Anna Karenina Paperback – Jan 17 2002
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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.
"One of the greatest love stories in world literature."
--Vladimir Nabokov --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are three main reasons that I recommend this book:
1. Great Story
2. Very good Translation
3. Durable Hard Cover
In this novel Tolstoy presents marriage and human relationships in a realistic manner. Anna Karenina details a passionate love affair and it's doleful consequences. The reader experiences this tumultuous love from the point of view of the two paramours, as well as the friends and family members whom their lives touch.
Nevertheless, a tale about a cheating wife does not great literature make.
The existential struggle for meaning in life and the nature of God figures strongly as a theme in Anna Karenina. Overshadowing, in my opinion, even the experiences of the book's namesake. Any lover of philosophy will enjoy this book immensely.
As I mentioned before, this is a good translation. By good, I mean the following:
1. Russian words are footnoted - Some words lose their meaning and cultural context when translated to English. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky did a wonderful job leaving these terms in tact. There are notes at the back of the book that fully explain each Russian word.
For example, who knew that the "roll" that Stiva eats in my previous translation was actually a "kalatch?"
2. Names of the Characters are Preserved - Princess Darya Alexandrovna Oblonsky is also known as Darya and sometimes as Dolly. The use of names and nicknames is very important in language. I appreciate that the translator preserved the use of the patronymic and various names of each character.Read more ›
Everything you've heard and read about ANNA KARENINA is true. It is one of the finest, subtlest, most exciting, most romantic, truest, most daring, charming, witty and altogether moving experiences anyone can have. And you don't have to slog through pages and chapters to find the truth and beauty. It's right there from the first, famous sentence: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
This new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is wonderful and deserves your attention even if you already have a favorite version of the book. Pevear and Volokhonsky are considered "the premiere translators of Russian literature into English of our day." Working, as I do, in the Theatre, I hope they take on some of Turgenev's plays.
Anyone who believes in the power of Art, especially Literature, must buy and read this book. I promise it can change your life. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Anna Karenina is a masterpiece of epic proportions. However, much of the interest lies in the inaccessibility of the work and the difficulty with which we come to read it. It is set in 19th century Russia, amongst characters from the upper class. As such, we are removed from them by several levels. It is the story largely focusing on an adulterous affair between Anna Karenina and Vronsky. As such, many of the actions in the book seem to go against a normal notion of morality. This is because the book is an example of realism and as such presents an "unfettered" version of events with little ideological commentary. As such I had difficulty accepting many of the words and actions of the characters.
However it is a timeless story in the way it describes the psychological and emotional makeup of the characters in such tremendous detail. Even if some characters are unsympathetic, they are portrayed masterfully. There are too many characters and subplots to describe but let's just say the book gives a great overview of the whole of the upper class Russian society of that period (both in terms of characters as well as the scope of settings and events).
Many consider this to be the finest novel ever written. I disagree - while it explores the human condition very well I felt it lacked soul at times. Maybe because I like romanticism as a literary movement better than realism. So if you expect philosophical digressions and atmospheric, almost magical descriptive passages you won't find them here. Just a whole world built up one razonr-sharp scene after another. Also, again, I found some of the characters' behaviour excruciating in its falsehood and pretense. By the end of this book, one sees "high society" in all its putridness.
A great read and an important work - but not "THE novel".
Most recent customer reviews
I will admit that when I began reading ANNA KARENINA I was a little bored. For one thing, Anna doesn't make her appearance until Chapter Eighteen. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2004 by Totally Anonymous
I'm usually reluctant to read long books originally written in a foreign language because so many translations sound stilted or else make everyone sound like an Englishman. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2003 by krebsman
This might just be the best book ever written. I know it's the best I've ever read. The characters are so so incredibly well developed. Read morePublished on Dec 6 2003
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)... Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2003 by Sara
One can only wonder how Anna Karenina would have behaved if she was not taking her "usual portions" of opium to help her sleep. Read morePublished on Sept. 24 2003 by christine
Dostoevsky's The Idiot de-emphasizes the bitter, skein, entangled love between Aglaia, Natasya and Myshkin and through which voices the author's views on suffering, virtue and... Read morePublished on Sept. 14 2003 by Matthew M. Yau
To say that I liked Anna Karenina would be one of the most grievous understatements I have made in my young life. It wasn't just good, it wasn't likeable, it was amazing. Read morePublished on Aug. 20 2003 by Megan Reh
Frankly speaking I am really at a loss of words to describe how impressed I am after reading this book. Read morePublished on March 13 2003 by TheSeeker