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Anna Karenina (Penguin Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Leo Tolstoy , Richard Pevear , Richard Pevear , Larissa Volokhonsky
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (389 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Acclaimed by many as the world's greatest novel, this is the story of a wife, Anna Karenina, who abandons her empty existence as the wife of a Petersburg government minister for a passionate relationship with a young officer, Count Vronsky.

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.

From Library Journal

Pevear and Volokhonsky, winners of the 1991 PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize for their version of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, have produced the first new translation of Leo Tolstoy's classic Anna Karenina in 40 years. The result should make the book accessible to a new generation of readers. In an informative introduction, Pevear gives the reader a history of the work Tolstoy called his first true novel and which took him some four years to write. Pevear explains how Tolstoy took real events, incorporated them into his novel, and went through several versions before this tale of the married Anna and her love for Count Vronsky emerged in its final form in 1876. It was during the writing of the book that Tolstoy went through a religious crisis in his life, which is reflected in this novel. The translation is easily readable and succeeds in bringing Tolstoy's masterpiece to life once again. For all libraries. Ron Ratliff, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1358 KB
  • Print Length: 852 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Rev Ed edition (August 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9KLS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,993 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
203 of 221 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Novel Ever Written July 5, 2004
By A Customer
I read this book in 1993, and I still remember the experience. It has been called the greatest novel ever written and I agree.

It is a very long book: I read a few chapters a day over a long period of time. Over time the feeling developed that the characters, and Tolstoy himself (in Levin), were people I knew -- people with whom I spent some time each day. The philosophy was mind-expanding; I'm sure my views were affected.
For me, the important thing in reading this book was not to try to "get through" it, but to "visit" it as I would visit congenial neighbors. When I finished, I felt loneliness over loss of contact with the characters.
I'm going to read it again some day.
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231 of 254 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Move over, Mrs. Garnett. March 2, 2001
Yes, this is the translation to read -- every sentence has been carefully thought through: a translation you could only get from a native-born Russian (Larissa Volokhonskaya) and an English-speaking person (an American, Richard Pevear, her husband) working together, with a native ear for BOTH languages. The prose just flows -- to the point I was hardly are conscious of reading a translation (the highest compliment). My wife (Russian) likes this English-language version so much she has read part of it, first out of curiousity just to see how good a translation can be, then for the pleasure of the English prose. She says Tolstoy in the original is better and since I can read some Russian, I agree. There are some words, expressions that are, after all, untranslatable -- maybe you can find a literally equivalent word, but not an emotionally equivalent one. So study your Russian (I intend to) and maybe someday read the orignial. Meanwhile, there's this. A great classic and a tour de force translation that just rings true on every page.
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248 of 274 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful mosaic of interlinked stories ... June 1, 2004
"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?.
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125 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY LIFE CHANGED April 14, 2002
In my sophomore year of college, I was assigned ANNA KARENINA to be read in one week. ONE WEEK! Somehow I did it and it changed my life. I came back to the Tolstoy novel in the summer between my sophomore and junior years and then again in grad school. I just finished reading it for the fourth time.
Everything you've heard and read about ANNA KARENINA is true. It is one of the finest, subtlest, most exciting, most romantic, truest, most daring, charming, witty and altogether moving experiences anyone can have. And you don't have to slog through pages and chapters to find the truth and beauty. It's right there from the first, famous sentence: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
This new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is wonderful and deserves your attention even if you already have a favorite version of the book. Pevear and Volokhonsky are considered "the premiere translators of Russian literature into English of our day." Working, as I do, in the Theatre, I hope they take on some of Turgenev's plays.
Anyone who believes in the power of Art, especially Literature, must buy and read this book. I promise it can change your life. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the style, Pevear and Volokhonsky? June 6, 2005
By Luke
Tolstoy, the most straightforward of Russian prose writers, have a deceptive style. Nabokov calls him the greatest of Russian writers, but concedes that his prose may be a little awkward at times, deliberately, as was his wont. Tolstoy's somewhat dogged muscular style can be lost in many translators, and from what one can read from the lastest Pevear and Volokhonsky, so much is lost that one wonders why the duo have made the translation at all. Moscow Times calls P and V's Dostoevsky's "better than their Tolstoy"; judging by this translation, one would have to agree.

The best that one can say about P and V's translation of Anna Karenina is that it is very smooth. But one wonders whether Tolstoy is that sleek and smooth in his original rendition. P and V's version suffers from odd lexical choices of diction which confuses rather than clarifies Tolstoy's novel. For instance, on the very first page, Oblonsky's body is rendered "full and well-tended". Mystifying... until one turns to the Maudes, who translates it as "plump, well-kept", making Oblonsky at least more than a potted plant. A few sentences later, Oblonsky is descibed as an "amorous man, who did not feel amorous with his wife". The Maudes have it better: "an amorous man...who was not in love with his wife" . In comparison with the Maudes and Garnett, weird lexical choices abound. This is not to say that either of them are perfect, but they do bring a more macro-view to translation than P-and-V, who seems to be translating out of context all the time.

In short, I am disappointed by Pevear and Volokhonsky's translation. I kept feeling while reading their version that Tolstoy is this great writer who is handicapped by his translators. Although none of the substitutes are perfect, I recently skipped from P-and-V over to a revised Garnett, and felt closer to Tolstoy's intents.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious
I looked forward to reading it, but once I got started it was too tedious and detailed. Read it all, because I knew it was a classic, but I really didn't enjoy it.
Published 15 hours ago by Socorro J. Muratti
4.0 out of 5 stars New Translation of a Classic
I got this translation because the team who did it are lauded for their work. I think it is good, and I am intrigued by the novel. Read more
Published 6 days ago by C. Medine
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible translation
No joy in reading this translation. Anthony Burgess should translate it. His translation of War and Peace is simply sublime.
Published 13 days ago by nickluna
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a classic
There is a reason this book is a classic. It is a great study of women, Russian aristocrats, Russian society, Russian history, and the beginnings of the Russian Revolution. Read more
Published 16 days ago by linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Existential Crises
This is one of the greatest social novels ever written. Do not be daunted by the length of the book, Tolstoy writes in very succint chapters, each approximately 3 to 4 pages long. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Jeffrey M. Hopkins
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed.
There are many footnotes to this edition which are located at the end of the book. Before going to a particular footnote, I bookmark the page I am reading, so I can return to it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kathleen Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Novel Ever!
I gave this book five stars simply because it is the best book that I have ever read till date. It is a simple love story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Unusually attractive for a paperbound book. Nice typography. Good thick pages and flexible spine -- i.e., easily opens almost flat. The novel itself needs no review from me.
Published 1 month ago by N. Wallis
4.0 out of 5 stars Overpraised Translation
While this is certainly a very good translation of ANNA KARENIN (though why the feminine "A" is included in the title is puzzling), the reputation it has as the best is... Read more
Published 2 months ago by reading man
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Novel Written - Mindtrip through Passions of Humanity
I was new last Fall to this Tolstoy masterpiece when I read it. I came to it skeptical, under the mistaken impression that it was simply about Anna Karenina, her terminal love... Read more
Published 2 months ago by W Perry Hall
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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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