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Penguin Classics Anna Karenina Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 1954

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic; New impression edition (Jan. 1 1954)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140440410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140440416
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #142,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 at Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province, and educated privately. He studied Oriental languages and law at the University of Kazan, then led a life of pleasure until 1851 when he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus. He took part in the Crimean War and after the defence of Sebastopol he wrote The Sebastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his reputation. After a period in St Petersburg and abroad, where he studied educational methods for use in his school for peasant children in Yasnaya Polyana, he married Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862. The next fifteen years was a period of great happiness; they had thirteen children, and Tolstoy managed his vast estates in the Volga Steppes, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). A Confession (1879-82) marked a spiritual crisis in his life; he became an extreme moralist and in a series of pamphlets after 1880 expressed his rejection of state and church, indictment of the weaknesses of the flesh and denunciation of private property. His teaching earned him numerous followers at home and abroad, but also much opposition, and in 1901 he was excommuincated by the Russian Holy Synod. He died in 1910, in the course of a dramamtic flight from home, at the small railway station of Astapovo. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Come back to "Anna Karenin" for a break. Those jaded by the obscurity of the modern novel will be amazed at the power this most famous of Russian novels still holds. This edition is translated into clear and forceful English by the famous translator, Rosemary Edmonds. As always the Penguin edition is authorative and beautifully designed but I would prefer the title "Karenina" rather than, I think, the less musical "Karenin".
This is the story of a woman, Anna of the title, who gives up husband and son and eventually her life in pursuit of a passionate affair with her lover, Vronsky. The ending seems inevitible right from the start of the novel. But as in all great experiences its the getting there that is so moving. Oh how we are torn along with Anna in her struggle to live! And in counterpoint to Anna's travails Tolstoy weaves in the happier story of Levin and his married life. Some say there is much that is autobiographical here; Levin expresses views supposedly held by Tolstoy himself.
"Anna" is a fabulous read for first-timers, and those coming back to reread this seminal novel will be reminded of what makes a novel great.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anna Karenina is a long novel, but one must realize that it was originally written in installments and published as a serialized story. It might have been better as a TV mini-series rather than a full length motion picture. Like most novels from Russia, I found it somewhat difficult to read, and it should not be picked up on the assumption that it will be light reading. Leo Tolstoy was from the nobility, and tended to write about the upper classes of society, and a character in this book (as in other of his books) will be found to have characteristics of the author, i.e., a desire to make things better for the peasants on his estates, but having his efforts undone by the bull-headed peasants who want to continue as they have always done. The book deals with the society of the upper classes in czarist Russia of the late 19th century, in particular a woman who seeks love outside her marriage. It follows the woman's actions to her downfall and death. While the book is a tragedy for the main character, like other Tolstoy novels it deals with a larger number of people over a period of time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tolstoy was a "giant, striding through the world with his eyes wide open and his nostrils flaring." He didn't miss much. After reading this and his other great work, War and Peace, I was pretty much dumbfounded by his accomplishment. To me, one halmark of true art, whether it be the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven's ninth, King Lear, Paradise Lost, Faust, etc. is how they are even conceived, much less carried off. I am in awe of very few authors, but Tolstoy has to rank as one of the true big leaguers, and this novel captures him at the height of his powers, when he was throwing about a hundred miles an hour, plus. No one could hit him, not even Dostoevsky, and certainly not Turgenev. I think he does an even better job than Flaubert (another of my heroes) at portraying a woman as his central character. I can't speak from experience, obviously, but both Emma and Anna come across as realistically fleshed-out, multi-dimensional figures. I probably lean towards Anna because she is a much more sympathetic character than Emma Bovary. She is an aristocrat in the true sense of the word, not just born into a noble family, but possessing a nobility of spirit as well. Unlike Emma, she loves her child. Her husband, Karenin, is dry and humorlessly ascerbic, with the soul of a civil servant. He uses the child as a pawn to get back at Anna. Vronsky, in contrast, is dashing and clever and looks great in his uniform. In short,Anna is doomed as soon as she meets him. Fate (of the ancient Greek variety) wends its way through the novel, dragging her inexorably to her doom. There are so many vivid scenes throughout, but the most memorable to me is the scene in which Vronsky's racehorse breaks down, foreshadowing the conclusion at the train station.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is undoubtedly one of the greatest works of literature ever written. It is by no means a "light book" or an "easy read." As the reader diligently reads through this voluminous, 800 plus page, novel they live and experience the struggles of the characters. The novel centers on the two contrasting yet interwoven plots of the honest, loving and faithful relationship of Princess Kitty and Constanine Levin contrasted against the socially and morally condemned adulterous love affair of Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky. The novel's epigraph "Vengeance is mine, I shall repay; saith the Lord" alludes to the novel's theme of divine retribution, where the choices and actions made by the characters are either rewarded or punished by God. Anna Karenina is not a victim of fate or destiny but of her own selfishness and dishonesty to herself and others which leads to her eventual demise. Kitty and Levin are rewarded with happiness and a successful marriage because of their honesty and unselfish love. Anna Karenina delves not only into the human conscience but also into the conscience of Russian society; it is also full of symbolism for example Vronsky's tragic horse race, which symbolizes his part in Anna's destruction. As I read through all of the reviews I noticed that an important issue was neglected even from the review written by the publisher and that is that Levin is a partial autobiography by Tolstoy. Levin's strong inner conflicts, agnosticism and search for meaning in life was a reflection of Tolsoy's own beliefs. I wrote a term paper on Anna Karenina and through all the reading, research and time I put in paid off immensely and not just in terms of the grade.Read more ›
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