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5 of 6 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...
Published on Nov. 24 2003 by Sara

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Story about Russia, not about People
I read this book online via Project Gutenberg, while watching code compile in another screen window. The compilation was more interesting.
The problem isn't entirely with the book - I tend to enjoy character driven stories, where you see people grow, change, face conflicts, etc. This wasn't one of those books. This was a millieu-driven story, where you watched...
Published on June 1 2004 by Amazon Customer


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Stunning!This t, Nov. 24 2003
By 
Sara (Rochester, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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.
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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 
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
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars A thorough perspective on life in the time's of Tolstoy, June 12 2004
By 
Pete (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
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
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.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful mosaic of interlinked stories ..., June 1 2004
By 
M. B. Alcat "Curiosity killed the cat, but sa... (Hanoi, Vietnam) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
"Anna Karenina" (1873-7) is a book that could be compared to a beautiful mosaic of interlinked stories. Thanks to Tolstoy's book, we get to know characters who sometimes seem so real that we cannot help but living with them the series of events that are recounted in this book.
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.
Belen Alcat
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but difficult, June 8 2004
Okay, this is no doubt the greatest novel ever written, although some critics consider it more a collection of loosely linked short stories than a novel. While it was written about 125 years ago, its plot and character development is well suited to the 21st century reader--adulterous affairs, intrigue, and royalty.
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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Story about Russia, not about People, June 1 2004
I read this book online via Project Gutenberg, while watching code compile in another screen window. The compilation was more interesting.
The problem isn't entirely with the book - I tend to enjoy character driven stories, where you see people grow, change, face conflicts, etc. This wasn't one of those books. This was a millieu-driven story, where you watched society through its impacts on a set of archtypal characters.
If you're OK with that - if you want to understand Russia, or explore some theories of social development - you may rate this book more highly than me. If you're looking for a romance, to see a true love story, this isn't the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ending is worth the read, July 17 2004
By 
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 cumbersome. However, the last 3 paragraphs of the entire book were worth it all. I don't know that I've ever been so blown away by an author's ability to explain the unexplainable. Absolutely wonderful!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest romance of them all., July 6 2004
By 
James Ferguson (Vilnius, Lithuania) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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 been selected for Oprah's Book Club. It is great boon for them and the novel as well, which might be regarded as the godmother of the modern romance novel. Tolstoy weaves a magic web, bringing together dysfunctional aristocratic families in perhaps the most memorable Russian novel.
This translation brings the story to life for the non-Russian speaker. Pevear and Volokhonsky have made a habit out of translating Russian novels, from Gogol to Dostoevsky, and now are even tackling Tolstoy's epic work, War and Peace. The language is modern yet true to the Russian original, thanks in large part to Ms. Volokhonsky who is a native Russian speaker.
The story itself has been told so many times before that it doesn't need repeating. But for those who would like a little more insight into the novel, I would suggest reading Nabokov's chapter on Anna Karenina in his Lectures on Russian Literature, as he provides many valuable references over and above those provided by Pevear and Volokhonsky.
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Penguin Classics Anna Karenina
Penguin Classics Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Paperback - Dec 31 2002)
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