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Anna Karenina (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – July 15, 2008
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''Considered one of the pinnacles of world literature.'' --Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature
''Considered one of the pinnacles of world literature.'' --Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great classic. Has a little of everything! Romance, intrigue, history. Highly recommended!Published 1 month ago by Deloris C Brandt
Oh my gosh, there is soooo much fluff in this story. No wonder it is over 800 pages. There are entire irrelevant conversations between characters and the waiter in a restaurant. Read morePublished 2 months ago by jet snail
Wonderful, Tolstoy is someone who understands the human condition so well. This book goes beyond epoch and culture and is deeply humane and powerful.Published 6 months ago by Diane Parsons
This is a long and tedious read. Your mind will wander. Yet, the ability to create real and believable characters with psychological complexity remains Tolstoy's only redeeming... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Michelle Llewellyn