Customer Reviews for

Anna Karenina (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 3.5
( 471 )
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5 Star

(185)

4 Star

(118)

3 Star

(78)

2 Star

(40)

1 Star

(50)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

A wonderful love story

I picked up this book when I was browsing in the bookstore for something to entertain me on my long flight overseas. One of my close friends has just recently read the book and highly recommended this classic novel. Although I was a little intimidated by size, I decided...
I picked up this book when I was browsing in the bookstore for something to entertain me on my long flight overseas. One of my close friends has just recently read the book and highly recommended this classic novel. Although I was a little intimidated by size, I decided to give it a shot. I read nonstop on my 12-hour flight, except to eat. I continued to read it during my vacation and would get so wrapped up in the events that I would have a hard time finding a stopping point. Parts 7 and 8, roughly the last 200 pages, were definitely the best parts of the novel due to some very intense scenes. Anna Karenina is a romantic novel that shows Russian society and Russian countryside through the eyes of two main characters. Anna Karenina is a married woman who falls in love with another man and debates leaving him to become an outcast from society and Konstantin Levin is a landowner who is searches to fulfill his life through strenuous labor and marriage. Tolstoy¿s intricate details and colorful characters weave a wonderful story about passion and life in Russia. Anna Karenina is married to the influential government official, Alexey Androvitch, but becomes entranced by the attractive army officer, Count Alexey Vronsky. She must make the heart wrenching decision to stay in a loveless marriage or to leave her son for the man she loves. She risks becoming an outcast from society and being looked down upon by the people who she calls friends. Konstantin Levin is an affluent landowner who is searching for faith and religion throughout the story. He is desperately in love with Kitty, a princess who has her eyes set elsewhere. Levin¿s conversations allow readers to reflect on their own life and think topics discussed in Russian society however, some of the political discussions were a bit boring at times. Generally I preferred reading about the drama between Anna and Vronsky because I enjoy reading love stories. However, Levin¿s transformation and evolution as the book progressed was very inspiring and made me think about my faith. All in all Tolstoy captures audiences and makes readers feel like they are back in nineteenth century Russia. The numerous characters all play a special role in bringing the book to life and are all connected in some way. Every character is described in such detail that a reader feels like they know the person. His words make readers reflect on themselves and human existence in general. This book brings to life many emotions from love to anger to distress. It is a wonderful tale that still relates to modern society, as we know it today. Don¿t be intimidated by the size, I honestly didn¿t remember flipping the pages because I got engrossed in the storylines and it is a book that you should make the time to read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to anyone who wants to read a novel that will have you devouring one word after the next.

posted by Anonymous on August 30, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

64 out of 68 people found this review helpful.

This is the Garnett Translation

This is a well-formatted edition, so kudos for that, but let's talk translations. This is the same 1901 rendering by Constance Garnett used in most of the e-editions out there. Though familiar (especially for its opening sentence), it is widely criticized for its defici...
This is a well-formatted edition, so kudos for that, but let's talk translations. This is the same 1901 rendering by Constance Garnett used in most of the e-editions out there. Though familiar (especially for its opening sentence), it is widely criticized for its deficiencies and considered a poor choice among better alternatives. The 1918 Maude translation is far better. It is the one most read in college literature classes. The Norton Critical Edition uses the Maude translation, with some revisions by George Gibian. That edition has not been published for e-readers, but a good NOOK edition of the Maude translation is attached to this review (or search "Anna Karenina Maude"). The 2000 translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is the one associated with Oprah's Book Club. Oprah selected the novel itself more than a particular translation, but a print edition of the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation was featured on her website, so people think of that one as Oprah's pick. The NOOK edition is attached to this review (or search "Anna Karenina Pevear"). It is debatable which translation is better, the Maude or the Peavear and Volokhonsky. The influence of the translator is second only to the author in shaping the text. The quality of the translation is crucial. Online bookstores should require publishers of translated works to list the translator. Publishers, please identify the translator, not just in the book, but on the website product page!

posted by ereaderbookworm on March 12, 2011

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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    This is the Garnett Translation

