Anna Karenina

( 460 )

Overview

"Anna Karenina" ist eine Perfektion . und solche, mit der Nichts Derartiges aus der europäischen Literatur in der gegenwärtigen Epoche sich vergleichen kann, - schrieb Fjodor Dostojewski über den wohl berühmtesten Roman von Leo Tolstoj. Philosophische, ästhetische und ethische Fragen, mit den sich der große russische Schriftsteller auseinandergesetzt hat, drückt er in der tragischen Geschichte einer Familie aus. Das heißt: "Alle glücklichen Familien gleichen einander, jede unglückliche Familie ist auf ihre eigene Weise unglücklich." Dieser erste
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Overview

"Anna Karenina" ist eine Perfektion . und solche, mit der Nichts Derartiges aus der europäischen Literatur in der gegenwärtigen Epoche sich vergleichen kann, - schrieb Fjodor Dostojewski über den wohl berühmtesten Roman von Leo Tolstoj. Philosophische, ästhetische und ethische Fragen, mit den sich der große russische Schriftsteller auseinandergesetzt hat, drückt er in der tragischen Geschichte einer Familie aus. Das heißt: "Alle glücklichen Familien gleichen einander, jede unglückliche Familie ist auf ihre eigene Weise unglücklich." Dieser erste Satz hat sich als "Anna-Karenina-Prinzip" in der Psychologie bewiesen.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

"The greatest novel ever written" is a superlative applied frequently to Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, which first appeared in print in 1875. This world literature classic has inspired dozens of stage, movie, and ballet adaptation, the latest of which is the Universal Pictures September release film starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law. This official movie tie-in contains a fine translation by Louise Maude and Alymer Maude and the screenplay by Tom Stoppard. If you haven't read it yet; it's time.

Criticas

Originally written in 1875, this is one of the most distinguished classic works of world literature. Several films, dramas, and ballets have been based on Tolstoi’s (as spelled in Spanish) intense, passionate love story. Ana, one of the most notable literary characters ever created, is married to a Russian minister but falls in love with Count Vronski, a rich and handsome young army officer. Against society’s norms, she abandons her husband and son, with dire results. In this excellent recording, the story is fully dramatized by a group of actors: Milagros del Valle is Ana, and FonoLibro’s Arquimedes Rivero is Vronski. Their voices are appropriate and devoid of regional accents. With background music and narration that shows the full emotional style of a radionovela (radio soap operas), this audio is an easy way to get to know this perennial classic. Recommended for bookstores and public libraries.—Dolores M. Koch, New York City


—Dolores M. Koch
From the Publisher
"One of the greatest love stories in world literature."
— Vladimir Nabokov

"I've read and re-read this novel and every time, I find another layer in the story."
— Philippa Gregory

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679410003
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1992
  • Series: Everyman's Library Series
  • Pages: 1024
  • Sales rank: 604,389
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.39 (h) x 1.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Leo Tolstoy, or Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy; September 9 1828 - November 20 1910), was a Russian writer widely regarded as among the greatest of novelists. His masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina represent in their scope, breadth and vivid depiction of 19th-century Russian life and attitudes, the peak of realist fiction.

Tolstoy's further talents as essayist, dramatist, and educational reformer made him the most influential member of the aristocratic Tolstoy family. His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Biography

Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province, where he spent most of his early years, together with his several brothers. In 1844 he entered the University of Kazan to read Oriental Languages and later Law, but left before completing a degree. He spent the following years in a round of drinking, gambling and womanizing, until weary of his idle existence he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851.

He took part in the Crimean war and after the defence of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his literary reputation. After leaving the army in 1856 Tolstoy spent some time mixing with the literati in St Petersburg before traveling abroad and then settling at Yasnaya Polyana, where he involved himself in the running of peasant schools and the emancipation of the serfs. His marriage to Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862 marked the beginning of a period of contentment centred around family life; they had thirteen children. Tolstoy managed his vast estates, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote both his great novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).

