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Anna Karenina [Mass Market Paperback]

Leo Tolstoy
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 19 2010 Enriched Classics (Simon & Schuster)
ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP

In this extraordinarily rich and complex novel, Anna Karenina defies the conventions of nineteenth-century Russian society and embarks on a love affair that has tragic consequences. Tolstoy’s work is a powerful meditation on love and marriage, envy and retribution, and the desire for happiness.

THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:

• A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information

 

• A chronology of the author’s life and work

• A timeline of significant events that provides the book’s historical context

• An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader’s own interpretations

 

• Detailed explanatory notes

• Critical analysis and modern perspectives on the work

• Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction

• A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader’s experience

Simon & Schuster Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world’s finest books to their full potential.


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Review

"One of the greatest love stories in world literature."
--Vladimir Nabokov


From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

"One of the greatest love stories in world literature."
--Vladimir Nabokov --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all a matter of taste, after all July 14 2004
Format:Paperback
This will not, perhaps, be very helpful to you, future reader, to hear but: in my humble opinion, there is no way to *learn* to like Tolstoy. There's no process of adjustment, no method of accustoming oneself to the prose, the descriptions, the style, the themes. It's either there within you or it's not.
In other words, if you begin "Anna Karenina" and you are not immediately swept up into the story, with its many characters, family tensions, and ornate depiction of Russian society on many levels... If you are ten chapters in and going forward on pure stubbornness... Put the book down. Walk away. This is not for you.
For example: I read in an earlier review that the reader was "bored" by Levin's description of working in the fields with the peasants on his estate. Personally, I find that to be one of the most compelling passages in the entire book. I'm not right while the other reader is wrong, but I will say this: it's a matter of taste. If you are not engrossed by the complexities of this vast and entrenched society, if you do not feel sympathy for Levin, or feel drawn to Anna, or understand the attraction of Vronsky, then do not torture yourself, and move on.
If you're staying, though -- Anna remains, I believe, one of the most interesting protagonists in literature, and precisely because while the reader is almost unwillingly forced to sympathize with her feelings, it is similarly impossible to remove the stigma of blame from her, watching the wreck she makes of her life. Her transformation from the alluring and enchanting woman who so impresses young Kitty, to the sad and scorned woman that Vronsky himself no longer truly loves, in the end, is all of her own doing -- but who among us can say we would have successfully avoided all of her misjudgments?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oprah's Book Club?! June 1 2004
Format:Paperback
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four stars Oct. 11 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It took me a while to get through this book. I'm not a scholar or academic at all but this book is on the list of books to read before you die and it's a classic so I wanted to read it.

I have to say I loved the basic story about Anna, and also about the other characters but there were portions of this book that were painful to get through. I'm sure if I had studied Russia or Russian literature those parts would have been very interesting. Most of it seems to be social commentary on the ideals of the time...and farming...lots and lots of farming! These sections slowed the book down for me and that's why it's four stars and not five. Although I am working with a limited IQ quite frankly, and so this assessment is more a failing on my own part, and not that of the book.

I did enjoy it very much. It has a lot to say about women and their place in society and how double standards applied to Anna but not to Vronsky because of what they'd done. Something that we can still relate to somewhat today. Women are typically shamed for their sexual behavior where as men are not. Tolstoy showed this beautifully and I really felt for Anna.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Feb. 3 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very enjoyable story.I am liking it very much.Thank-you thank-you for sending such a lovely and inspiring book.I probably will buy another Russian story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Jan. 22 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent read. The characters in the book are all interesting and I can relate to some of them. I was captivated by the culture, way of life & way of thinking of Russians in this story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good Book Dec 26 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this book, now want to see the film to compare
I would recommend this to a friend
Enjoyable read
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time best classics Nov. 25 2013
By Peter Jones TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
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. I decided to read a copy of this book on my way to vacation last the summer and ended up spending most of my first week being glued to the book. Though it is a Russian story of a century and a half ago, its essence still resonates today.

Anna who is married to the wealthy and older Karenin lives a life of comfort without any excitement, a life that is full of routines and no zest. It is a life she had become used to until she meets the elegant Vronsky and falls in love. Now she must pay the price of adultery or seek marital stability and forgo the echoes of her heart, a soul searching trial that destabilizes the life of her family and that of her lover. In essence she abandons the meaning for her life and pursues the zest of life.

On the other hand is Levine who is in search of the meaning of life and abandons the zest of life for a purposeful life that includes a family, ideas on the advancement of humanism, being at peace with ones world and hard work in is farm and being at peace with God.

In a way, both Levine and Anna can not be blamed for opting considering one choice above the other. They all wanted happiness without having evil intentions and found a balance between the zest of life and the search of its meaning in their own different ways, hurting and find love in the process and in the end, enriching and destroying themselves in their different ways. A highly recommended read and the most insightful love story I have ever read.The Union Moujik , Doctor Zhivago , Eugene Onegin are some of the other books set in Russia that I enjoyed alongside Anna Karenina.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love my Kindle
I had been thinking of buying this one Tolstoy novel which I had not read before. Then, like magic, I received my Kindle for my birthday, and Anna Karenina was available at no... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Val Mitchell
3.0 out of 5 stars Russian tale
This was a interesting book considering the time in which it was written. I don'T KNOW WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN LOST IN TRANSLATION but enjoyed the book as a whole. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Cathleen Sinclair
3.0 out of 5 stars Psychologized and politicized romance
I know Tolstoy is a literary writer. This books reads like a psychologized romance - not my favourite kind of book.
Published 8 months ago by ricky
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic not to be missed
Loved this book, but admit to thinking it was going to be a difficult read. Not at all and was surprised that the English translation was so easily read. Read more
Published 8 months ago by colleen french
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely
Amazing novel. Besides revealing certain details of the 19th Century Russian life, there is also an exquisite play on the relationships, love, and sexual life. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Yassy
3.0 out of 5 stars Something to read when there is nothing else
No my style of writing, slow moving. I will keep trying to get through it. Do you want this review.
Published 11 months ago by dedicated chef
5.0 out of 5 stars Anna Karenina
This was an epic-----
Lots of character development and action.
It was certainly Long but we expect that from Tolstoy. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Valerie Waugh
3.0 out of 5 stars Agree with Z.Liu
Z said it best. The novel itself is quite brilliant, but this translation is not. It's far too romanticized and the prose is too 'floaty' (you'll see what I mean when you read it). Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2011 by ColourSurround
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