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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Not good dramatization but an ok reading

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Simply a masterpiece

The best book I've ever read or listen to. Beautify read. A true masterpiece and a timeless classic. Colourful portrait of the Russian nobility at the turn of the last century.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Narration at its best.

Narrator has given heart and soul to the book compared to other narrators.GOD bless you.

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get the abridged version

long and tedious with lots of superfluous details that do not move the story along. Really a treatise of Tolstoy ' s philosophy. if you are into philosophy it could be worthwhile.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • jaye
  • GREENWICH, CT, United States
  • 02-27-12

way too long. "overworte"

What did you like best about Anna Karenina? What did you like least?

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.<br/><br/>this story could have been lots better. the plot was not bad. just the way it was presented.

What did you like best about this story?

that i could listen in audio form. i could never read a book like this. i did enjoy the story,

Which scene was your favorite?

the scene at the ball in the beginning. and the last part when ann was consdering breaking with vronsky (for the thousandth time).

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

yes id would.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Kenneth
  • Cary, NC, United States
  • 12-04-12

Story Fell Short for Me

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.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Could it get any longer?

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, if they were into the classics.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

It is being made into a movie and that is why I purchased it.

0 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • cheryl
  • 10-09-11

Still a Timeless Russian Classic

I read this novel for an English Lit exam many years ago and loved the story then, so chose this version above all others because I wanted the unabridged version, and I was not disappointed. Lorna Raver's narration and pronunciation are probably the best I have heard. Her characterisations are spot on, as is her delivery and timing of each event, none so as when Anna finally succumbs to the madness in her mind. Raver has you sat on the edge of your seat,holding your breath, even though you know what's coming. Raver lets you love, you hate, you understand, you pity and forgive each character their flaws, I cannot fault it. This classic is still a classic and if you have seen the films but cant bring yourself to read the book, then give the audio version a listen instead, I promise you, you wont be disappointed.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Simone
  • 02-14-17

Classic that must be read

Although it is nearly 40 hours long, but it's not boring at well, exactly it's very catchy.
Tolstoy is superb. Narration is good as well which helps us follow it cos it's long journey on Anna Karenina's life. This is a classic we must read before we die.