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Anna Karenina (Oxford World's Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Leo Tolstoy , Louise and Aylmer Maude , W. Gareth Jones
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In 1872 the mistress of a neighbouring landowner threw herself under a train at a station near Tolstoy's home. This gave Tolstoy the starting point he needed for composing what many believe to be the greatest novel ever written.

In writing Anna Karenina he moved away from the vast historical sweep of War and Peace to tell, with extraordinary understanding, the story of an aristocratic woman who brings ruin on herself. Anna's tragedy is interwoven with not only the courtship and marriage of Kitty and Levin but also the lives of many other characters. Rich in incident, powerful in characterization, the novel also expresses Tolstoy's own moral vision. `The correct way of putting the question is the
artist's duty', Chekhov once insisted, and Anna Karenina was the work he chose to make his point. It solves no problem, but it is deeply satisfying because all the questions are put correctly.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Editorial Reviews Review

Some people say Anna Karenina is the single greatest novel ever written, which makes about as much sense to me as trying to determine the world's greatest color. But there is no doubt that Anna Karenina, generally considered Tolstoy's best book, is definitely one ripping great read. Anna, miserable in her loveless marriage, does the barely thinkable and succumbs to her desires for the dashing Vronsky. I don't want to give away the ending, but I will say that 19th-century Russia doesn't take well to that sort of thing.


"One of the greatest love stories in world literature."
--Vladimir Nabokov

Product Details

  • File Size: 1433 KB
  • Print Length: 879 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0393966429
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; Reissue edition (May 8, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A7LNA4K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,117 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vanished world, eternal emotions March 23, 2000
'Anna Karenina' is not just a window on a vanished time, place, and society - it is a lucid reflection on our own times and a spellbinding work of art. By taking us so intimately into the passions of Anna and the internal musings of Levin (just two out of a huge, colorful cast), Tolstoy creates an unforgettable exploration of happiness and sadness, conflict and peace, morals and emotions, mind and heart. Read this book for its wonderful story, Tolstoy's magically down-to-earth language, the subtly sketched characters - and the thoughts it is sure to provoke long after the last page.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By K.A.
I bought the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation when everyone went crazy for it, but I have to say that THIS translation makes Anna Karenina immediate and timeless to me. There's a distancing, objective tone to the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation that I don't care for. I'm glad, for their sake, that readers like it so much, but THIS is the translation I turn to.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oxford Classics Version October 6, 2009
I had no idea that there were so many versions of this novel. I just finished the Oxford Classics translation. It is highly readable and easy to understand. The authors' offer detailed notes regarding Russian history, a glossary of terms, and a complete listing of all characters at the end along with a detailed forward and intro section at the beginning.

Tolstoy obviously was a master at his craft. I loved the story for so many reasons but the main one is that all elements of the human condition in all its various forms are present in the story. Yep, this book has got it all and the themes are boundless, playing out in endless ways.

Anna, the title character is so completely tragic that watching her come undone is like watcing a train wreck in slow motion. It was apparent that there was to be no deviation from her horrific course and that seemed obvious very early on. Levin could be any one of us who has ever, even once, wondered Who Am I and Why Am I Here? He is the embodiment of human condition.

Yes it is a VERY long book, a commitment really. Read slowly, there is much to absorb. If you like endless and intricate detail such as 100 or so pages on mowing a great big meadow, this book is definitely for you.

BTW, after reading this, 100 pages is no longer a big deal. A book of this length cannot help but to make you a better reader and that is a gift that keeps of giving long after you have finished the story.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Luxury soap? April 20, 2011
`Anna Karenina' is the queen of fat novels. For all who are addicted to 19th century fiction, this is top of the heap, this is Ultima Thule. Nothing better was ever written anywhere in this genre: the broad canvas of a society novel with dozens of characters. If you have never read AK, you are in the lucky position to be able to discover it. If you did, you should re-read it about every 10 years. It is perfection. The novel is named after Anna Karenina, whom I will call Anna here, to distinguish her from the novel, AK.
Many movies have been made after AK (and I have read that a version with Keyra Knightley is coming out in 2012; previous Western faces to Anna were Sophie Marceau in the 90s and Jacqueline Bisset in the 80s; much earlier Vivien Leigh, and still earlier Greta Garbo). The movies and any short plot summary will easily mislead you to consider this some kind of upper class soap opera. It isn't.

