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Anna Karenina (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – July 15, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 872 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reissue edition (July 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199536066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199536061
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

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

Customer Reviews

The characters and the love is phenomenally written.
Jay Dog
When we consider that it is conveyed in a work of fiction that is beyond great in itself we see the true magnitude of Tolstoy's achievement.
Bill R. Moore
It would be more interesting if it followed the reading and I expect that I will go back to it after I finish the entire book.
Susan Diamond

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
'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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K.A. on September 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BemisReviewsBooks on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on April 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Though not the most up to date Anna Karenina translation, this one by Louise and Aylmer Maude, Leo Tolstoy's chosen translators, is still very readable after a century. Some will prefer more contemporary renderings, and they are probably easier for general readers, but that is just what purists decry, making this early translation ideal for many. All must decide what fits their needs, but anyone wanting a quality version who comes across this should definitely get it.

As for the book itself, Anna is one of those works that is not merely superfluous but near-blasphemous to review, as nothing could ever come close to conveying its greatness. War and Peace has historically been called Leo Tolstoy's greatest novel - nay, the greatest of all-time -, but this is coming to be seen as his true masterpiece, and I agree; for example, a recent poll of over one hundred current writers ranked it number one. It is certainly very different from War; one might almost be surprised that one person could write such varying works, though both have Tolstoy's undeniable genius. Aside from being a little over half the length, Anna also has a considerably more conventional structure; Tolstoy indeed considered it his first novel by the European definition, considering War more of a prose epic. This still means it is eight hundred pages, but Tolstoy's fearsome reputation as unreadably intimidating is distinctly unfair. Incredible as it may seem, Anna is nothing less than concise; the event that most will assume is reserved for the conclusion comes about three hundred pages in and is described with a spareness almost unheard of before the last few decades. Tolstoy is in fact very precise, saying exactly what he needs to say straight-forwardly and - in the best sense - simply.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By H. Schneider on April 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
`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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