It tells of the love affair between Anna and Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Russia, faith is challenged, bonds are broken, love dies and is reborn.
Leo Tolstoy, or Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy 1828 - 1910), was a Russian writer and is regarded as among the greatest of novelists.
Translated by Constance Garnett from the Russian in 1901.
Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.
I thought I was 'hearing voices' in my head until I read other reviewers' points about the recording. The reader seems to have recorded this at home with her telly on in the background and with the stammering over many of the lines and names I found it difficult to listen to her otherwise lovely voice.
An excellent book, of course, and I was very pleased with this narrator. She handled all the voices well, even the male ones and I thought her Anna was brilliant, especially in the later scenes.
The book itself has so far been lovely, but the audio copy is disappointing. While the reader has a pleasant voice, she stubbles over words and can be heard gulping water at the end of chapters. Half way through the first section there is occasional background noise, like a TV that has been left on. The audio should have had better editing.
I enjoyed the book, and enjoyed the narration as well. She did well distinguishing between different characters and her timing was effective. Yes occasionally you could hear a page turn, or her swallowing. But it wasn't distracting. I am glad I gave this classic a try and will likely listen to it again.
San Francisco Reporter
I HAVE listened to this recording of Anna Karenina over again. A couple of times, in fact. I will sometimes randomly pick a chapter and listen. Of course Tolstoy's writing is luscious -- but Judy Franklin conveys enough emotion to bring the characters to life and maintain the narrator's voice of distant observation -- with nuance and balance. I was sad when the book ended. I wish she had read more books that appealed to me. I would love to hear more audiobooks with her voice. I'm now listening to War and Peace and the male narrator is quite adequate, but doesn't have the depth that Franklin brings to Tolstoy.
I'm embarrassed to admit this is the first time I've heard/read Anna Karenina, though I knew the story. Now I know why Tolstoy is considered a genius. His writing is deceptively simple and yet fabulously layered and complex. He dives into the human psyche and lets the reader watch his characters' twist their thinking as they try to convince themselves that as long as they do what society expects, they are morally right. His characters aren't painted in broad strokes like Dickens' characters -- (though I love Dickens). Tolstoy gives his characters considerable room to grow and change. Some, who start out vapid and self-serving, become magnanimous and selfless while the very characters who started out pious and ethical show their flaws. Tolstoy writes some pretty comic passages that ridicule the behavior of the Russian aristocracy.
Although Anna is the typical faithless hussy and meets a tragic end as those women always do in 19th century novels, the novel doesn't condemn her. It's a criticism of the society she lives in.
I highly recommend it.
I had always wanted to read Anna Karenina, but was put off by the length. This audio book was the perfect answer. The narrator was very good and she really helped me keep the characters straight, the action moving, and the "pages" turning.
One thing that would be nice would be to have the individual chapters actually bookmarked instead of each "chapter" being about 2 hours with 20 or so chapters included.
Depth of story.
Levin...Because of his personal quest for truth.
No...Way to long and too much for one sitting.
It's a classic, so in that sense it was, but overall, I would've preferred having read 5 other books in the time it took me to get through this one.
Ms. Franklin is a wonderful reader. I can't imagine how anyone could complain about an audible page turning or a slight hesitation in speech. Those are rare indeed. In no case do they disrupt the excellent experience of listening to Tolstoy's masterpiece through the voice of a terrific reader.
This is very nicely narrated and the sound quality is good enough for your car, competing with road noise, etc.. Tolstoy's vision of human existence can't compete with Dostoevsky. In addition, the former cheats: first describing Vronsky as diabolical, then inventing monetary excuses for his not running off with Anna (excuses that mean he is actually very nice - but when he does run off with Anna anyway these monetary problems disappear) and finally he becomes long sufferinig. Descriptions of Mr. Karenina often seem designed to heighten sympathy for Anna and not to really be sympathetic portrayals of a real human being. He too gets redeemed and then unredeemed. The leaden weight of the authorial hand moves his chess pieces towards predetermined ends, it seems, and the manipulation of the reader becomes apparent. If you don't share this opinion, then I'm glad you had a better time reading this novel than me.
The novel and its pedigree stand for themselves, it is utterly fantastic.
The audio-book goes a long way to matching that. The fact that one narrator manages to bring to life such a wide range of characters, of all ages, sexes and classes, and makes them each individual and personal, is incredible. Most notably the expression she gives to Anna, her thoughts and her speech are to be commended.
Tolstoy seems to know my emotions even better than I do in portraying the complexities of human relationships. That this story still rings true despite its age shows the quality of the writing and the insign into human nature Tolstoy had.
"Long but satisfying"
Slightly old fashioned narration style but good differentiation between the characters. Good for long journeys.
Beautiful language, as I would expect from a classic masterpiece. Hidden, depth to the whole story. Narrator could have been more engaging, but the story was beautiful.
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