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Anna Karenina (Modern Library) [Paperback]

L.N. Tolstoy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2001 Modern Library
The Modern Library prides itself as ''The modern Library of the world s Best Books''. Since 1917 its paperback series has featured treasured classics, major translations of great works, and rediscoveries of keen literary and historical merit. Featuring introductions by leading writers, stunning translations, scholarly endnotes and reading group guides. Production values emphasize superior quality and readability. Competitive prices, coupled with exciting cover design make these an ideal gift to be cherished by the avid reader. Considered by some to be the greatest novel ever written, Anna Karenina is Tolstoy's classic tale of love and adultery set against the backdrop of high society in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. A rich and complex masterpiece, the novel charts the disastrous course of a love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer. Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together the lives of dozens of characters, and in doing so captures a breathtaking tapestry of late-nineteenth-century Russian society. As Matthew Arnold wrote in his celebrated essay on Tolstoy, "We are not to take Anna Karenina as a work of art; we are to take it as a piece of life

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Anna Karenina (Modern Library) + War and Peace (Penguin Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 976 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Inc; 1 edition (1 Oct 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067978330X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679783305
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.3 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 454,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


One of the greatest love stories in world literature --Vladimir Nabokov

About the Author

Count Leo Tolstoy (1828 1910) was born in central Russia. After serving in the Crimean War, he retired to his estate and devoted himself to writing, farming, and raising his large family. His novels and outspoken social polemics brought him world fame.

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Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Novel? 6 Oct 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It has to be mentioned that Anna Karenina is viewed by a lot of people as the perfect novel, and who am I to disagree? I have read it many times in numeorus traslations and so I feel that I should point out that this was translated by the late Constance Garnett. Because her translations are all out of copyright she is the world's most read English translator of Russian literature. It must be said that she did have a tendency to leave things out if she couldn't understand it and she did make alterations, mainly so that it would flow better in English. I know she has come in for a lot of criticism over the years but it should never be forgotten that she gave the reading public here and in the US translations of all the Russian greats and made them easily accessible for all.

Anna Karenina the novel, is absolutely brilliant, it holds you from the beginning, all the way throuh to the end. Taking us through such things as hypocrisy and jealousy, it takes us into a family and keeps us rooted in all the problems that it faces. If you have never read this before then now is definitely the time, if you have already read it, surely it is about time you read it again.

So remember, although this isn't the most accurate translation on the market, this is free and is easily readable, plus it does keep to the story, also the biggest complaints about her accuracy usually fall on her translations of Dostoevsky more than any other author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition - Wonderful! 5 Dec 2010
By wicce_k VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm reading this book due to being part of a book club. I probably would never have read it if it wasnt a)for the club and b) its a free download on the kindle. While I appreciate that the free edition is probably not as well translated as the more expensive editions, the story itself that Tolstoy creates goes beyond the mere difference in translation. The way he weaves a very complex yet deeply stimulating image of Russian society, politics, economics, history, values etc, and how that impacts on the normal lives of various people is incredible and realistic. How I wonder what Tolstoy would make of our modern society now!

What I also love is how Tolstoy gives us not just the actions of the characters, but there innermost thoughts and feelings as well - including the odd dog or two!!! