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.
This book isn't narrated, it's heavily performed. Crying, whispering, huge swings in mood, tempo and emotion. That would all be great if I had any reason to want David Horovitch's personal interpretation of Tolstoy, but I don't. It's one thing to whisper a line that's followed by text in the book, that says "...Anna whispered". But, to continuously heavily interpret the text with no clear reason except the preference of the narrator is a disservice to Tolstoy. It should be relabeled as a performance, not a narration.
Also of note is that when David whispers, it's so quiet that even at max volume it's inaudible in the car on the freeway (at least inside my Prius).
All considered, if you're looking for entertainment and don't particularly care about the meaning of the book, this is a great edition. If you want to hear Tolstoy, and form your own thoughts and opinions about his meaning, steer clear.
I consider this audiobook to be better than the print version because the story is so long and over-written that I was never able to complete the print book. It may be a classic, but I don't believe it would hold up in today's world.
The story showed life in Russia when there the very rich and the very poor. It was interesting to see how they were all miserable.
He does a marvelous job with the voices, and, as previously stated, reading the book was too cumbersome.
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Author, Anna Rae Aberle
Every time I pick up a Tolstoy work I'm overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude and volume of his works. Listening to them in audio form has reminded me what an incredible story teller Leo Tolstoy was and given me a fresh perspective into his characters and stories. If you are intimidated or simply cannot fathom having the time to reread Anna Karenina or War and Peace I highly recommend listening to them over time!!
Anna Karenina is quite simply one of the great masterpieces of world literature. I've read it before, but from the opening sentence I was reminded again of how much authority Tolstoy writes with. The narration is superb. While some say the MAude translation contains inaccuracies, I assume that overall it's good enough.
We all know that Anna Karenina is a great book and that Leo Tolstoy is one of the world's greatest writers. And I can attest that David Horovitz is the right narrator for this book. Despite a deep voice he handles the female characters beautifully. His French is beautiful and accurate and although I'm not familiar with the Russian language the way he pronounces Russian sounds good.￼
Enthralled by the vast cast of distinct and consistently recognizable characters created by Tolstoi and portrayed by David Horovitch, I can't recommend this performance highly enough. My own commentary on Tolstoy's work is a simple man's blinding glimpse of the obvious, a flower among heaps of wreaths on this masterpiece of world literature. What I can offer is specific praise for David Horovitch's performance. Russian nomenclature with patronymics can be confusing to those of us unaccustomed to it, e.g. Arkadyevna, Karenina. Horovitch adds inflection, pitch, tone and pronunciation, providing an unexpected and essential aural cues that helped identify characters, even as they entered and exited under different names. True, written name diagrams work. But I intuit Russians may not need such aide memoires or "crutches" David Horovitch's consistent portrayal of each distinct character is a work of art in itself, immersing me in Tolstoy and his very Russian-ness. Bravo David Horovitch!
The depth of insight Tolstoy has
The despair...I'm a sucker for a story about problems.
I have not. I have no complaints about Horovitch's performance, but occationally the translator neglects to translate bits of the German and French...that's annoying
The plot was engaging and there were many complex characters. I appreciated the fact that it was written through the eyes of many individuals, rather than through the eyes of Anna Karenina alone.
Tolstoy had an honest, very realistic way of painting the romances in the books. The scenes were both relatable and exciting. Interestingly enough, there were no true villains. With each character, I found myself switching between pity, aversion and admiration.
Unfortunately, I disliked the narrator. Unlike Tolstoy he pushed re-enactments to such an extreme that they often sounded childish and always sounded overdone. The way in which he tried to narrate the thoughts of the characters was consistently awkward. His voice would get so low it was almost inaudible, I would attempt to turn up the volume to interpret his whispers and then be blasted with loud volume when he returned to normal speech. It was frustrating. I would not want to listen to another book that he has narrated.
I was disappointed by the ending. I believe the quality of the story line dwindled towards the end. It may have been drawn out longer than it needed to be.
"A wonderful audio version of Anna Karanina."
Having read Anna Karenina a few times before I thought I would treat myself to a listen and I was well rewarded.
David Horovitch's narration brings to life the immense tapestry of characters in this dense novel - their lives, their loves, their hates, their ups and downs. The momentum of the audio version also helps with those long Russian monologues. For 'big reads' I love alternating between audio and text but much then depends on the narrator who in this case was excellent.
I also liked the way the recording was broken up into smaller chunks which made it so much easier to go back if one got lost!
"Narrator enhances story!"
The death of Anna
So many -can't decide
The narrator really makes the story come alive - I had read this book twice and must confess I skipped quite a little bit - In this version every character is excellently conveyed and the story really flows............
This is a brilliant edition of the book, easy to listen to, compulsive. I find it preferable Because I would not have time to read the book.
The husband because he is pathetic and faithful but quite inadequate.
I found it quite easy to distinguish who was speaking. He was able to render French and German tolerably well.
It made me draw breath sharply and hold my breath in anticipation
An amazing unabridged version at an amazing price! This is well read although all the characters do sound the same which can make it a little confusing at times. This is well worth the money if you have time to listen properly to all 35 hours!! A great job with a difficult and complex novel.
"Tedious, dull, long-winded"
I must be missing something. I just cannot understand why this is considered a literary classic - it was pure tedium from beginning to end. I have listened to over 50 audiobooks now (including many 'classics' and other pretty lengthy tomes), and this is the first one I have rated at less than 4 stars. First and foremost, the characters were all thoroughly unlikeable and uninteresting - I really struggled to feel any empathy at all for their largely self-inflicted tribulations. And while the plot was OK, whole story was far too long and drawn out, and frankly felt very self-indulgent on Tolstoy's part. It was so dull it actually put me off listening to audiobooks for a good few weeks afterwards!
"A Classic Epic everyone should read"
This story is just as relevant and meaningful to today and I'm sure many a modern tale has been based on it. I particularly enjoyed learning a bit about Russian peasants and farming albeit from a rather romantic and simplistic view, as well as the Russian aristocrasy. Overall a brilliant cautionary tale for anyone.
"Buy the unabridged version if there is one!"
I missed reading many classics when I was young, being too busy to read slow books, so I'm catching up with Audible. I have really enjoyed most of the books (Hardy, Dickens and indeed this one, hated Thackery!) but this is just too long in todays ideom. BUT if it is the only way to get it do as the characterisation and is amazing, the messages very clear and it builds a great picture of Russia before the revolution and the very unsettled times.
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