Tolstoy: Anna Karenina

ISBN: 0521313252
ISBN 13: 9780521313254
By: Anthony Thorlby

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About this book

This exploration of the subtle psychology in Tolstoy's characterization avoids complex terminology and assumes a readership studying the text in English translation.

Reader's Thoughts


I am so glad I revisited this book without an academic timeline. It is time-consuming, but definitely rewards patience to the very end.

Fiona Campbell

This book took me ages to read, but I am honestly glad I did. I felt in some parts Tolstoy spent pages and pages describing detail of things of little significance, yet in some parts, he conveyed a lot while saying very little. I enjoyed this writing style more than anything else, I feel, but it was still pretty hard for me to read/understand. Definitely going to re-read at some point.Favorite quote (I don't know why): "He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun- yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking."

Brenda Verno

Tolstoy is the master of of character building. Although I already knew the ending, I was completely engaged in everyone's story throughout.

Michaela Gibalová

This is a novel about power of woman and thinking of society in Russia in the century. The novel describes destiny of three families: Anne´s family, her brother´s family and Levin´s family. Every one of those families is diferrent, but with interesting opinion on life.

Shawn N

The final pages of Leo Tolsoy's 'Anna Karenina' are breathtaking, as timeless as they are meaningful. From society's revelation to a desperate and hateful Anna that all societal constructs, all traditions and fads -- religion, politics, class, education, marriage, gender, etc. -- are constructs of vanity, to Levin's pseudo-religious submission to an almost Kantian authority existing independently of those same constructs, these last pages prove worth the long and tragic, but ultimately redeeming, haul.

Leaza Cowan

Good but slow!

Stacy Daniel

Yes, it's a "classic" and I realize that its supposed to be against some unwritten code to openly admit to hating a classic. But to my credibility, this was my second attempt at not hating it. I read it once as a teen and hated it then, so I thought maybe as an adult, experience and wisdom would let me read it through different eyes. Nope. Still hate it. It is just such typical Tolstoy: "Oh how I want what I shouldn't touch, but to hell with the consequences because I just cant help myself." To immediately after: "Gasp! We are doomed to hell; we shouldn't have done that! My life is ruined because I couldn't control my sexual desires so now I should just lay my head on this railroad track..." blah blah, blah. Honestly, I have never understood the hype over Tolstoy. I understand the era that wrought the double standard for women and premarital sex, but personally I just think this story was so repetitive, and dragged on and on and on like only Tolstoy could do. I'm convinced he had a serious ego problem and just liked to hear himself ramble on. This was the second book of his I tried, and the second attempt at this particular one...and well I guess this time was a "shame on me" scenario.


Well I mean, you probably aren't going into this book blind. And if you are going to set aside enough time to develop a monogamous relationship with it, I hope you like things that make you sad. Especially if you are a woman.There, I said it. This book makes you sad to be a woman.

Jessica ~The book lover~

It's a very long book. But better to read it then to watch the dvd, which misses out a lot of things. Some say it's confusing to remember all the characters, but personally I thought it was easy. It's not excactly light reading at some points.

Rebecca Dimaggio

I loved this book. It is one of those books that stays with you.


Favorite book.

Michel Winant

Wow, what a book ... had this on my bedside table for years as the length of this book scared me a bit. Read it in English as the Dutch translation I had was horrible. It is my first Tolstoi (even my first Russian classic but it won't be my last) Absolutely adored this book which read as a Russian soap opera with as main theme: how do we find happiness? Through Levin, Anna, and a host of supporting characters, we see several approaches to happiness. Levin searches for fulfillment through work; Anna and Vronsky through love; Alexey Alexandrovitch through duty; Stiva through superficial amusements; and Dolly through her children. Almost all of them fail to find permanent, complete happiness. This failure leads to death in some cases and reluctant acceptance in others


favorite book of all time

Anand Surendar

Speaks of so much more than the affair

Diana Doyle

Like a lot of old classics, this was long and wordy. Good book though.

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