, one often finds this a rather repulsive and untimely sense of reality, and thus one finds it more convenient to suspend belief in the said recognition in order that life may find have some significance; others may even try to come to grips with the implications. For the latter there is a shocking, seemingly contradictory, discovery: a desire for the ideal state in spite of it having no ultimate point.
Rarely have I found a more penetrating, painful, but liberating exposition of this idea of the ‘vanity of life’ than in Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”. Mr. Tolstoy’s genius is displayed as he eloquently guides his readers through the exhilarating emotional heights experienced in the passionate pursuit of the ideal state, and, then, to the slow, terrible recognition of it all - futility. So intense is the description that one is made to almost believe that it is one’s own inner self being so vividly exposed to the delusion of a heretofore satisfactory and delightful sense of purpose. There is no escape: one must mentally relive the joy and the horror of it to the bitter end. Yet, through it all there is Konstantin Levin, whose views shall likely never be in vogue with society, but nevertheless finally begins to see a way out of the madness of vanity.
David Horovitch's narration is built of the rare stuff that carries one directly into the very time and place - a captivating and exciting world of 'real life' characters. Simply put, its some of the best reading I've heard...
After two really poor books I reverted to the classics – and it was good. Tolstoy is a great writer – even in translation his mastery of language, imagery and characterisation is unquestionable. The book really does not seem long – there is a pace and drive about the narrative. Quite simply, it is a picture of late 19th century Russian nobility and the social pressures brought to bear on individuals when they dare to act in favour of their hearts instead of convention. We witness the progressive mental decline of Anna as opium, guilt and societal pressure corrode her consciousness. There are also fascinating sub-plots which reveal the growing sense of discomfort that some landowner felt about the exploitation of the peasants. There are also some tedious passages about the rural land management mechanisms but generally it is clearly an outstanding piece of literature. The narrator, David Horovitch, is the best narrator I have ever heard on audio. He brings out the subtleties of the text and bring the characters to life - a superb actor.
The narrator has a wonderful set of voices. A very good production all together. And a great number of intertwined stories with complex characters.
David Horovitch does a wonderful job bringing this book to life. I really enjoyed listening to him.
Even though it was a 38+ hour book, but I got sad when it ended. Some of the scenes were the best scenes I have ever read in a novel like Anna's death or the birth scene. The narration was also phenomenal.
Overall a masterpiece, in every sense of term.
The combination of Tolstoy's high definition rendering of his character's complex hearts and minds with the virtuosity of this narrator's gifts results in a rare audiobook experience here. Hold on to your hat and prepare yourself for a real donkey kick of an ending. This is a classic for a reason. It is a masterpiece.
Mr. Horovitch was simply fantastic in his portrayal of this great story. He does a fantastic job of giving each character their own unique voice, and is unafraid of investing his now emotion into the story. Bravo!!
I love this book and for the most part liked the reader except his constant changes in volume made it hard to hear passages without constantly either missing something or turning the volume up and down.
David Horovitch's reading of Anna Karenina is excellent and one of the best audiobooks to which I have ever listened.
Horovitch captures the principal character's personalities with precision and brings depth to their respective positions and roles in the story.
I was apprehensive about listening to anyone read a lengthy Russian novel, but Horovitch did a brilliant job. His narration was never grating, and he did a brilliant job with both the dialogue and the descriptive portions of the novel.
Hope and Tragedy
"Great performance by David Horovitch"
I think the performance of this story is really good. I'm not sure how I would have got on reading the book, Horovitch really brings this story alive.
I really think Tolstoy seeks and brings out the innermost feelings of his characters and the feelings are true to life. I found the story unpredictable and could not guess what would happen next.
This book is far too long to listen to or read in one sitting I think, but I came back to it day after day.
"fabulous- best audio book ever"
Narration was superb. I would recommend David Horovitch. The story is brought to life and even the bits I skipped when reading the book were enjoyable to listen to.
As a huge Tolstoy fan, I've found it hard listening to the audio books as there's never something quite rite to me about how they're narrated. However David Horovitch is simply brilliant! ...the emotion and tones in his voice fits perfectly every time and is never dry. I never thought I would say I don't just have a favourite author but a favourite Narrator to!
"Classic novel, very well read"
Classic novel, very well read. Certain passages may be a bit lengthy for some people. If you like the book you will love this audiobook.
A perfect coming together of three factors; fantastic translation, writing as good as it gets and reading/narration the best I've ever heard.
"Deep thoughts of human nature"
Tolstoy talent describing feelings and inner thoughts is outstanding. The complexity of love and the insecurities that women have while in a relationship made this book very interesting for me, regarless it's age.
"Plumbs the depths of the human spirit"
I was very sad when it finished - felt like I had lost a friend, until I realized I can always listen to it again.
Tolstoy is a master at probing and understanding the human spirit. And he does this more by asking questions and putting characters and their struggles into contrast than by giving answers.
I feel like someone has been rummaging in my soul.
That is not to say there is no story or plot to enjoy, and when I first encountered this book in my teens/early 20s that is all I paid attention to.
But now I am in my 60s I find myself riveted by the paradoxical contrasts between peasants and the nobility, and the barriers to agricultural and political reform as processed through the minds of the various characters, all of which, regardless of their outlook, Tolstoy made me love and understand.
This is a huge work that tackles problems, questions and challenges of what it means to be human and how to live a good life. As relevant today as it was then.
And now the performance - all I can say is David Horovitch made this book come alive in a way I could never achieve from simply reading it. Simply superb.
"A long journey but absolutely worth it."
One of the mastodons of literature. As with the greatest works, it can probably only really be understood if one has lived a few years. The story is much more than a tragic romance and in fact the putative heroine is absent much of the time, but Tolstoy's penetrating psychological insight informs every scene and illuminates every protagonist. A genuine treasure and very well read in this edition.
The reader does a fantastic job . He reads each character so well , one really gets a an insight into each of the characters personality !
One feels a part of Tolstoys Russia . A worthwhile audible marathon .
"My first Tolstoy"
a very modern style of writing, enjoyed it very much. excellent performance well worth the time.
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