Book :: Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina
By: Leo Tolstoy
Pages: 940
Published: 1873
Genre(s): Russia
Historical Fiction
Rating: (24)


505 points

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Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Everything was in confusion in the Oblonskys' house. The wife had discovered that the husband was carrying on an intrigue with a French girl, who had been a governess in their family, and she had announced to her husband that she could not go on living in the same house with him. This position of affairs had now...

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Trappalapp Trappalapp

Dec 3rd, 2023

Polilla-Lynn Polilla-Lynn

Although took me a long time to get through this book it's actually a good read, but I found Anna to be very tiresome and self-centred. She was a troubled and troublesome person. Levin, on the other hand, worked through his questionings and kept his grip on reality. The characters are well imagined and interesting, making for a good involving story.

Jun 4th, 2020

justinwolfe82 justinwolfe82

Feb 6th, 2018

forline forline

One of my favorites. Read this newly married....

Jan 4th, 2018

Murfville Murfville

Aug 27th, 2017

lgpduluth lgpduluth

This is one of my top three favorite books. I have read it twice, the second so I could better appreciate the symbolism throughout the book. It is one of those stories that is almost better the second time–– knowing what is to come can add a thrill to the foreboding tone throughout. I loved the book for how thoroughly we came to know each character, and for the fact that know character seemed entirely perfect or imperfect.

Feb 11th, 2017

hauerfarm hauerfarm

Jul 8th, 2016

willoyd willoyd

May 5th, 2016

bryanoz bryanoz

Jun 5th, 2015

notathreatinsight notathreatinsight

Epic and wonderful.

Dec 30th, 2014

jwk jwk

Nov 16th, 2014

alinache23 alinache23

Jul 30th, 2014

acpac2004 acpac2004

Jul 25th, 2014

krisxtina krisxtina

Jul 22nd, 2014

maupavez maupavez

Feb 28th, 2014

abq22 abq22

Feb 27th, 2014

Fede Fede

Feb 20th, 2014

lanigan lanigan

Feb 15th, 2014

mariamitica mariamitica

Aug 20th, 2013

aola aola

Jul 21st, 2013

viper_najem viper_najem

May 17th, 2013

briggsy200 briggsy200

Apr 1st, 2013

bookinginheels bookinginheels

You'd be amazed how hard it was to find a plot summary that didn't make it feel like an 800 page 19th Century Russian classic... oh wait. That's the thing though - it really doesn't feel like that. It shocked me how easy it was to get into the story and how accessible the language was. I wouldn't have said it was an easy read, but I didn't even have to refer to the list of characters at the front - somehow my head managed to keep the characters and their relationships straight without any trouble at all. It was a nice surprise. Speaking of characters, I had the Wordsworth edition, translated from the Russian by Louise and Aylmer Maude. Story good, translation not so good. They tend to change the characters names as well as the prose, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Surely names are names, regardless of language? As an illustration - the bloke down the road is called Steve. The mechanic in the shop is called Steve. My best friend's Dad is called Steve. The Russian Prince Stephen Arkadyevich Oblonsky, however, should not be called Steve. Seriously, they translated it as 'Steve.' A minor point in the whole grand scheme of things, but come on. It went 'clunk' in my head every time I read it. Idiots. I do seem the have got the whole character thing backwards though. I read a lot of the other bloggers' Read Along posts, I noticed that the vast majority didn't really like Anna herself as a person while I really, really did. She actually reminded me of myself quite a lot. I don't mean her circumstances, because obviously I've never abandoned my husband and child to run off with another man, but we just seem to have vaguely similar thought patterns. Not necessarily in a good way - she 'mind-reads' and works herself round in circles to end up at the worst possible result. I don't know, I just kind of felt for her. A lot of her situation was her own doing, but if this happened in modern society she would clearly be on some sort of medication. It did surprise me how the novel isn't actually that much about Anna herself, considering that she's the title character. Obviously she's a part of it, but the other five or so main characters just have as much 'screen-time' as she does, if not more. The narrative changes whose point of view it follows regularly, but Anna and Vronsky's situation can be left alone for many chapters at a time. A lot of the other bloggers seem to have a thing for Levin, which I don't really understand. I mean, he's acceptable as a secondary character but I just didn't think he stood out in any way. He seemed fairly flat, and a lot of the parts in his POV involved huge ranty monologues about farming or politics. Good Lord, the farming. The huge majority of Part Three is just Levin talking with his acquaintances about farming, and it was fairly disheartening to fall in love with the book during Parts One and Two and then have to skim 80 pages about crop rotation. Then again, much later in the book, Levin goes on a field trip to an election and I once again wanted to hurl the book at Leo Tolstoy's head. Even he didn't understand what was going on, so how was I meant to!? I really can't emphasise enough how tedious these parts are, but it's partly because the interesting parts of the book are so accessible that these stand out even more. The experiences of Anna, Vronsky, Kitty and a few others are fascinating and the author writes in such a way that you may as well be in their head. There's a lot of description, but it doesn't really halt the flow of the book. And the ending, oh the ending. I still think that Parts Seven and Eight should have been the other way round - finishing off the 800 page novel with a stodgy Levin chapter just doesn't make a whole lot of sense - but the real ending was marvellous. I mean, it hurt me to my very core, but it's one I'll definitely remember for a long, long time. I suppose it does fit in with the message Tolstoy was trying to convey about adulterous women getting their comeuppance. Still, like I said above, I liked Anna! So, to finally wrap-up a whole month of reading Anna Karenina... I really liked this book. I'm 100% positive it didn't need to be anywhere near that long, nor did it need such lengthy, dry conversations about farming and politicals (or, in occasional and suicide-inducing moments, both), but I felt that the other parts more than make up more it. It's actually a surprisingly accessible lengthy classic about a woman who gives up everything for love.

Apr 1st, 2013

aishae aishae

It has made me think 'poor woman'. Written by Tolstoy so of course fantastically written book.

Mar 4th, 2013

Anna Karenina appears on these lists...

13th on The Novel 100 by Daniel S. Bert

27th on 100 Greatest Novels of All Time by The Guardian

31st on Books You Can't Live Without by The Guardian

3rd on 100 Novels Everyone Should Read by Telegraph

54th on The Big Read by BBC

48th on Top 100 Books by Newsweek

26th on Top 100 Books by Harvard Book Store