    This is a well-formatted edition, so kudos for that, but let's talk translations. This is the same 1901 rendering by Constance Garnett used in most of the e-editions out there. Though familiar (especially for its opening sentence), it is widely criticized for its deficiencies and considered a poor choice among better alternatives. The 1918 Maude translation is far better. It is the one most read in college literature classes. The Norton Critical Edition uses the Maude translation, with some revisions by George Gibian. That edition has not been published for e-readers, but a good NOOK edition of the Maude translation is attached to this review (or search "Anna Karenina Maude"). The 2000 translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is the one associated with Oprah's Book Club. Oprah selected the novel itself more than a particular translation, but a print edition of the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation was featured on her website, so people think of that one as Oprah's pick. The NOOK edition is attached to this review (or search "Anna Karenina Pevear"). It is debatable which translation is better, the Maude or the Peavear and Volokhonsky. The influence of the translator is second only to the author in shaping the text. The quality of the translation is crucial. Online bookstores should require publishers of translated works to list the translator. Publishers, please identify the translator, not just in the book, but on the website product page!

    64 out of 68 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2007

    A wonderful love story

    I picked up this book when I was browsing in the bookstore for something to entertain me on my long flight overseas. One of my close friends has just recently read the book and highly recommended this classic novel. Although I was a little intimidated by size, I decided to give it a shot. I read nonstop on my 12-hour flight, except to eat. I continued to read it during my vacation and would get so wrapped up in the events that I would have a hard time finding a stopping point. Parts 7 and 8, roughly the last 200 pages, were definitely the best parts of the novel due to some very intense scenes. Anna Karenina is a romantic novel that shows Russian society and Russian countryside through the eyes of two main characters. Anna Karenina is a married woman who falls in love with another man and debates leaving him to become an outcast from society and Konstantin Levin is a landowner who is searches to fulfill his life through strenuous labor and marriage. Tolstoy¿s intricate details and colorful characters weave a wonderful story about passion and life in Russia. Anna Karenina is married to the influential government official, Alexey Androvitch, but becomes entranced by the attractive army officer, Count Alexey Vronsky. She must make the heart wrenching decision to stay in a loveless marriage or to leave her son for the man she loves. She risks becoming an outcast from society and being looked down upon by the people who she calls friends. Konstantin Levin is an affluent landowner who is searching for faith and religion throughout the story. He is desperately in love with Kitty, a princess who has her eyes set elsewhere. Levin¿s conversations allow readers to reflect on their own life and think topics discussed in Russian society however, some of the political discussions were a bit boring at times. Generally I preferred reading about the drama between Anna and Vronsky because I enjoy reading love stories. However, Levin¿s transformation and evolution as the book progressed was very inspiring and made me think about my faith. All in all Tolstoy captures audiences and makes readers feel like they are back in nineteenth century Russia. The numerous characters all play a special role in bringing the book to life and are all connected in some way. Every character is described in such detail that a reader feels like they know the person. His words make readers reflect on themselves and human existence in general. This book brings to life many emotions from love to anger to distress. It is a wonderful tale that still relates to modern society, as we know it today. Don¿t be intimidated by the size, I honestly didn¿t remember flipping the pages because I got engrossed in the storylines and it is a book that you should make the time to read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to anyone who wants to read a novel that will have you devouring one word after the next.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Tolstoy Masterpiece

    Having heard that Anna Karenina was a better book than my favorite novel, War and Peace, I began reading it with very high expectations. Literally from the first chapter it did not disappoint and actually had a stronger beginning than Tolstoy's other landmark novel. In the introduction to this edition, the writer compared War and Peace to the Iliad and Anna Karenina to the Oddyssey. In a way this is true. Even though War and Peace provides a picture of human life in personal ways, it does so in a historical, sweeping manner. Anna Karenina, on the other hand, shows the personal lives of a select few characters in a minute, visceral, often gritty way. Although the novel does center around Anna Karenina and her tragic romantic life, it also contains many valuable side-stories, even one that is more tragic.

    Although it is impossible to really analyze the novel without giving away key elements of the plot, the few things, among many, that really stood out to me about Anna Karenina were (1) the way Tolstoy made you love certain characters at the beginning and then totally flipped your sympathies upside down (such as the dynamics between Anna and her husband and who you relate to), (2) the way Tolstoy portrayed both the depravity of man and man rising above his situation to heroism through his character's action, and (3)Tolstoy's masterful psychoanalysis.

    Although in relativity I felt there were a few flaws that caused Anna Karenina to fall short of War and Peace, they are barely worth noting because it truly still is a masterpiece.

