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Anna Karenina Audiobook

Anna Karenina

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Publisher's Summary

Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky.

Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude.

©1994 BBC Audiobooks Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1776 )
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4.6 (1452 )
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Performance
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  •  
    John L Murphy Los Angeles 07-09-17
    John L Murphy Los Angeles 07-09-17 Member Since 2013

    Fionnchú

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cries + whispers"
    What made the experience of listening to Anna Karenina the most enjoyable?

    While many reviewers did not like the sudden "cries and whispers" that David Horovitch dramatized (more like a stage performance or film than a conventional "reading"), I liked them. I heard this on headphones, as it's not the kind of narrative for background or casual listening in the car, for instance. Horowitch proves himself capable of a daunting challenge.


    What other book might you compare Anna Karenina to and why?

    I'd finished "War + Peace" after years of on-off reading not long ago. But that is more of an historiography-meets-philosophy novel of ideas (at least as how I see it, maybe not you). The twinned main plots resemble those in AK. But the story may have hints of "Madame Bovary" for obvious reasons. Beyond those two classic comparisons, its epic nature seems to have influenced more what followed it; but it does share that 19c love of a digressive, long plot.


    Have you listened to any of David Horovitch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will after this. I know he does a lot of Dickens. That too may be enlivened aloud.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Beyond the climactic scenes with one protagonist that are very well known, the death of Nikolai as witnessed by Levin reminds one of "The Death of Ivan Ilych" in its powerful observation, enhanced by Horovitch's shifts in register and timbre. He can evoke a wheeze, a cough, and a mumble very well, but again, you need attention in such scenes to be made.


    Any additional comments?

    "Reason provides us with a means of escape," to quote Anna more or less, provides a morality tale that intersects (if with attenuated progress, one aspect that may lessen the appeal of this novel for some modern readers less accustomed to Tolstoy's diversions from the main direction) with Levin's attempt to get beyond his intellectual conceptions of life. Vladimir Nabokov sniffed that AK should have had more on Anna's curls on the nape of her neck and less debate by Levin about agricultural reform. Yet a truer look at the whole scene Tolstoy attends to widens from the domestic and the intimate. Although that whole sub-plot sending Anna + Vronsky off to Italy mid-way seems rather beside the point; Tolstoy seems not to have exploited the potential of the setting. For all its depth, this novel does focus nearly entirely on the gentry and nobles, and like Turgenev's "Fathers + Sons" it seems removed from daily toil. But we know Tolstoy would become taken up by such soon after.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johan Sanneblad 07-09-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic book, fantastic performance"

    At first I bought the most recent recording of this book from 2016 with Maggie Gyllenhaal, and that was the worst audio recording I have heard yet. In the Youtube video posted on the book's Audible page Maggie Gyllenhaal describes the recording as "I wanted to have a light touch on the way I played the different characters, because the way that somebody reading the book is imagining these people with their own voices, their own mind, is really part of the experience". The end result is horrible, she speaks like she is reading a cooking recipe - no emotions, no change in tone, and no difference between the various characters.

    I managed 6 hours with that book and was ready to give up when I decided to try this Audible recording by David Horovitch instead.

    It is SO MUCH BETTER! When David speaks there is emotion in his voice, you can feel the passion, anger and hopefulness of the characters in a way that Maggie could not even come close to accomplish. When Wronsky and Anna meets his voice adds an extra dimension to the experience, like any good actor adds to a theatrical role.

    So, for anyone wanting to listen to this great book - stay far away from the recording with Maggie Gyllenhaal and get ths one with David Horovitch instead!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Max Austin, TX, United States 06-16-17
    Max Austin, TX, United States 06-16-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Read"

    Classic novel. Great performance. Just one complaint. When"thoughts" or ""whispers" it was so soft that I couldn't hear or distinguish the phrases. Otherwise, very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Morgan Folsom, CA 05-17-17
    Morgan Folsom, CA 05-17-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Barely worth it"

    Really frustrating listening to David Horovitch narrate this book. I would have loved to give him a better rating because he is great at the acting part. Unfortunately, too often he fluctuates from very loud to so quiet you can't hear what he is saying. It was too burdensome to change the volume, and I missed a good amount of what was said.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toujour 05-10-17
    Toujour 05-10-17
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    "excellent"

    Narration was utterly unmatched for quality, depth & performance of any audio book I have ever listened to. Truely spectacular & captivating in every character, mood & situation he presented and narrated throughout this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Skdeso 04-22-17
    Skdeso 04-22-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Volume Issues with Performance"

    The performer is extremely capable and brings great vividness to the story. It is tarnished though with the wide swings in volume. I found myself constantly adjusting the volume up and down all 34 hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SA 04-20-17
    SA 04-20-17
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    "Loved it!"

    David Horovitch's narration brought the characters to life. I usually only listen during my work commute but found myself listening at breaks, lunch and after I got home.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Gray Los Angeles, CA USA 04-14-17
    Julie Gray Los Angeles, CA USA 04-14-17 Member Since 2016

    Book lover, story teller, 21st century expat living in the Middle East.

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    "If You Read One Book in Your Life...."

    I started to read Anna Karenina a million times and put it down. Until I listened to this Audible version. David Horovich is a narrator par excellence and I was just swept along into the Russian landscape with this book. It's desert island material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luke 03-10-17
    Luke 03-10-17
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    "Phenomenal Narration!"