During the 1870s he underwent a spiritual crisis, the moral and religious ideas that had always dogged him coming to the fore. A Confession (1879–82) marked an outward change in his life and works; he became an extreme rationalist and moralist, and in a series of pamphlets written after 1880 he rejected church and state, indicted the demands of flesh, and denounced private property. His teachings earned him numerous followers in Russia and abroad, and also led finally to his excommunication by the Russian Holy Synod in 1901. In 1910 at the age of eighty-two he fled from home "leaving this worldly life in order to live out my last days in peace and solitude;" he died some days later at the station master's house at Astapovo.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Books LTD.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 9, 1828
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tula Province, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      November 20, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Astapovo, Russia

Read an Excerpt

I

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Everything at the Oblonskys’ was topsy-turvy. Oblonsky’s wife had found out that he had been having an affair with the French governess who used to live with them, and told him she could no longer stay under the same roof with him. This was the third day things had been this way, and not only the married couple themselves, but the family and the whole household were painfully aware of it. Everyone in the house felt that there was no sense in their living together, and that people who had casually dropped into any inn would have more connection with each other than they, the Oblonsky family and household. Oblonsky’s wife refused to leave her rooms; he himself hadn’t been home for three days. The children were running around the house as though lost; the English governess had had a quarrel with the housekeeper and written to a friend of hers asking her to look out for a new job for her; the day before the cook had picked dinnertime to go out; the kitchen maid and coachman had given notice.
 
The third day after the quarrel Prince Stephen Arkadyevich Oblonsky—Stiva, as he was called in society—woke up at his usual time, that is, eight in the morning, not in his wife’s bedroom but in his own study, on the leather-covered sofa. He twisted his plump, well-kept body on the springy sofa as though he wanted to plunge into a long sleep again; he hugged the pillow on the other side and pressed his cheek against it; then he suddenly jumped up, sat down on the sofa, and opened his eyes.
 
Now, what was that again? he thought, recalling a dream. What was it? Of course! Alabin was giving a dinner in Darmstadt, no, not in Darmstadt—somewhere in America. But that’s where Darmstadt was, in America. So Alabin was giving a dinner, on glass tables—and the tables were singing “Il mio tesoro,” though not “Il mio tesoro” but something better, and then there were some little decanters around and they were really women, he remembered.
 
Oblonsky’s eyes sparkled merrily; he smiled to himself as he sat there thinking: Yes, it was great fun, all right. There were a lot of other good things too, but you can’t put them into words, or catch hold of them at all when you’re awake.
 
He noticed a streak of light that had slipped in at the side of one of the blinds; he cheerfully stretched his legs off the sofa and felt about with his feet for the bronze kid slippers his wife had embroidered for his last year’s birthday present; out of a nine-year-old habit he stretched out his arm without getting up toward where his dressing gown hung in the bedroom. It was just then that he suddenly recalled why he wasn’t sleeping in his wife’s bedroom, but in his study; the smile vanished from his face and he frowned.
 
“Oh, oh, oh!” he groaned, remembering everything that had happened. And again all the details of the quarrel with his wife, his impossible position and, most painful of all, his own guilt sprang to his mind.
 
No, she’ll never forgive me! She can’t forgive me. And the most terrible thing about it is that it’s all my own fault, I’m to blame, though I’m not really to blame either. That’s the whole tragedy of it, he thought. “Oh dear, oh dear,” he muttered in despair, recalling the most painful points of the quarrel.
 
What had been most disagreeable of all was the first moment when, on coming back cheerful and satisfied from the theater with a huge pear for his wife in his hand, he had not, to his surprise, found her in the drawing room or in his study, but finally saw her in her bedroom holding the unlucky note that had revealed everything.
 
There was his Dolly, whom he thought of as constantly harried and simple-mindedly bustling about, sitting motionless with the note in her hand, looking at him with an expression of horror, despair, and fury.
 
“What is this? This?” she asked, indicating the note.
 
As he remembered this Oblonsky was tormented, as often happens, not so much by the event itself as by his response to his wife’s question.
 
What happened then was what happens to people who are caught at something shameful. He couldn’t manage to put on the right expression for his situation with respect to his wife now that his guilt was exposed. Instead of acting offended, making denials or excuses, asking forgiveness, or even remaining indifferent—anything would have been better than what he did do!— his face quite involuntarily (a reflex of the brain, he thought; he was fond of physiology) suddenly took on its usual goodhearted and therefore silly smile.
 
It was this silly smile that he couldn’t forgive himself. When she saw it Dolly shuddered as though in physical pain, burst out with her characteristic violence in a torrent of bitter words and rushed out of the room. Since then she had refused to see him.
 
