This was awesome, the best translations of Anna Karenina that I have ever read. If you have never read Anna Karenina and are a tad bit interested this is the translation for you. Very clear and precise.
Well, I can finally say that I have read something by Tolstoy. This is truly a work of excellence full of richly-developed characters. Even the shallow characters are deep. The Russian names are confusing at first until you get used to it. The story is compelling and thought provoking addressing the question of the meaning of life to which we all want the answer. Feel free to email with any quesitons. ~LeAnn
It's a really engaging read, a classic. Not only do you remember the characters for years to come, but you see a tragedy unfold and can use it as a cautionary tale for avoiding disasters in your own life (not necessarily with adultery, but with any mistakes that have potentially far-reaching consequences).
I read War and Peace (okay, I listened to it tape) because my teens were reading it for their bookclub. I got so caught up in the characters, it was a great story. I went right on to Anna Kanenina and loved it also. Why do we let ourselves be intimidated by these huge dusty classics? I was sorry when it ended because I had spent so much time with the characters.
I lead an Evening Book Club and we chose Anna Karenina as a classic to read. We all enjoyed the multiple characters developed by Tolstoy and noticed the similarity between the character Levin and Tolstoy himself. I would recommend this book even though it is long (Tolstoy could have cut 100-200 pages!!!) Our group enjoyed the discussions around the characters, and discussed wheter we liked or disliked. We spent time talking about Tolstoy's life and times and his bohemian lifestyle. We could not agree whether Tolstoy liked Annan or not. If you are interested in classics and a range of authors this is a must read
Though hard to read because of all the Russian names and characters, it is an excellent story, and was glad that I read it. The size of the book is a bit daunting at first, but was so glad that I'd read it. Story of a married woman and her affair with another man in 19th century Russia.
I know this is a classic and many people love this book, but I found it extremely boring and way too long. Tolstoy goes into so much detail and the language does not flow very well since it was not originally written in English, that it makes it a very difficult read. I made it about half way through before giving up and just skimming the remainder of the story to see what happens. I'm not usually one to give up on a book, but this one deserved it.
This book had been on my "to be read" list for a long time. There are a lot of characters and my book actually came with a guide, there were so many! That was helpful, but I found entire sections of the book incredibly boring. I finished the book to simply say I had read it, but near the end I couldn't wait to put it down finally.
I like to read classic literature, but I didn't care for this book. It is not the best choice if you are looking for leisure reading. With all due respect to Tolstoy, it tends to drag on and on. There are long chapters on farming and political issues. The novel is philosophical and cultural, which makes it deserving to be a classic, but I'm suprised about all the hype from Oprah and her book club. I don't believe that Oprah took the time to read this from cover to cover. If she did, it was probably her bed-time reading. Overall, I'm proud of myself for getting through it, because it was challenging to read.
This book is titled Anna Karenina but Anna is not the only main character. Levin a young man trying hard to be successful at work and to marry his sweetheart. Anna on the other hand is married and also has a sweetheart on the side. Annas story is probably the one that dominates the book. Anna wants freedom from her husband to go off with her lover. Of course her husband is anything but happy when she tells him this.
I was more a fan of the character Levin. Although I did have trouble in his interest in farm work. I did however love the idea of Kitty and Levin as a couple even though there is struggle to get there. Levin as understand it may also be representing the author Leo Tolstoy.
Most of the characters in this book are unlikable (Anna, Vronsky, Annas husband, and Annas brother). What I found made Anna more unlikable was I saw her weakness in myself. That made me dislike her more. I wanted her to gain a little backbone and stop whining.
The book as a whole did not get interesting until exactly half way through it. And that was when Levin became more of a focus. This was a hell of a book to get through. This is definitely not one I am going to reread.
At first I was struck by the way Tolstoy referred to the characters in the book, he would alternate between their formal names, their less formal names then finally their affectionate nicnames. Almost without realizing it, he is changing the way you view that character and the situation they are in just by the name he calls them by. I liked that a lot.
I found my opinion of the female characters vacillating between like, love, disgust, empathy. In all of them I was able to identify myself in some of their behavior and feelings. Of course, no one really likes a mirror showing them their true selves so I struggled with that aspect of the story. The book itself was wonderfully written and I enjoyed all of it. I know that some people complained of the sections about husbandry and the politics but both interested me a great deal and I think gave a much more rounded picture of life and the struggles they faced in Russia at that time. His discriptions werent overly flowery but just perfect enough for you to shape pictures in your mind. Ill have to re-read it another time to get a full picture of the book, there is so many events and people to digest that I think it is impossible to get it all in one reading.
A little over two and a half years after starting Anna Karenina, I finally finished it, and I consider this to be a huge accomplishment. This is definitely a large novel, but the cause of my delay is really due to the dense nature of whats in this tome. Like all classics, there are a lot of extra details in here that you wouldnt see on a modern novel. But unlike so many of those, I found the details to mostly be engaging, although I do get tired of the endless talk of lawmaking and farming theories.
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I read ANNA KARENINA for a TBR potluck activity in my online book club, The Reading Cove.
This translation is said to be the most accessible to date, and while it wasn't perfect (there are a few awkward sentences) I would agree!
The story starts off in a very engaging way. You're pulled right into a 19th century Russian family drama, involving adultery - a wandering husband, a heartbroken wife, and, or course, their young children. And as the story progresses, we meet the title character, Anna Karenina. However, we also meet another principle character in Konstantin Levin.
For me, the narrative had peaks and valleys. It was two-fold. There were eye-glazing indulgences in the political, agricultural, economical and religious issues of the day; contrasted by what I can easily classify as a glorified Russian soap opera!
Let's just say that you have to be patient with this story, it's not in a hurry...but when things happen, boy, do they happen! At times my eyes were on sticks with some of the characters' actions, I could hardly believe it!
It's a book I enjoyed for the most part, and I'm very glad to have finally read. I can understand and appreciate why it's endured so well over the years. Anna Karenina may not have been a woman who deserved to be the focal point of an entire book, but the story is about so much more than her capricious emotional whims. It explored several characters in great depth, and focused on contrasting the relationships; I enjoyed the various interrelationship quirks among the players: Levin, Kitty, Anna, Vronsky, Alexei, Seryozha we get into to their heads, and from there, we see the world.
This book provides a most excellent translation of this classic 19th C. tale chronicling the affair of a married Russian socialite and an affluent military officer. Shunned from high society when the affair is found out, Anna becomes increasingly isolated and suspicious that her lover has committed infidelities against her. She ultimately commits suicide by train when consumed by her own conflicting feelings. Thus, Anna's pain allows Tolstoy to explore the themes of hypocrisy, jealousy, faith, fidelity, family, marriage, society, progress, carnal desire and passion, notably juxtaposed against the experiences of several other couples as the story unfolds. Tolstoy also explores aspects of Russian life associated with the country [agrarian connection to land] in contrast to the lifestyles typical of the city. An excellent read!