    This book is already extensively acclaimed and critiqued as a literary masterpiece, so there Is nothing substantial for me to add there. The narration truly makes this book come alive as a listener. David Horovitch provides the one of the best audiobook readings of a novel that I have ever heard. His ability to emote and voice characters is compelling and never seems forced or excessive. It may not seem significant at first blush, but hearing a single narrator perform multiple characters with such emotional range and consistency both enhances enjoyment and comprehension across multiple listening sessions. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph N Mott 01-15-17
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    "Classic - very well done"

    I'd never read the book and didn't not know the storyline at all. Just anxious to take in a highly recommended classic and I was not disappointed. Narration was as excellent as the story deserves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • A Compatangelo
    9/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An honest portrayal of emotions, deliciously read."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Anna Karenina to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely. I remeber trying to read Anna Karenina on a plane and buckling under the pressure of such an impressively large volume. I particularly reccommend this for students that have been put off reading due to the sheer amount of words they stare at every day during study or revision.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I wouldn't say I have a favourite but I couldn't help rooting for Levin.


    Have you listened to any of David Horovitch’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No but you can tell he enjoys reading this. He gets really into it and brings much humanity to his reading.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me feel all the feels. Happiness, sadness, anger, anxiety, pity, nervousness(?) (if that's even an emotion) etc.


    Any additional comments?

    Perfect to listen to whilst going for a walk, on commute, having a bath or doing dull lab work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Grete Buck
    Leyburn, United Kingdom
    6/22/14
    Overall
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    "A wonderful audio version of Anna Karanina."

    Having read Anna Karenina a few times before I thought I would treat myself to a listen and I was well rewarded.
    David Horovitch's narration brings to life the immense tapestry of characters in this dense novel - their lives, their loves, their hates, their ups and downs. The momentum of the audio version also helps with those long Russian monologues. For 'big reads' I love alternating between audio and text but much then depends on the narrator who in this case was excellent.
    I also liked the way the recording was broken up into smaller chunks which made it so much easier to go back if one got lost!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Creeda
    Dublin, Ireland
    4/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Narrator enhances story!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Anna Karenina to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Anna Karenina?

    The death of Anna


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    So many -can't decide


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator really makes the story come alive - I had read this book twice and must confess I skipped quite a little bit - In this version every character is excellently conveyed and the story really flows............

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Brixham, United Kingdom
    1/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unbelievably compulsive"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Anna Karenina to be better than the print version?

    This is a brilliant edition of the book, easy to listen to, compulsive. I find it preferable Because I would not have time to read the book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The husband because he is pathetic and faithful but quite inadequate.


    What about David Horovitch’s performance did you like?

    I found it quite easy to distinguish who was speaking. He was able to render French and German tolerably well.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me draw breath sharply and hold my breath in anticipation


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    Retford, United Kingdom
    4/14/13
    Overall
    "Anna Karenina"

    An amazing unabridged version at an amazing price! This is well read although all the characters do sound the same which can make it a little confusing at times. This is well worth the money if you have time to listen properly to all 35 hours!! A great job with a difficult and complex novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J. Bowers
    Norfolk
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Tedious, dull, long-winded"

    I must be missing something. I just cannot understand why this is considered a literary classic - it was pure tedium from beginning to end. I have listened to over 50 audiobooks now (including many 'classics' and other pretty lengthy tomes), and this is the first one I have rated at less than 4 stars. First and foremost, the characters were all thoroughly unlikeable and uninteresting - I really struggled to feel any empathy at all for their largely self-inflicted tribulations. And while the plot was OK, whole story was far too long and drawn out, and frankly felt very self-indulgent on Tolstoy's part. It was so dull it actually put me off listening to audiobooks for a good few weeks afterwards!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Panda
    11/17/12
    Overall
    "A Classic Epic everyone should read"

    This story is just as relevant and meaningful to today and I'm sure many a modern tale has been based on it. I particularly enjoyed learning a bit about Russian peasants and farming albeit from a rather romantic and simplistic view, as well as the Russian aristocrasy. Overall a brilliant cautionary tale for anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michele
    Cranleigh, United Kingdom
    7/29/12
    Overall
    "Buy the unabridged version if there is one!"

    I missed reading many classics when I was young, being too busy to read slow books, so I'm catching up with Audible. I have really enjoyed most of the books (Hardy, Dickens and indeed this one, hated Thackery!) but this is just too long in todays ideom. BUT if it is the only way to get it do as the characterisation and is amazing, the messages very clear and it builds a great picture of Russia before the revolution and the very unsettled times.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fiona
    4/14/12
    Overall
    "The grass is not always greener!"

    Took me a long time to listen to this, I could have done without the lectures, but I have read from a reviewer elsewhere that he appreciated these more later in life. Story was good, although I can't believe that such an intelligent woman could let herself end up in such a predicament, the grass is not always greener. I suppose boring lives do not make for great fiction. A classic read, especially since a new movie version is being made. The narrator did a stellar job, it would also be interesting to hear this read by a female narrator a good listen...

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    UK
    4/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A long journey but absolutely worth it."

    One of the mastodons of literature. As with the greatest works, it can probably only really be understood if one has lived a few years. The story is much more than a tragic romance and in fact the putative heroine is absent much of the time, but Tolstoy's penetrating psychological insight informs every scene and illuminates every protagonist. A genuine treasure and very well read in this edition.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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