That stupid smile is to blame for everything, Oblonsky thought. But what can I do? What is there to do? he said to himself in despair, without finding an answer.
 
 
 
II
 
Oblonsky was honest with himself. He could not deceive himself by telling himself that he repented of his conduct. He could not feel repentant that he, a handsome, amorous man of thirty-four, was not in love with his wife, the mother of five living and two dead children, who was only a year younger than he. He only regretted that he hadn’t been able to conceal things from her better. But he felt the full gravity of his position and was sorry for his wife, their children, and himself. He might have been able to hide his misconduct from his wife better if he had expected the news to have such an effect on her. He had never thought the matter over clearly, but had vaguely imagined that she had long since guessed he was unfaithful to her and was shutting her eyes to it. He even thought that a completely undistinguished woman like her, worn out, aging, already plain, just a simple goodhearted mother of a family, ought to have been indulgent, out of a feeling of fairness. What had happened was just the opposite.
 
Terrible, just terrible! Oblonsky kept saying to himself, without finding any solution. And how well everything was going until now! What a splendid life we had! She was contented and happy with the children, I never bothered her in the least, and left her to do as she pleased with the children and the house. Of course, it’s not so good that she was a governess right here in the house. That was bad! There’s something banal and vulgar in making love to your own governess. But what a governess! (He vividly recalled Mlle. Roland’s teasing black eyes and her smile.) But as long as she was here in the house I never allowed myself to do a thing. And the worst of it all is that she’s already... The whole thing had to happen just for spite! Oh, dear! But what on earth can I do?
 
There was no answer to this beside the usual answer life gives to the most complicated and insoluble problems, which is: you must live according to the needs of the day, that is, forget yourself. He couldn’t forget himself in sleep, at least not until nighttime; he could not yet return to the music being sung by the little decanter women, so he had to look for forgetfulness in the dream of living.
 
Well, we’ll see, Oblonsky said to himself; he got up, put on his gray dressing gown with the blue silk lining, knotted the girdle, and taking a deep breath of air into his broad chest, went over to the window with his usual robust stride, turning out his feet, which carried his full body so lightly; he raised the blind and rang loudly.
 
The bell was answered immediately by his old friend and valet, Matthew, who came in with his clothes, boots, and a telegram. He was followed by the barber with the shaving things.
 
“Any papers from the office?” Oblonsky asked, taking the telegram and sitting down in front of the mirror.
 
“On the table,” Matthew answered, with a questioning, sympathetic look at his master, and after a moment added with a sly smile: “They’ve sent someone from the livery stables.”
 
Oblonsky said nothing, merely gazing at Matthew in the mirror; it was plain from the glance they exchanged that they understood each other very well. Oblonsky’s look seemed to say: “Why tell me that? As though you didn’t know!”
 
Matthew put his hands into the pockets of his jacket, put out his foot, and looked at his master in silence, with a slight, good-humored smile.
 
“I ordered him to come back next Sunday, and till then not to bother either you or himself for no reason,” he said, evidently getting off a prepared sentence.
 
Oblonsky saw Matthew was joking to draw attention to himself. He tore open the telegram and read it, guessing at the words, misspelt as usual, and his face brightened.
 
“Matthew, my sister Anna will be here tomorrow,” he said, momentarily stopping the barber’s shiny plump hand that was clearing a rosy path between the long curly whiskers.
 
“Thank God!” said Matthew, showing that he understood just as well as his master the meaning of the visit, that is, that Oblonsky’s beloved sister Anna might bring about a reconciliation between husband and wife. “Alone, or with her husband?” he asked.
 
Oblonsky couldn’t answer, since the barber was busy on his upper lip, and raised one finger. Matthew nodded into the mirror.
 
“Alone. Should one of the upstairs rooms be got ready?”
 
“Ask Princess Oblonsky.”
 
“Princess Oblonsky?” repeated Matthew doubtfully.
 
“Yes, tell her. Here, take the telegram with you and tell me what she says.”
 
Oh, you want to sound her out, was how Matthew understood this, but all he said was: “Yes, sir.”
 
Oblonsky had already washed, and his hair was brushed; he was about to get dressed when Matthew, walking slowly in his creaking boots, came back into the room holding the telegram. The barber had already gone.
 