    P.S. And to someone who said that Tolstoy is too detailed and that passages of Levin farming are extremely long, I would say that Tolstoy makes every part of this book interesting and unique as he psychologically develops his characters and connects to the reader. (And, no, the grass-cutting sequence is not twenty pages long).

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2009

    I'm glad I finished it, but it was hard at times!

    I just finished Anna Karenina and I am happy it's done. I really enjoyed the book, for the most part, but I do think about 300 pages could have been edited out. As someone said in a previous comment, it took 20 pages to describe Levin cutting a field of grass. That is a prime example, for me, of things that Tolstoy went on and on about. I understand that this may have had a greater significance during the era in which this book was written, but I had a hard time getting through these passages. Other sections of the book kept me completely enthralled and kept me up late at night to finish them. I will never forget the section in the book when Kitty is having her baby. I was so nervous and felt like I was in the room with them. Also, the last paragraph of that section brought me to tears when Levin describes his feelings for his child. Incredible writing!! Overall, this book was very satisfying and a great read. I'm glad to say I now belong to the "club" of those who have read Anna Karenina.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Pat me on the back, I finished Anna Karenina.

    Although as I was reading this book I could only think of my appreciation for the art of modern-day editing, in retrospect I'm glad to have read every word. The book can seem tedious at times, (especially when Levin takes 20 pages to mow a field), but each section teaches you something about Russian culture, Tolstoy's philosophies and human nature. The book certainly came in waves of fast-paced drama followed by quiet moments and reflections that balance it well. <BR/><BR/>I highly recommend this for personal reading, but as a book club book I'd have to say no. The chances of everyone finishing in a timely fashion or at all are slim to none, believe me I know!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2004

    Mind Numbing

    If you like extreme detail about what someone thinks someone else is thinking because of a twitch of an eye, or some other body twitch, this book is for you!

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What I learned from Anna Karenina

    Since this book is considered to be one of the *greats* I'm not going to go through with my typical graded review. I mean really, it's Tolstoy people. What could I possibly have to say about a book written by Tolstoy that would be of any value to anyone? Instead, I will give you my thoughts (those are always interesting, right?) pretending I know nothing of the gravity of the book. Consider me a babe in arms, with no knowledge of literary classics (not much of a stretch), no knowledge of Russian history...or any history beyond what I learned in high school (okay, I admit, this is true), and the attention span of a gnat who just ingested a Starbucks double shot.
    Above all, try to keep a sense of humor. To do otherwise will only serve to make you hate me in the worst way.
    What I learned from reading Anna Karenina:
    1. People talked, wrote, and thought in the longest, most convoluted ways. If Tolstoy wrote (I'm speaking only of sentence structure here) the same book today, his editors would be having fits. I'm talking serious, Grand Mal seizures. I certainly didn't mind the long winded, semi colon filled conversations; but considering the last five Literary Agents I spoke to told me that long, complicated, wordy writing was a no-no...I'm thinking he'd be self published for sure.Of course, this is true of all period writing, since styles change to give an accurate portrayal of current times.
    2.Details were mega important. If you like a fully detailed scene from every possible angle, this book will rock your socks off. I like details. I also believe that there is such a thing as over kill. Chapters devoted entirely to harvesting fields in Russia fall into the latter category. I like that type of detail to be a page or two at most. I fell asleep a few times while Levin was pontificating about the role of the peasant in Russian society. I know how terrible that sounds. If you're offended by my lack of cooth, please re-read the above preface to this review, as I will not apologize.
    3. If you happened to be of any wealth or means (and you were a man), your life was AWESOME. In the upper echelon of Russian society, life was one big party. Even the fake rich (Dolly & Stepan) had nurses, cooks, country houses, land...you name it. Work consisted of going to an office where people came to ask you if you would grant them wishes, etc, and every night you would stay out until one or two in the morning. Dinner parties happened every night of the week, as did the opera, and nobody exchanged much cash.
    4. Everyone was given at least three names, which were all interchangeable, depending on mood/whims/relationship and the person speaking. I'm sure there is cultural/period/class significance here. No need to explain. I only wish this held true today. I'd love to be known as: Elizabeth Loan, Elisabetta Burkano Manifesto AND Elsie Love...how cool would that be?
    5. The rich, in spite of all their wealth, were pretty miserable. AS a reader who would have fallen into the peasant class, I can't help but feeling these people just needed more to do. In other words, if you can spend entire months in 'spiritual crisis' during the 1800's, you needed some good old fashioned real work! BTW, I find this to remain true today. :)
    6. Lastly, Anna, Anna, Anna...what can I say? I loved her and I hated her. The scene where she visits Seryhoza on his birthday brought me to tears; but to jump in front of a train for the lost love of a man? No, I cannot accept that.Wh

