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Publisher's Summary

Anna Karenina published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy,

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.

Public Domain (P)2009 RNIB

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kim
  • AucklandNew Zealand
  • 07-21-10

Strange recording

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Distracting Reader

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Pleased

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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable classic

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Judy Franklin is a gifted performer

Would you listen to Anna Karenina again? Why?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • Lees Summit, MO, United States
  • 04-18-11

Very well read

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

speechless

probably the best book I have ever "read." new favorite for sure. the most beautiful imagery, the most developed story, Tolstoy really takes his time with his masterpiece and it really makes all the difference. I have loved spending the past few weeks listening to this book when I drink my morning coffee and when I am drifting off to sleep (thanks audible sleep timer!!) I will certainly be lost in what to do with my free time until I find my next obsession.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprised

What a wonderful, robust tale. Amazed at the layers; beautiful rendering-drama, romance, suspense, spirituality and history rolled into one.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Narrator and translation

I love this book and the narrator did a phenomenal job. Just as a warning - the translation includes a lot of French that remains French. Not crucial if you don't understand spoken French but it can be frustrating.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

So so

The narration is rather good, the story is well written and engrossing in places but slightly dull in others.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 07-10-10

Beautiful

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.

A must-buy!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-20-18

Grand scale narration

Judy Franklin's narration is almost faultless - no mean feat with a book of nearly 1000 pages! On occasions it is somewhat dry, but does that show her fidelity to Tolstoy? Anna Karenina is indubitably a supreme work of literature.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Braml
  • 02-12-17

A story brought to life.

Having to continually pause reading the paper book. Listening to this is finally allowing me to follow the story. The narrator brings the story to life and characters personalities shine through.
Only slight complaint, occasional slight echo to the recording.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-10-15

Long but satisfying

Slightly old fashioned narration style but good differentiation between the characters. Good for long journeys.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lucy
  • 06-22-11

Beautifully written

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 02-08-11

Anna Karenina

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.