“Princess Oblonsky has instructed me to say that she is going away. Let him do as he likes, that is, you, sir,” he said, laughing with his eyes only; putting his hands in his pockets and his head to one side, he gazed at his master.
 
Oblonsky was silent, then a kind and somewhat pathetic smile appeared on his handsome face.
 
“Ah, Matthew, well?” he said, shaking his head.
 
“Don’t worry, sir, it will all turn out all right,” said Matthew.
 
“All right?”
 
“Exactly, sir.”
 
“D’you think so? But who’s that?” asked Oblonsky, hearing the rustle of a woman’s dress outside the door.
 
“It’s me, sir,” said a firm, agreeable female voice, and Matrona, the children’s nurse, thrust her stern, pock-marked face into the doorway.
 
“Well, what is it, Matrona?” asked Oblonsky, going over to her.
 
Though Oblonsky was completely at fault with respect to his wife and felt this himself, almost everyone in the house, even the nurse, who was Princess Oblonsky’s best friend, was on his side.
 
“Well, what?” he said dejectedly.
 
“You must go to her, sir, and admit your guilt once again. Perhaps God will help! She’s in terrible torment; for that matter everything in the house is at sixes and sevens. You must take pity on the children, sir. Admit you were wrong, sir—what else can you do? If you put your hand in the fire—”
 
“But you know she won’t see me—”
 
“Do your own part. God is merciful, sir. Pray to God—pray, sir!”
 
“Very well then, you can go now,” said Oblonsky, suddenly blushing. “And now I must get dressed,” he said, turning to Matthew and energetically throwing off his dressing gown.
 
Matthew was already holding out, like a horse’s collar, the shirt he had got ready; he blew an invisible speck off it and with obvious satisfaction enveloped his master’s well-cared-for body in it.

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Table of Contents

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Reading Group Guide

1. When Anna Karenina was published, critics accused Tolstoy of writing a novel with too many characters, too complex a story line, and too many details. Henry James called Tolstoy's works "baggy monsters." In response, Tolstoy wrote of Anna Karenina "I am very proud of its architecture-its vaults are joined so that one cannot even notice where the keystone is." What do you make of Tolstoy's use of detail? Does it make for a more "realistic" novel?

2. The first line of Anna Karenina, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, " can be interpreted a number of ways. What do you think Tolstoy means by this?

3. In your opinion, how well does Tolstoy, as a male writer, capture the perspectives of his female characters? Do you think Anna Karenina is the most appropriate title for the book? Is Tolstoy more critical of Anna for her adultery than he is of Oblonsky or of Vronsky?

4. What role does religion play in the novel? Compare Levin's spiritual state of mind at the beginning and the end of the novel. What parallels can you draw between Levin's search for happiness and Anna's descent into despair?

5. Why is it significant that Karenina lives in St. Petersburg, Oblonsky in Moscow, and Levin in the country? How are Moscow and St. Petersburg described by Tolstoy? What conclusions can you draw about the value assigned to place in the novel?

6. What are the different kinds of love that Anna, Vronsky, Levin, Kitty, Stiva, and Dolly seek? How do their desires change throughout the novel?

7. How do the ideals of love and marriage come into conflict inAnna Karenina? Using examples from the novel, what qualities do you think seem to make for a successful marriage? According to Tolstoy, is it more important to find love at all costs or to uphold the sanctity of marriage, even if it is a loveless one?

8. Ultimately, do you think Anna Karenina is a tragic novel or a hopeful one?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 460 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(216)

4 Star

(75)

3 Star

(49)

2 Star

(35)

1 Star

(85)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 462 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 12, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Garnett not a good translation

    Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is all that and then some, 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 a matter of taste which translation is preferable, 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.

    99 out of 102 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 19, 2011

    One of the Greatest Novels Ever Written

    This is one of the greatest, most beautiful and most heartbreaking novels ever written. No wonder Oprah Winfrey selected it, even though it was written well over a hundred years ago!

    91 out of 95 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2011

    beauty

    Nook edition of Anna Karenina is the best book.

    89 out of 91 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2011

    wow

    nice to see this book title anna karenina..

    87 out of 92 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2011

    AMAZING!

    Oprah was right about this one ... a truly amazing, indeed, life changing book. Highly, highly, highly recommended.

