This is the story of the unhappy family of Anna Karenina. The novel contains much concerning Tolstoy's spiritual crisis and his search for the meaning of life. But it is also chiefly about marriage, and the growth and death of love.
The touching picture of Anna Aarkadyevna Karenina's slow disintegration has fascinated readers for well over a century. Beautiful and charming, Anna lives in a splendid world of her own making. She smokes, rides horseback, plays tennis, takes opium, practices birth control, and (although she is already married) falls in love with a handsome army officer.
Anna's life is played out against a backdrop of dazzling balls and the vastness of Russia's landscape. It is a magnificent story that shimmers with the intensity of intelligence and passion, especially through this superb narration by Davina Porter.
(P)1990 by Recorded Books, LLC; First published in 1878.
"Porter reads magnificently." (Los Angeles Times)
This was my first audiobook from Audible. I chose it because I wanted to reread Anna Karenina -- it is a favorite of mine. Hearing it aloud reminded me that until the last century these great novels were meant to be told and read aloud. The capable narration and dramatic interpretation of Davina Porter made it much easier to keep track of the unfamiliar names and story lines and brought each main character to life. As for the story itself, it was one of my favorites and is now even more so with hearing of it and the new insights I got this time around.
This is an excellent translation read with wonderful, evocative expression by Davina Porter. After some searching I found the text version from Random House/Modern Library Paperback translated by Constance Garnett AND Leonard Kent AND Nina Berberova. There is an original translation by Constance Garnett alone but that is different. I like to be able to refer to a hardcopy text of my audiobook, and it's nice if the translations actually match up. The reader really brings alive this outstanding novel.
I used the audible version to help me read through the actual text version, and found it very helpful. It's such a big book, it can be intimidating. I'm planning on doing the same with Tolstoy's 'War and Peace'. The problem with Russian literature (very generally speaking, and for me at least) is that the names are a little tricky, and it can be hard to keep track of them (let alone pronounce them!). So having it read to you is vastly helpful. The characters still resonate through my mind. Anna is such a tragic heroine (if you choose to categorize her as 'heroine'). She reminds me of Emma Bovary (of 'Madame Bovary').
Sometimes I simply listened, sometimes I read along. Although sound quality is not the greatest, I found it enjoyable listening and would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Russian literature.
This book is a classic and read very well by the narrator. Having no idea what the story was about when I decided to get this book, I was in for a huge surprise. This book is an excellent narrative on a variety of male-female relationships that all demonstrate some type of domestic abuse. The heroines are looking for a truly love filled life and find themselves in varying degrees of despair due to their beloved men becoming controlling, cheating, manipulative, or even vindictive husbands. This story is not for the faint hearted or for those who like to read about romance.
I am book junkie. Read to me.
This novel is a remarkable achievement. It is like looking at an intricately pieced quilt, one in which every thread has been braided by hand and dipped in liquid gold. Rarely have I read a novel in which even minor characters have rich, fully realized pasts and deep interior lives. The story is long, but Tolstoy is not wasteful with words. Every sentence tells. The narrator is lively, with a pleasant, soothing voice. I worried whether I would be able to stick with five 7-plus-hour takes, but I was sorry to see it end.
Of all the Russian literature I have listened to in audio form, this was by far the best experience. I don't really know what the narrator did differently here, but the rhetorical digressions flowed with the story well enough that I rarely noticed them. It may just be Tolstoy's skill, but bravo to Divina Porter for many hours of entertainment. I enjoyed the story, the ideas, and the characters very much. If you have to choose between this novel and War and Peace, although they are both excellent, choose this one.
I really enjoyed this book. While the unabridged version is long and a bit wordy at times, I can't imagine the abridged version could possibly do justice to the complexed stories and character development. If you enjoy light, airy stories that get to the point quickly, this is not the book for you. If you like to really get into the characters, enjoy a developing story and just love to sit back and listen, this is a perfect choice.
This is one of my favorite books, I love the characters and the story is so sad and wonderful at the same time. It is well-read and I recommend it for repeat readers of Anna Karenina or first-timers. It is well worth the time investment.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.