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 nineteenth-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.
|Publisher:||Tantor Media, Inc.|
|Edition description:||Library - Unabridged CD|
|Product dimensions:||7.50(w) x 7.50(h) x 2.60(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Raver is a versatile, classically trained actor who has made numerous stage appearances in New York, Los Angeles, and regional theaters around the country.
Date of Birth:September 9, 1828
Date of Death:November 20, 1910
Place of Birth:Tula Province, Russia
Place of Death:Astapovo, Russia
Education:Privately educated by French and German tutors; attended the University of Kazan, 1844-47
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All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Excerpted from "Anna Karenina"
Copyright © 2014 Leo Tolstoy.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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Table of Contents
Note on the Text and Translation
A Chronology of Leo Tolstoy
Principal Characters and Guide to Pronunciation
What People are Saying About This
"Tolstoy did not wish to please; he wished to correct, instruct, inspire, persuade. And as Marian Schwartz notes, he “wholly intended to bend language to his will.” In her astonishing new translation, she takes seriously Tolstoy’s disgust with smooth Russian literary style, setting a new standard in English for accuracy to Tolstoyan repetition, sentence density and balance, stripped-down vocabulary and enhanced moral weight. A rough, powerful, unromantic Anna that wakes the reader up and rings true."—Caryl Emerson, Princeton University
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"Anna Karen­ina" by Leo Tol­stoy is a fic­tional book which was first pu­lished between 1873 to 1877 in the peri­od­i­cal The Russ­ian Mes­sen­ger. Even though the com­plete novel was pub­lished to mediocre reviews, oth­ers consider it the best realistic-fiction story written. "Happy fam­i­lies are all alike; every unhappy fam­ily is unhappy in its own way" This famous line starts the novel Anna Karen­ina by Leo Tol­stoy, one of the most impor­tant works of world lit­er­a­ture. Unhap­pi­ness is a pri­vate emo­tion, yet Tol­stoy tries to make Anna Karenina's unhap­pi­ness (or should the word actu­ally be trans­lated as mis­er­able?) uni­ver­sal. I can­not believe I liked this book. I have been avoid­ing read­ing "Anna Karen­ina" by Leo Tol­stoy since I tried to watch the movie and gave up after about 10 min­utes. How­ever, the moment I started read­ing "Anna Karen­ina" I real­ized what I've been missing. When I started read­ing the book two things imme­di­ately struck me. First is how read­able it is and the sec­ond about the first line's hypocrisy. The trans­la­tion flowed and Tolstoy's story was, for the most part, inter­est­ing and engag­ing. I was expect­ing nuances galore, hid­den mean­ings, bor­ing descrip­tions to no end etc. While the book is mul­ti­layer and does have nuances it does not inter­rupt the flow of the story which is how I felt about Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the d'Urbervilles". The sec­ond was that despite the title of the novel, which is the name of the pro­tag­o­nist, the first line imme­di­ately declares that the book is actu­ally about all fam­i­lies and not nec­es­sar­ily about a par­tic­u­lar woman or men. Each char­ac­ter is unhappy in his or hers own way, but they are all con­nected to the point where "happy fam­i­lies" losses all mean­ings. There are no happy fam­i­lies in this book, Anna is bored with her mar­riage (to a good hus­band), Dolly chooses to turn a blind eye to her husband's infi­deli­ties and Kitty... Kitty just wants a happy marriage. On the sur­face, Anna Karen­ina seems like a typ­i­cal soap opera. The char­ac­ters are inter­re­lated, romance, infi­deli­ties galore, long­ing, a sense of impend­ing doom and the knowl­edge that love is life. It is as if Tol­stoy is try­ing to tell the reader that love is the be all/end all and is what we should all strive for. Upon fur­ther read­ing though we could tell that love brings pain and mis­ery. Anna con­stantly lies to her true self, Kitty and Levin are in a com­plex, some­times con­vo­luted rela­tion­ship, Dolly who chose her chil­dren over her hap­pi­ness would be arrested for child abuse these days and prob­a­bly back when the novel was pub­lished as well. Tol­stoy is also stay­ing away from absolutes. There are no absolutes in life and there are no absolu