    87 out of 88 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 29, 2010

    Don't buy this e-book

    Don't buy this e-book. It is full of typographical errors. I am so disappointed! I am only a few pages into this book and I cannot believe the poor quality. How hard can it be to get it correct. I have asked for a refund, we'll see how that goes...... ArgoKR

    36 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2010

    Extremely poor transcription

    I don't recall ever reading an ebook with more blatant errors. Although most of the misspelled/partial words can be deciphered, it greatly detracts from the readability. It is obvious that no effort went into the making of this book other than a likely OCR scan from what may have been a poor quality original text. A simple running of a spell checker could have probably caught at least 95% of the errors, but that would still amount to thousands of corrections.

    27 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great novel but this digital copy has many spelling errors.

    This is one of the best novels I've read but this digital copy has so many spelling errors that it became annoying within reading the first few pages. Find another copy if you can. This novel really is worth paying a little extra money.

    22 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2010

    A classic ruined by poor conversion quality

    I wish I had read the other reviews before I bought this one! I'd always wanted to read the book, so didn't think I needed to check out ratings. The frequency of typing/spelling errors was mindboggling, and should have been caught by any basic spell check; there was at least one on every page. Every couple of days, I would go back to it and try to give it another shot, but I would give up in irritation after a few pages. There's no excuse for publishing such a poor quality version of this classic.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2010

    Masterpiece, but the e-book is full of typos

    There are 6 typos per page on average, the book had gotten digitized, and never corrected. Save your 99 cents and download for free from Project Gutenberg. I expected better quality control from B&N.

    17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    THIS E-BOOK SHOULD BE WITHDRAWN - FULL OF ERRORS, TYPOS, MIS-SPELLING

    The lack of editing in this eBook is a disgrace!!!!! I cannot believe B&N had the audacity to charge for this disaster - Never-ending spelling mistakes and typos - it becomes impossible to read with so many errors.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2010

    This printed version is TERRIBLE!

    I have always loved this book but there are so many extreme typos on each page, that the book is unreadable. It looks as though they put a typewriter in a cage of monkeys. A huge disappointment.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2010

    Great Book! Horrible publication!

    Of course Tolstoy is marvelous. However, this particular E-book publication is horrible. There are at least two spelling errors on each page. Get another printing of this book.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2010

    Don't buy this version

    This story is good and I have no problem with the book itself, however, the B&N version is terrible. There are spelling errors and typos on nearly every "page". Not worth the $.99.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2010

    Great Story-Horribly misspelled

    I am a new Nook book reader. I have noticed some spelling and spacing errors in a few of the books I have read. Anna Karenina is a great story but this book is so badly misspelled it was hard to read. The book is 822 pages and trying to read through all the misspelling was horrible. I didn't read any reviews before purchasing it and maybe I should have. I was tempted to go out and purchase a copy of the book so I could appreciate the story better. I don't know where the books are transcribed but it couldn't have been run through a spell check. It was sad to see a classic so poorly treated.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2010

    I am reviewing the ebook version

    I am extremely frustrated by the typographical errors in this e-version! I enjoyed the first 50 pages as far as the story, but just gave up in frustration from page after page of mispelled words and unedited copy! I am sure that when I read the original version I will love it!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    Anna Karenina

    The copy I downloaded on my Nook is very poor. There are many misspellings and the spacing is incorrect.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2010

    Tolstoy must be rolling over in his grave

    Like several other reviewers, I was very frustrated by the huge number of typos in this e-book. I'm shocked at the poor quality - it's a disgrace to this amazing work of art. I love my nook -- fortunately I read other typo-free books on it before this one. I was so pleased to see such a great e-book deal for Anna Karenina but have since gone back to my paper version because of all the errors.

    Did I hear that there are other e-versions of the book that are typo-free?

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    Too many spelling errors!

    With all the spelling errors, it feels like you are trying to translate from the original Russian. I know it is under a dollar, but why would B&N even put something of such poor quality on their web site?
    Spend the extra money and buy another version of this book- the story is excellent!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    Filled with Typos

    As some of the other reviews have stated, this version of Anna Karenina was FILLED with typos -- at least 1 in 10 words was misspelled, some so badly that it was impossible to decipher what the word should be. This greatly affected the overall reading experience. Love the story, but buy another version.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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