Anna Karenina (Dover Thrift Edition)

Anna Karenina (Dover Thrift Edition)

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Overview

Anna Karenina (Dover Thrift Edition) by Leo Tolstoy

A beautiful society wife from St. Petersburg, determined to live life on her own terms, sacrifices everything to follow her conviction that love is stronger than duty. A socially inept but warmhearted landowner pursues his own visions instead of conforming to conventional views. The adulteress and the philosopher head the vibrant cast of characters in Anna Karenina, Tolstoy's tumultuous tale of passion and self-discovery.
This novel marks a turning point in the author's career, the juncture at which he turned from fiction toward faith. Set against a backdrop of the historic social changes that swept Russia during the late nineteenth century, it reflects Tolstoy's own personal and psychological transformation. Two worlds collide in the course of this epochal story: that of the old-time aristocrats, who struggle to uphold their traditions of serfdom and authoritarian government, and that of the Westernizing liberals, who promote technology, rationalism, and democracy. This cultural clash unfolds in a compelling, emotional drama of seduction, betrayal, and redemption.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486437965
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 11/23/2004
Series: Dover Thrift Editions Series
Pages: 752
Sales rank: 1,066,330
Product dimensions: 5.16(w) x 8.24(h) x 1.23(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Novelist, essayist, dramatist, and philosopher, Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is most famous for his sprawling portraits of 19th-century Russian life, as recounted in Anna Karenina and War and Peace.

Date of Birth:

September 9, 1828

Date of Death:

November 20, 1910

Place of Birth:

Tula Province, Russia

Place of Death:

Astapovo, Russia

Education:

Privately educated by French and German tutors; attended the University of Kazan, 1844-47

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 in Anna 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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Anna Karenina Oxfords World Classics Series) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
ACKL More than 1 year ago
My brother and I do a book club each winter together and choose a piece of literature that neither of us has read before. This year we chose Anna Karenina. This story is so good - and the translation did it justice. Anna Karenina is an excellent story for book clubs - there's so much to discuss in it and so much more relevant to current society than I expected. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 only because there weren't any questions at the end to guide discussion. My brother and I had to find those online. Of course, there are lots of places to find questions but it would have been helpful if some were included. I was attempting to read the story without knowing the end and many of the discussion questions online gave a quick synopsis that gave away a key piece of the ending of the story.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
wonderful translation of the classic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fantastic! I couldn't stop. It is so full of life: reality and fantasy. It makes you feel as if you are in the book. Tolstoy has mastered the art of being an author. Although some bits seem boring, continue and you will be a lot better off than when you started. By the way, I have seen many translations and I think Louise and Aylmer Maude have the most 'Russian' version. Rosemary Edmonds writes a fairly clever, detailed version, and Constance Garnett writes a clear, easier to understand but old-fashioned version. The book is better than the movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read Anna Keranina all the way through, finally. It was a very long book but I have to say that it was well worth my time. It was a story about the tragic romance of Anna Keranina and also the story of Levin's love of Kitty and their happy marriage. Both plots intertwined into a brilliant play of love and the tragedy of Anna Keranina, a beautiful woman doomed to a tragic end for loving and acting on the love she had for a man that was not her husband.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anna Karenina is by far the best book I've read. It was required reading for my Russian Novel class and at first I was intimidated by it's length, but once I started it I couldn't put it down!! I highly recommend reading this book!!