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Anna Karenina (Signet Classics edition) Mass Market Paperback – Mar 2 2010


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics; Reprint edition (March 2 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451528611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451528612
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.4 x 17.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #137,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Count Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. Orphaned at nine, he was brought up by an elderly aunt and educated by French tutors until he matriculated at Kazan University in 1844. In 1847, he gave up his studies and, after several aimless years, volunteered for military duty in the army, serving as a junior officer in the Crimean War before retiring in 1857. In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophie Behrs, a marriage that was to become, for him, bitterly unhappy. His diary, started in 1847, was used for self-study and self-criticism; it served as the source from which he drew much of the material that appeared not only in his great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), but also in his shorter works. Seeking religious justification for his life, Tolstoy evolved a new Christianity based upon his own interpretation of the Gospels. Yasnaya Polyana became a mecca for his many converts At the age of eighty-two, while away from home, the writer suffered a break down in his health in Astapovo, Riazan, and he died there on November 20, 1910.

David Magarshack was known for his many translations from his native Russian, including works by Dostoyevsky.


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All happy families are like one another; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Oprah Winfrey was right about her high regards for his story. Anna Karenina, a remarkable work of art by one of the few mega-novelists of all times 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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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 22 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"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 century Russia. Tolstoy's story of lovers and family is interlaced with razor-sharp social commentary and odd moments that are almost transcendent. In other words, this is a masterpiece.

When Stepan Oblonsky has an affair with the governess, his wife says that she's leaving him, and now the family is about to disintegrate. Stepan's sister Anna arrives to smooth over their marital problems, and consoles his wife Dolly until she agrees to stay. But on the train there, she met the outspoken Countess Vronsky, and the countess's dashing son, who is semi-engaged to Dolly's sister Kitty.

Anna and Vronsky start to fall in love -- despite the fact that Anna has been married for ten years, to a wealthy husband she doesn't care about, and has a young son. Even so, Anna rejects her loveless marriage and becomes the center of scandal and public hypocrisy, and even becomes pregnany by Vronsky. As she prepares to jump ship and get a divorce, Anna becomes a victim of her own passions...

That isn't the entire story, actually -- Tolstoy weaves in other plots, about disintegrating families, new marriages, and the melancholy Levin's constant search for God, truth, and goodness. Despite the grim storyline about adultery, and the social commentary, there's an almost transcendent quality to some of Tolstoy's writing. It's the most optimistic tragic book I've ever read.

For some reason, Tolstoy called this his "first novel," even though he had already written some before that. Perhaps it's because "Anna Karenina" tackles so many questions and themes, and does so without ever dropping the ball.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This 80000000000000000000 page "book" isn't just boring and depressing, it's frighteningly so. Tolstoy wasn't just writing a boring book, he was trying to convince us that life is boring and dull. He deliberably avoids any sort of plot developement that might spark the slightest shread of joy, excitement, or even mild interest (One might point out Anna's collision with the train, but I did not find this interesting. It was malevolent, sad, and in the context of the rest of the book, spooky in an ill-defined sort of way, but it was not interesting.) He has here milked life of all it's flavor and left us a soggy tale to digest. It's no wonder that Levin finds himself retiring into morbid preoccupations with his own death, feeling himself unable to enjoy anything in his life. This whole novel seems to have been generated in such a pessimistic mood. In the preface to my edition (which gives an account of the history of Tolstoy's progress on the novel, and amazingly manages to surpass the novel's dullness with its rediculous redundancies about the dates of Leo's stops and starts on the novel.) Tolstoy is quoted, "if only someone would finish Anna Karenina for me." The writer himself was bored with this pulseless corpse of a book. No one does anything in this book, and barely anything happens. Levin spends a whole constipated summer with Kitty living down the road from him, and aside from accidentally passing her carriage on the road one morning, absolutely NOTHING becomes of this. Characters have to be sent out into the woods to shoot at birds for lack of anything better to do.Read more ›
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