Anna Karenina (Oxford World's Classics Series)

Anna Karenina (Oxford World's Classics Series)


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One of the greatest novels ever written, Anna Karenina sets the impossible and destructive triangle of Anna, her husband Karenin, and her lover Vronsky against the marriage of Levin and Kitty, thus illuminating the most important questions that face humanity. The second edition uses the acclaimed Louise and Alymer Maude translation, and offers a new introduction and notes which provide completely up-to-date perspectives on Tolstoy's classic work.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199536061
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 07/28/2008
Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 872
Sales rank: 82,209
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

W. Gareth Jones is Professor of Russian at the School of Modern Languages, University College of North Wales.

Date of Birth:

September 9, 1828

Date of Death:

November 20, 1910

Place of Birth:

Tula Province, Russia

Place of Death:

Astapovo, Russia


Privately educated by French and German tutors; attended the University of Kazan, 1844-47

Reading Group Guide

1. When Anna Karenina was published, critics accused Tolstoy of writing a novel with too many characters, too complex a story line, and too many details. Henry James called Tolstoy's works "baggy monsters." In response, Tolstoy wrote of Anna Karenina "I am very proud of its architecture-its vaults are joined so that one cannot even notice where the keystone is." What do you make of Tolstoy's use of detail? Does it make for a more "realistic" novel?

2. The first line of Anna Karenina, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way," can be interpreted a number of ways. What do you think Tolstoy means by this?

3. In your opinion, how well does Tolstoy, as a male writer, capture the perspectives of his female characters? Do you think Anna Karenina is the most appropriate title for the book? Is Tolstoy more critical of Anna for her adultery than he is of Oblonsky or of Vronsky?

4. What role does religion play in the novel? Compare Levin's spiritual state of mind at the beginning and the end of the novel. What parallels can you draw between Levin's search for happiness and Anna's descent into despair?

5. Why is it significant that Karenina lives in St. Petersburg, Oblonsky in Moscow, and Levin in the country? How are Moscow and St. Petersburg described by Tolstoy? What conclusions can you draw about the value assigned to place in the novel?

6. What are the different kinds of love that Anna, Vronsky, Levin, Kitty, Stiva, and Dolly seek? How do their desires change throughout the novel?

7. How do the ideals of love and marriage come into conflict in Anna Karenina? Using examples from the novel, what qualities do you think seem to make for a successful marriage? According to Tolstoy, is it more important to find love at all costs or to uphold the sanctity of marriage, even if it is a loveless one?

8. Ultimately, do you think Anna Karenina is a tragic novel or a hopeful one?

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Anna Karenina Oxfords World Classics Series) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
ACKL More than 1 year ago
My brother and I do a book club each winter together and choose a piece of literature that neither of us has read before. This year we chose Anna Karenina. This story is so good - and the translation did it justice. Anna Karenina is an excellent story for book clubs - there's so much to discuss in it and so much more relevant to current society than I expected. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 only because there weren't any questions at the end to guide discussion. My brother and I had to find those online. Of course, there are lots of places to find questions but it would have been helpful if some were included. I was attempting to read the story without knowing the end and many of the discussion questions online gave a quick synopsis that gave away a key piece of the ending of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Niecierpek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
audio, very well read by Nadia May (except for some strange pronunciation of names from time to time)
anya_b on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I wasn't able to put this book down...It was a great/thrilling/engaging story and this translation was clear and easy to read. Now I'm dying to read more Russian literature AND some history. I would recommend this book to everyone---don't let its 700 pages daunt you! They go by quickly.
Helena81 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Despite its length, the characters in Anna Karenina grab you and pull you in. I was not particularly fond of the title character, nor Vronsky, but I cared about their futures, I wanted to know where their love would take them. Levin was one of the most memorable and well-created characters I have ever read, and I will remember him. I also found Kitty incredibly endearing. Contrary to some other reviewers, in general, I liked Levin's struggles with his own opinions about the peasants' life and labors. The only part of the book that dragged a little for me was the section on the election. I was also a little disappointed in the last 5 or so per cent of the book, after the real denouement (which I won't ruin), although I understand that the before the book ends Levin has to find mental peace somehow. I also found it a little jarring the extent to which many characters (especially Anna, Levin, and Vronsky) veered from love to hate and from happy to sad, at a moment's motice.There's no questionining why this book is held up as so great: epic in its scope, its language, its character studies, its conjuring of a milieu, and its ruminations on the uneven and uneasy transition to modernity, Anna Karenina is undoubtedly an unbeatable classic.
kmgallo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this tragic tale, people are so tortured in this life. I usually cannot get through Russian novelists, not true with Anna Karenina.
danamanian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
By far my favorite work of fiction. Years ago, one critic said, "Anna Karenina isn't about life-- it IS life." I agree. The characters are so real that my feeling about each one kept changing depending on their changing relationships to the other characters. No one dimensional constructions here! I read AK in Russian (slowly, for about a year, with a dictionary in one hand), and then confirmed my understanding by repeating each chapter in the English translation. I still prefer this early Maude translation to the newer ones. I had enjoyed Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Gogol and other Russian writers during university, but having read War and Peace in English translation during high school, thought it was too long, and that I would never really like Tolstoy, so came to Anna Karenina very late. Now, after reading more Tolstoy I'm almost ready to tackle War and Peace again.
TerrapinJetta on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the most gripping books I've ever read, the characters stayed with me long after I'd finished it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
wonderful translation of the classic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fantastic! I couldn't stop. It is so full of life: reality and fantasy. It makes you feel as if you are in the book. Tolstoy has mastered the art of being an author. Although some bits seem boring, continue and you will be a lot better off than when you started. By the way, I have seen many translations and I think Louise and Aylmer Maude have the most 'Russian' version. Rosemary Edmonds writes a fairly clever, detailed version, and Constance Garnett writes a clear, easier to understand but old-fashioned version. The book is better than the movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read Anna Keranina all the way through, finally. It was a very long book but I have to say that it was well worth my time. It was a story about the tragic romance of Anna Keranina and also the story of Levin's love of Kitty and their happy marriage. Both plots intertwined into a brilliant play of love and the tragedy of Anna Keranina, a beautiful woman doomed to a tragic end for loving and acting on the love she had for a man that was not her husband.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anna Karenina is by far the best book I've read. It was required reading for my Russian Novel class and at first I was intimidated by it's length, but once I started it I couldn't put it down!! I highly recommend reading this book!!