Anna Karenina is beautiful, married to a successful man, and has a son whom she adores. But a chance meeting at a train station in Moscow sets her passionate heart alight, and she is defenceless in the face of Count Vronsky's adoration. Having defied the rules of 19th-century Russian society, Anna is forced to pay a heavy price.
Human nature, with all its failings, is the fabric of which this great and intense work is composed. Anna Karenina has been described as the perfect Russian novel.
Public Domain (P)2010 Naxos Audiobooks
Kate Lock gives a wonderful, passionate reading of Tolstoy's novel. In contrast to another reviewer here, I found her variety of voices enthralling, and the heights of emotional intensity she reaches at times simply stunning.
My only problem with this version is that sometimes the narration is very, very soft, and sometimes the dialogue is very, very loud. I don't know if this is a British thing; at least I've found it to a problem more often with British productions than American. This isn't Kate Lock's fault, and if you can find the right volume setting (or don't mind changing it occasionally as the need arises), this can be a deep and rewarding listen.
This review focuses only on the narrator, Kate Lock.
She's a pretty standard narrator: makes distinct voices for her characters and reads at a steady, not-too-fast pace. There's nothing particularly good or bad about these aspects of performance. But if you're a picky listener like me, and you might be, since this book is over FORTY HOURS long, you may want to know:
1. She "acts" out the dialogue and all parts of it. So if a character coughs while talking, she coughs too. If a character is eating while talking, she talks as if her mouth is full. Some people might enjoy this realism, but I found it gratingly unnecessary. The mid-dialogue laughter is painfully forced.
2. The voices for Kitty and Dolly can be extremely high-pitched, especially when they're distressed—like crying cats.
3. I think this is the Constance Garnet translation; there are no translations for French or German pieces of dialogue, which are luckily sparse.
4. All this said, Levin's dialogue is performed terrifically.
I'll be shopping around for another narrator, however. Hope this helps other listeners!
The narration was fine when she was reading with her own voice, but when she used different voices for the characters, she REALLY did sound constipated. Her character voices were extremely over the top and...just...weird. It was bearable for the first few chapters, but got very annoying and hard to listen to after a while. It's a LONG book, and I don't know if I'm going to be able to finish it listening to this narration for that long! Is it really that hard to sound like a normal human being?
.....and again, and again; if there is enough time in my life.
Firstly, this is a remarkable story, written in great depth, with such understanding AND in the 19th century.
Secondly, the issues within it are relevant to each of us, not all the issues to every one of us, but there will be something(s) that will speak to you if you are willing to listen.
Thirdly, it is much, much bigger than its title suggests and encompasses many more people and relationships than Anna and Vronsky.
As was true when I listened to 'War and Peace', I liked the way in which Tolstoy combines philosophy with a good story. No - a great story.
Kate Lock was magnificent - and that very pleasantly surprised me. She enacted every character with her voice, including the minor and insignificant ones.
That would actually be impossible because of the length - 41+ hours. But I was always sorry to have to take a break.
My understanding is that Tolstoy considered this his greatest novel and that Levin was very loosely based on himself.
Even with more than 100 years gap, there is a freshness and aliveness that drew me into the book.
I appreciated so much more of all the main characters and what they had to 'say' about living life than I was able to do when I read it (not listened to it) as a much younger woman myself.I was challenged and fascinated and delighted and saddened - the gamut of human emotions - as the story moved along.......but do not expect it to move fast - there is far too much philosophical reflection and internal dialogue for that.
Sit back, stay alert and hear the voice of Tolstoy speaking to you through his characters brought to life by the sound of Kate Lock's voice.Enjoy!
Anna Karenina is just a masterpiece and there is no need for me to add more. But THIS NARRATOR. I wish she had recorded War and Peace, and all of Tolstoy, because she was 50% of this audiobook for me. True, sometimes she speaks too quietly and one misses a sentence or two, but her rendering of the *people* -- their personalities -- through their voices is superlative. Major props for Kitty. They are all fantastic, but Kitty's voice has a levity, a joyfulness, which is just a delight. So well done. Thank you.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The narrator was excellent and everyday I looked forward to listening. I wished it would never end.
Probably not for a while! The full story is LONG!
The period piece. The story is about relationships, unfortunately relationships that have gone bad. However, though our times have changed our dysfunctional relationships with each other have not!
Great voice, easy to listen to and loved her how she made characters come alive.
I am still listening to Anna Karenina, but the narrator is excellent and keeps me actively involved in the story.
The reader is amazing in how she is able to portray many character's voices.
My favourite was Leavin. He seemed like such a good man, just trying to get by.
I am not sure.
Learning that these characters want for something, then when they get it they are still unhappy. It is amazing that this book was written in 1870 as nothing has really changed with humanity.
I found Kate Lock's subtle and nuanced reading fascinating. I will definitely look for more of her narrations.
"a real pain to download"
I am not going to review the book but the download.
It took me 2 hours to get it so that it actually works. First I downloaded another version, which sounded horrible on my mp3 player (Philips). I downloaded the format that was recommended for Philips, still... I returned it (luckily I could do it after a bit of pain). Then I chose this version of the book. Audible Manager got confused, froze three times during download. I couldn't delete the previous version from my mp3 player using the program and the new uploaded version did not appear anywhere on my mp3 player. Finally I just copy pasted it from my computer. This Audible Manager is totally stupid and useless but yes: you have to use the program because you have to active your player to play the book... no comment... Finally the 40 hour long book appeared as 6 pieces of approx. 8 hour long files on my player. I can see that each 8 hour long session is divided originally into 30 separate pieces, but I can only play the 8 hour long thing as one. Super handy as everyone listens to the story for 8 hours non-stop. Now I will need to write up where I was if I would like to listen to anything else too and also I will have to wind the file for minutes to actually get there. Well done.
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