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Anna Karenina [Paperback]

Leo Tolstoy , Richard Pevear
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Jan. 17 2002 --  

Book Description

Jan. 17 2002
Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness. While previous versions have softened the robust, and sometimes shocking, quality of Tolstoy's writing, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have produced a translation true to his powerful voice. This award-winning team's authoritative edition also includes an illuminating introduction and explanatory notes. Beautiful, vigorous, and eminently readable, this Anna Karenina will be the definitive text for generations to come.

"Pevear and Volokhonsky are at once scrupulous translators and vivid stylists of English, and their superb rendering allows us, as perhaps never before, to grasp the palpability of Tolstoy's 'characters, acts, situations.'" (James Wood, The New Yorker)

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From Library Journal

Pevear and Volokhonsky, winners of the 1991 PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize for their version of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, have produced the first new translation of Leo Tolstoy's classic Anna Karenina in 40 years. The result should make the book accessible to a new generation of readers. In an informative introduction, Pevear gives the reader a history of the work Tolstoy called his first true novel and which took him some four years to write. Pevear explains how Tolstoy took real events, incorporated them into his novel, and went through several versions before this tale of the married Anna and her love for Count Vronsky emerged in its final form in 1876. It was during the writing of the book that Tolstoy went through a religious crisis in his life, which is reflected in this novel. The translation is easily readable and succeeds in bringing Tolstoy's masterpiece to life once again. For all libraries. Ron Ratliff, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The new and brilliantly witty translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is a must -- Lisa Appignanesi Independent, Books of the Year Pevear and Volokhonsky are at once scrupulous translators and vivid stylists of English, and their superb rendering allows us, as perhaps never before, to grasp the palpability of Tolstoy's "characters, acts, situations" -- James Wood New Yorker --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Stunning!This t Nov. 24 2003
By Sara
Anna Karenina is far one of the best literature I have read and I am only a high school senior. Yes, this book is a typical Russian literature because it is long (over 800 pages) and detailed. Nevertheless, it is worth the reading if the reader appreciates the beauty of this work.
Anna Karenina is divided into subplots and the character, Anna Karenina is not the main focus of the story. However, her actions has infuenced Levin's, Kitty's, and the Oblonsky's. Her part is not interesting as the other characters. She is merely a woman with conflicting issues between her love and her son. We follow her life after her affair with Vronsky and see how increasingly unhappy she is with her once desired life. Eventually, she puts herself in a situation that could not be prevented in any other means except for a clear focus.
Two subplots are combined into one as we observe Kitty and Levin in their own worlds before their marriage. Readers clamor that these two are absolutely perfect for each other. Levin is a soul-searching character while Kitty is determined to find her place in society.
Oblonskys and Alexei Alexandrovich's stories are influenced by Anna and we see how Anna's new role in the society affects them.
This is a must read book for students who are heading to top colleges as Anna Karenina is often used in literature seminars, especially in Russian. I am so glad that I read this for AP English over the summer because I have found several college courses at various colleges that offers a course soley devoted to this novel. I can't wait to take one of these courses because I just love the complexity of this book and being able to take it apart piece by piece.
Slow readers: Do not be daunted by the thickness of this book- There are eight parts with at least 30 chapters each. The chapters are extremely short- one to ten pages long. Easy to read and stay motivated.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your average Oprah's Book June 1 2004
By Paige
First of all, to anyone reading these reviews, I'd HIGHLY recommend also reading the reviews of the non-Oprah's Book Club edition. The reviewer pool of the regular edition should be, shall we say, slightly different from this one.
Despite its slightly lackluster plot and rather excessive length, Anna Karenina remains one of my favorite books of all time. So very often when reading passages in this book I would think to myself, "Yes, exactly! That's it exactly!" There seems to be no thought pattern, no emotional subtlety, no tumultuous inner conflict - in short, no condition of being human, however complex - that Tolstoy cannot perfectly elucidate in description and metaphor. It is these magnificent insights into the human experience, presented with a clarity that will take your breath away, which for me made this book well worth reading.
Anyone looking for a quick read or uplifting storyline should probably look elsewhere (so I'm not exactly sure how this book ended up in Oprah's Book Club), but for those wishing to try and disentangle some of the more complex threads of the human condition, I could not recommend it more highly!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Gift March 18 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift for a friend. She absolutely loved the beautiful cover and the paperback cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Pete
It's a rarity to come across books that have something remarkably accurate to say about your personal life (and challenge your beliefs) but "Anna" is definately one of them.
I just studied this novel for my english class and I found it fascinating.
It's not usually the kind of book I read (my knowledge of Russia in the 1900s is pretty bad and I worried I wouldn't understand a word of it) but I still found myself enjoying Tolstoy's story.
An 800 page read, I thought I might not have the patience to get through it (and at my reading pace it took a good couple of months - in between uni work etc.) However the way in which Tolstoy peoples his pages keeps you engulfed in his passionate world.
The reader feels as if they're growing old with the characters. Tolstoy presents, and allows for, many discussion and debate on the societal and moral values placed on the contraversial Anna and Levin.
Though this novel was written long ago it's themes are still applicable today, which makes for a great read.
The premise is perhaps not what draws readers (Characters throughout Tolstoy's novel experience dramatic changes in their life - beginning with Anna's affair) but the complicated way in which Tolstoy presents many different issues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The translation makes all the difference. March 22 2004
By A Customer
I have been reading Anna Karenina for quite a long time. I read it for a time, put it down to read another book, then picked it back up again to read some more. I did this over and over because I was intrigued by the story but my reading of it was very labored. Tolstoy is complex to begin with (an understatement, to be sure) but the translation I was reading made it difficult for me to wade through. When I was about half way through the book, someone directed me to this more recent translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky (my husband highly recommends their translation of The Brothers Karamozov). I picked up in this translation where I left off in the other and I could not believe the difference! This translation is incredibly fluid - while maintaining the complexity and beauty of Tolstoy's creation. Without exaggerating in the slightest, this story came alive when I switched to this translation. Now I cannot put it down and I am almost finished with the book. Get this book! It makes Tolstoy come alive to us - the everyday common reader.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars dragged on.....
Book drags on, hard to get into...i kept starting it and then reading it. Never managed to finish the book.
Published 7 months ago by candace latham
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time best classics
Anna Karenina is a remarkable story by one of the few mega-novelists of all times. In every way, it is an ageless story that is more real than fiction. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Peter Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars; a little lengthy but worth the effort
[Cross-posted to LibraryThing and LivingSocial]

