5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Stunning!This t
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...
Published on Nov. 24 2003 by Sara
3.0 out of 5 stars A long slog
I think it is great that Oprah is introducing the masses to the classics, but I must disagree with many of the other reviewers. This book is a slog to get through. To be honest, I have nevered cared for Tolstoy, but thought I'd Give this a try since Oprah recomened it. I know it is considered a classic, but it does nothing for me. If you are looking for an easy read this...
Published on June 2 2004 by Sally Reed
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Stunning!This t,
This review is from: Penguin Classics Anna Karenina (Paperback)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.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time best classics,
This review is from: Anna Karenina (Oprah's Book Club): (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Gift,
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5.0 out of 5 stars A strange review.,
*possible spoiler ahead*
I loved the affair that had begun with Count Vronsky and Anna Karenina. It was magical...their mysterious meetings. My fault was that I thought the story would completely focus on Anna Karenina, Count Vronsky and their magical affair. . . so I started getting annoyed when the story line started moving on to other characters in the book and to Russian history/economy of that time period.
When I finished reading the book, the ending hit me hard, and I kept wondering why it had ended like that? and what a waste of time it had been to read this book, a book where nothing came of anything in the end.
Years went by and I kept thinking of this book constantly: the story line...the beginning, the descriptive writing of Leo Tolstoy....the characters, the foreshadowing, the central themes, and most importantly, the ending.
I began to think that out of all the books I read, this book definitely left quite an impact on me having thought about it for many years.
I had read this book when I was 19 and maybe I was too young to appreciate Leo Tolstoy's descriptive writing in those days but now I am convinced that this book is definitely a masterpiece.
A few words...Read this book with an open mind, read it patiently, absorb the words, the messages. Do NOT try to rush through this book!
3.0 out of 5 stars A long slog,
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your average Oprah's Book,
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!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thorough perspective on life in the time's of Tolstoy,
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The translation makes all the difference.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Anna Karenina (Paperback)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.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful mosaic of interlinked stories ...,
Who are the main characters?. Well, we might begin by telling something about Anna Karenina, the woman who gives this book its title. Anna is someone who has found some satisfaction in a marriage to a husband she doesn't love. Her life isn't exciting, but she is comfortable, and has a son that means everything to her. Her world will be shaken when a nobleman, Count Vronsky, falls in love with her. He pursuits Anna until he convinces her to become his lover, indulging in an adulterous affair. But... will he go on loving her, even after she risks all for him?. And did she do the right thing, by following her heart without thinking about the consequences of her actions?.
There are many more characters, but I would like to highlight one of them: Levin. Levin is a rather eccentric gentleman farmer, who worries about things like the meaning of life, and allows the reader to share with him the kind of doubts that many have had, but few voice. He ends up finding happiness, but his path is not easy, especially because he is prone to reflect on issues that cause him anguish. His story is linked at the beginning of the book to that of Anna and Vronsky because the woman he loves, Kitty Shcherbatskaya, thinks she loves Vronsky. However, as the story advances, you will probably end up comparing Anna and Vronsky's relationship to that of Kitty and Levin. One is all drama, and passion; the other, calm and contentment. Which one is better?. And according to whom?.
I want to point out how well Tolstoy depicted 19th century Russian society, especially the differences between social classes and how much hypocrisy permeated the moral codes of polite society. If you pay close attention you will notice that several themes also to be found in other classics are recurrent in "Anna Karenina". One of them is fate, and some of the others are the omnipresence of death, the meaning of life, and the power of faith. There are many more things I would like to say about this book, but I think you will do better if you start to read "Anna Karenina" right now, instead of spending more of your time reading a long review such as this one :)
On the whole, I highly recommend this book. It is one of those few books that don't allow you to remain indifferent. You might hate it or love it, but it will necessarily make you think about several important subjects, whilst reading a good story.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but difficult,
However, truth be known, this book is one of those that epitomized Mark Twains comment "A classic is a book everybody praises, but nobody reads." Tolstoy is not easy reading, and Maerican readers in particular will find the Russian names and their usage confusing. For example, a character may be referred to by his first name, family name, or even a nickname. Readers will spend much of their time trying to figure out who Tolstoy is talking about. Also, many of the characters names are similar, which adds to the confusion. If you can overcome this obstacle, this book can change the way you read and evaluate literature. Somehow, much of our current romance stuff no longer appeals to me.
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Penguin Classics Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Paperback - Dec 31 2002)
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