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.
Q. Why did I listen to ‘Anna Karenina’? A. I had listened to ‘The Year of Reading Dangerously’ by Andy Miller, in which he reads and reviews 50 books, and he singled out ‘Anna Karenina’ for high praise. Incidentally, I also tried to get his absolute favourite number one book on the list ‘Atomised’, but it isn’t available as a talking book so I hunted down a hard copy, and I haven’t finished it yet but have struggled so far. This is the problem with recommendations. People’s tastes differ.
Anyway, back to the main point, which is ‘Anna Karenina’: I found it enjoyable, mostly, but it does meander off into politics and philosophising quite a lot. It has been described as ‘the best book ever written’, but, whatever these qualities are that qualify it for such hyperbole are lost on me.
The characterisation is good and realistic, and you are drawn in to sympathise with the characters. There is interesting social comment (the fact that when a man and a woman commit the same social indiscretion, adultery, the man is unpunished while the woman is ostracised and disgraced). The narration is excellent. But the plot is a bit of a disappointment and after the ‘main event’ near the end there is a boring epilogue and I was waiting for it to finish so I could listen to something more interesting.
Maybe I’m just too shallow for old classics, but I wasn’t particularly impressed by this book. 7/10.
We all struggle with our choices. This is a story about how sometimes those struggles are just in our mind, not in reality. So enjoy this lovely story and give your mind a rest.
I am a big fan of audible...listening to books on the move really suits my lifestyle.
This was the first Tolstoy book I have ever read and in the end I would say that human nature remains the same through the ages.
This book took a very long time to say what needed to be said. For me, it dragged.
I have never come across David Horovitch as a narrator before but he is a master. I have always felt the Ian McKellen's Odysseus set the gold standard in audiobook renderings but with the range and wide variety of characters required for Anna Karenina I would have to rate David Horovitch higher.
More by Mr Horovitch please - anything, everything but especially War and Peace!
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.
it's an incredible, compelling story about human nature and the complexity of love. there's tragedy in the story but the only villain is the heart, which none of us can control and has you sympathetic toward every bad decision these characters make. i felt anger, sadness and tenderness toward every character; even those i initially disliked. as the story hurtled toward it's end, i felt sad to be leaving the story and like i would always be wondering what happened to them all after it drew to a close. easy to understand why anna karenina is considered one of the best books ever written and has had endless film adaptations made of it. the story has aged beautifully. it still felt completely modern in addressing the basic questions of the human soul.
for those looking to read this book before the movie comes out next month, i highly, highly recommend david horovitch's reading of it. his ease with the complexities of names, character voices and subtlety of emotion made this book have a very powerful punch. he also made this giant tome of a novel accessible and warm.
I'm a happy person who loves my husband, dogs, books, great food, playing soccer and running my own business - the order depends on the day.
Enjoyed it. It's a novel about life - surprisingly, not much has changed over the years. Interesting characters - indulgent, selfish, selfless. Overall, a very nice read.
I'm a bibliophile, obviously! My specific interests are historical fiction and sci-fi fantasy. I love to escape with a book!
I would recommend this book to my literary friends, it's fairly dark and wandering for the casual reader.
I would have worked to make it, somehow, less depressing.
He brings the depth of feeling, that I may not have attributed to the characters on my own.
Yes, I love long books.
I suppose this was a pretty good look at how selfish, and unaccountable people can be.
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