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing Book

    Incredible book...I neglected everyone and everything so I could devour it as fast as I could.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read; Very Intellectually Stimulating

    This is a great story. It is very political and spiritual in content. Contains a lot of Russian history during the late 1800s. It is a bit time consuming, but it is definitely worth reading. I took more time reading it to comprehend fully the history and symbolism of the characters and events within the storyline. I fell in love with the character Levin, and despised Anna Karenina by the end of the novel. It is really interesting to follow the characters in their journeys through self identification, exploration, and even destruction.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    Pretty Well Done

    Though love stories have never caught my eye, this book seemed like it was more than the cheesy tales that love stories usually are. Two of my favorite characters were the ever-smiling Oblonsky and the hard working Levin. I had my sympathies for Anna, especially because no matter what she did, the consequences were always tragic. Vronsky was a bad egg from the start, the way he cast away Kitty. The size of Anna Karenina is of no consequence since the vocabulary is quite simple to understand. The reason I didn't give it five stars was because Tolstoy has a tendency to ramble on and on 'kind of like Dickens' about issues that seem to have little importance, and he makes sure that you note every movement that the characters. Also, though I enjoyed it, it was a love story and not as enthralling as action books.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2004

    A Rich and Timeless Tapestry of Characters and Life

    A truly rewarding book to read, one which stays with you long after you have read it. The number and complexity of the characters is astounding. The chapter of Levin working in the fields with the common people is unforgettable as well the heartbreaking description of his last visit with his dying brother. Characters attempting to answer timeless questions in the search for personal happiness. Unforgettable!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing

    This is the greatest novel to ever come out of Russia. Tolstoy is an absolute genius. It's a long read, but it is definitely worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2007

    Masterful

    I have never read such detail and thorough description of human interactions before. This may be because I'm 14, and am just embarking on my journey through classic literature, but I believe this must truly be a masterpiece.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2006

    Endlessly Captivation

    This story literally took my breath away. One of those rare novels that had me swimming in an ocean of human emotions which goes right to the core of our souls!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2014

    Hannah

    Bio at 'ethics' res 3

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2014

    Amelia

    Age|`200 or so but looks arond 18. <p>
    Looks|`red hair green eyes 6'2" tall has a tattoo of a beautiful red hound digging up a t-rex skeleton on her left shoulderblade. <p>
    Weapons of choice|` two knives: a saxe (wide jagged edge) and a dirk (thin good for picking locks,) A fencing sword, and her mouth. <p>
    Race|`time lord <p>
    Skills|`intellegent good at fencing. <p>
    Occupation|`paleontologist. <p>
    Parents|` river song and the doctor. <p>
    Status|`dating her tardis. <p>
    Likes|` time, history, mythology, her mum, visiting gallifrey, fencing, reptiles, dogs, paleontology, her tardis, adventure. <p>
    Dislikes|` bloody daleks and the doctor <p>
    Other|` her tardis is a hearse on the outsside and her sonic is green with a bronze metal that matches her hair. <p>
    Rper|`the infamous professor what.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2014

    Aluna

    Read Above World by Jenn Reece or Mirage by Jenn Reece

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2014

    Samantha decatt

    Age: 16/ height: 5'4"/ gender: female weight: 100 pounds/ race: neko/ appearance: black shoulder length hair with green eyes, small and petite with black cat ears and a tail./ clothes: a black zip-up cat hoodie(has little cat ears on top), skinny jeans and black boots./ fandom: nekos and cry of fear./ weapons: will vary, but she has a switchblade and a glock 19 with tactical flashlight. Anything else, ask.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2014

    Character Bios go Here!

    My bios: <p>
    Name: Crona Gorgon <br>
    Age: Unknown <br>
    Gender: Also unknown, but Crona chooses to be a boy, or portray himself as a boy. <br>
    Appearance: Google Search "Crona Soul Eater" on Google images. <br>
    Personality: Shy, quiet, a little bit insane <br>
    Weapons: He has another being living in his spine, called Ragnarok, who can turn into a sword at will. <br>
    Other: Ragnarok bullies him when he's not in weapon form.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    Anna

    Kk

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