I was a little daunted going into Anna Karenina, I thought of it as the ultimate Classic of Classics and I'd never read... Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2009 by Andrea
1.0 out of 5 stars Sucks!
I wanted to read this book for years. I'd heard it was so great. It's a classic. I finally picked it up with great anticipation of a wonderful read. IT SUCKED! Read more
Published on Dec 12 2007 by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading!!!
Anna Karenina was compulsory for one of my University classes, and I want to deeply thank the professor that made me read this classic love tale. Read more
Published on April 12 2007 by Valerie Crepeau
5.0 out of 5 stars Anna, sweet Anna
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." That line opens and sets the tone of "Anna Karenina," a tangled and tragic tale of nineteenth... Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2007 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
If this is not thre greatest novel ever written, it's certainly in the top 10. Tolstoy addresses a multitude of themes in Anna Karenina: infidelity, faith in God, love, politics,... Read more
Published on July 18 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Ending is worth the read
I must admit there were times during my reading of this that I wanted to quit. There were a LOT of discussions of Russian politics and farming practices that, to me, were... Read more
Published on July 17 2004 by T. Nociti
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest romance of them all.
Who would have thought this novel would soar to the top of the amazon charts? Certainly not the translators, Pevear and Volokhonsky, who were shocked to hear their edition had... Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by James Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Novel Ever Written
I read this book in 1993, and I still remember the experience. It was been called the greatest novel ever written and I agree. Read more
Published on July 5 2004
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