Vladimir Nabokov called Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina "one of the greatest love stories in world literature." Set in imperial Russia, Anna Karenina is a rich and complex meditation on passionate love and disastrous infidelity.
Married to a powerful government minister, Anna Karenina is a beautiful woman who falls deeply in love with a wealthy army officer, the elegant Count Vronsky. Desperate to find truth and meaning in her life, she rashly defies the conventions of Russian society and leaves her husband and son to live with her lover. Condemned and ostracized by her peers and prone to fits of jealousy that alienate Vronsky, Anna finds herself unable to escape an increasingly hopeless situation.
Set against this tragic affair is the story of Konstantin Levin, a melancholy landowner whom Tolstoy based largely on himself. While Anna looks for happiness through love, Levin embarks on his own search for spiritual fulfillment through marriage, family, and hard work. Surrounding these two central plot threads are dozens of characters whom Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together, creating a breathtaking tapestry of 19th-century Russian society.
From its famous opening sentence---"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"---to its stunningly tragic conclusion, this enduring tale of marriage and adultery plumbs the very depths of the human soul.
Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor
This is one of those "must read" novels because Tolstoy was onto the beginnings of the modern, psychological novel. He creates a wonderful picture of the frothy, frivolous life of Imperial Russian aristocracy and you can see the germs of the Russian Revolution in the political talk among the characters, which is very interesting; the Bolsheviks didn't just jump out of the landscape on October of 1917; the ideas were being discussed long before.
The reading by Lorna Raver, who is generally a very good narrator, has one flaw and that is she tries to dramatize the characters by using a gruff voice to indicate some of the male characters. It sounds utterly stupid. She'd have done better to simply lighten or darken her voice slightly and not try to sound like Papa Bear. It detracts from an otherwise excellent reading.
Obviously, I need to give up on Russian Lit, or at least Tolstoy. I enjoyed this more than War & Peace but this was still lacking.
Tolstoy did a much better job with depth of character in this one. They were quirky and entertaining for the most part but I ended up getting bored with them after a while. They just went round and round without ever really accomplishing anything.
I was hoping for more from Anna. She started out such a strong woman. Of course, in the 1870s writing about a strong woman wouldn't fly so he caved to popular opinion and crushed her.
It's a classic so it's on that must read eventually list but it wasn't my favorite.
Yes, if they were into the classics.
It is being made into a movie and that is why I purchased it.
the long length. and detail to arguemnts on political and religious ideas and not much time spent on detaiiing what was going on in the story.
this story could have been lots better. the plot was not bad. just the way it was presented.
that i could listen in audio form. i could never read a book like this. i did enjoy the story,
the scene at the ball in the beginning. and the last part when ann was consdering breaking with vronsky (for the thousandth time).
yes id would.
found anna to be a self absorbed person. i liked levin and dolly and her husband stephen. i found men in this book to be more likable. women to be very frivilous.
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