AK's front line subject is adultery and various other permutations of love life in the Russia of the 1870s. We are mainly in the centers, Moscow and St.Petersburg, but we also spend time on farms, and in European tourist places, where Russian nobility was used to go for leisure.

Part One shows us complications in relationships: Anna's brother, a rather brainless sybarite, has endangered his marriage by an affair with a former governess. His friend Lewin, an over-serious rich farmer with boorish manners, has a crush on a younger woman. His rival is Vronsky, a young rascal from St.Petersburg's jeunesse dorée, Anna's lover-to-be. Anna is the neglected young wife of a respectable ice-cold older bore of a politician, VIP Karenin. And this is just the first part, one of eight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing August 12, 1999
By A Customer
I can't believe that I related to the book so well! The situations he created are almost shocking today so you can imagine what it was like in pre-revolution Russia. His characters are unforgetable and each unique. The book seemed to be more about Levin and his internal struggles rather than a woman torn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anna Karenina is not about Anna Karenina August 23, 2009
Even though she is one of the main characters and was given the title by the author, Leo Tolstoy, Anna is not the focus of this novel. The epic is really about Konstantin Levin, a character whose story is told interspersed with that of Anna's, and who represents the author during his trials of spiritual disbelief and eventual reconciliation.

It is no wonder why so many prefer to see the book as Anna's. She is much more interesting than Levin: She is rebellious, passionate, and has an affair, whereas Levin is generally straight-laced, ambivalent, and is willing to struggle through any troubles he has with his only love and wife, Kitty. Levin is a Victorian Russian; Anna seems Post-Modern American.

People love her story because it is so modern, because they can relate. But for folks like me, hearing all the Anna-saturated descriptions of the book presented it in a negative light. I don't want to read about a promiscuous, self-destructive person, and how the evil society looks down on the poor creature. I wouldn't have pity on her if I were in the Moscow society in the 1870s either. For this reason I was skeptical of reading the masterpiece.

As I began to delve into it, however, I realized that Anna was just used as a contrast to the real storyline of Levin's. He might be considered bland for his proper behavior, but he is principled (evidenced by his respect for Kitty and care of his farm), and despite some serious doubt and disbelief, he is a character that the reader can get behind and support, quite unlike Anna, who we all know is hopeless.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Classic!
A real worthwhile effort! A classic that should be on everyone's reading list!
Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!
AMAZING BOOK! if you haven't read it, you must! it's a classic that never gets old. It also came in pristine condition!
Published 12 months ago by Janae' C.
5.0 out of 5 stars A deeply moving story with characters you have met many times.
I loved this riveting story. Tolstoy teaches you so many life lessons. This one was all about the wages of sin is death. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Martha Saliba
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love it
I only start reading. I already love it. Excellent classic!! Tolstoy has a natural talent of story telling. No wonder he was one of the best writers among contemporary writers.
Published 14 months ago by Deeps
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic must!!
Do not see the movie - read the book! Very long, but so interesting. Tolstoy's descriptions are so vivid and you really get a glimpse into life in Russia for both the upper... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Margaret S. Scheer
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
This is my favorite Tolstoy book. The characters and the love is phenomenally written. It changes your outlook of man and life and of love as well.
Published 19 months ago by Jay Dog
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I thought it would be
After reading the rave reviews of this work, I was disappointed with the content. The book, unlike many classics, is easy to read and understand, but the story line and especially... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Joseph Allen, Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars just a classic
it's Anna Karenina, this is a superb, 5 stars book... I'm giving it 4 stars because of the edition that has some flaws in the punctuations and the characters' names are halfway... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jorge Flores González
5.0 out of 5 stars Great translation
I have read Anna Karenina many times ( and in different languages) but this is the best translation so far
Published 23 months ago by Barbarapaint
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I am sorry it has taken me so long to start this classic. Tolstoy is a master of insight into the human condition. I compared several translations and preferred this one. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Daphne
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