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Anna Karenina (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – November 23, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (November 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486437965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486437965
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.1 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

Language Notes

Text: English, Russian (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) wrote two of the great novels of the nineteenth century, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

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Customer Reviews

The characters themselves are especially an element that engrossed me.
doc peterson
It is clear that Tolstoy wants the reader to come away with many messages about the sanctity of marriage, love and family life.
Bentley
Don't be alarmed by the length either the story keeps you reading, so it seems like a faster read.
A. Gilliland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

175 of 192 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Keyes on January 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Everyman's Library edition of Anna Karenina is the Maude translation, not the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation praised by so many readers. That translation is available in a Penguin paperback and an out-of-print Viking hardcover edition. Amazon erred in displaying the readers' reviews of the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation under the description of the Everyman's Library book.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on December 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Tolstoy's classic Anna Karenina is a masterpiece. If I were stranded on a desert isle, this is one of the books I would want with me. The story is essentially about a woman who leaves her husband for another man, only to come to a tragic end. Yet the main character is not really Anna, but Kostya Levin, almost the antithesis of Anna. And it is this polarization of characters that is one of the sublime features of this novel.
The characters themselves are especially an element that engrossed me. While there are a dizzying number of personalities, each lives "outside" of the story as well as within it - that is to say, even the most minor of characters seems to have a life of their own, only dropping in the story to play a small part before going on about their business. Each character has depth - they are much more than characitures of "good" and "evi", showing their humanity in their follies and in their decisions - for both good and evil.
Tolstoy has an alternative motive in Anna Karenina, though. The story has a barely perceptable religious tone to it, Tolstoy makes a moral statement about how life should be lived, and what a person's role in life should be in order to be "truly happy". This is the result of an epiphany that Tolstoy experienced while writing the novel - an event that changed his life and eventually estranged him from many of his children.
The only problem I foresee readers having is keeping characters straight (as this translation uses names as well as patronymics - meaning "the son / daughter of" as in Stepan Arkadyvitch: Stepan, son of Arkady). Individuals are referred to by name, patronymic or sometimes nickname (Kostya for Konstantin for example.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Purple Butterfly on May 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Yes, it is a classic. Yes it is a masterpiece, and true, it is an unbelievably big novel.
I had to read Anna Karenina for a 19th century writers course, and I must admit I was intimidated by the size of the book - bearing in mind the length of the semester and the other books one ought to read.
Tolstoy starts his masterpiece with a Biblical quote: "Vengeance is mine, I will repay"
The relevance of those words will be evident to the reader as the novel progresses; the novel is simply about life, passion. There are no perfect beings in this book, there is no right or wrong, but simple, even mundane day to day details - no matter what people say about Anna Karenina, you have to read it for yourself. You will feel the urge to judge, but you will not be able to do so. Tolstoy is a genius, he will make you understand, and that's the correct word. You might sympathise, or feel that the characters are justified, and you might not, and it's all irrelevent in the light of understanding.
The novel is a feast of pathos and linguistic genius; in fact I did not want the book to end. Don't be discouraged by the book's length, reap the rewards at your own pace.
'You frightened me, 'she said. 'I am alone and was expecting Serezha. He went for a walk; they will return this way.'
But though she tried to be calm her lips trembled.
'Frogive me for coming, but I could not let the day pass without seeing you, 'he continued in French. In Russian the word You sounded cold and it was dangerous to say Thou, so he always spoke French to her."
Tolstoy took care of the finest details and whims that go in the characters' heads about the smallest details in life, and you will love him for it! You will be surprised by the things you will learn in this book, like for example the names of the silliest things around the house in Russian! :)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lleu Christopher on September 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This review is for the Wordsworth Classics edition, translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude (there seems to be some confusion as reviews of different editions are appearing under the same listing). This is the only version I've read so far. To enter into the sometimes controversial "Great Books" issue, I think it's good to read books that rank highly on these lists no matter how you feel about such systems of classification. That way, you can form your own opinions about what constitutes greatness and also perhaps learn how greatness is defined culturally. As I see it, most "Great Books" really are great; yet there is also a certain element of arbitrariness that places some books and novelists on the literary Mount Olympus. Tolstoy, along with a very few others such as Shakespeare, is often placed at the very top of such lists. While I don't worship Tolstoy (or Shakespeare for that matter), and have reservations about this whole Great Books mindset, this doesn't mean I can't appreciate a book like Anna Karenina as a "merely" great novel.

Anna Karenina can be seen as a study of 19th Century Russian society. In this way, it is comparable to some of Jane Austen's work, as well as The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton. Tolstoy, however, goes deeper than merely reflecting social mores and their often tragic consequences. There are some truly profound passages in Anna Karenina that explore the fundamental questions of life. Many characters -- Levin, Vronsky, Anna and even Anna's apparently superficial husband Karenin, fall into what might be called existentialist crises. Levin in particular is constantly struggling with the issue of materialism vs. religious faith. The black despair Anna experiences late in the novel is beautifully and tragically described.
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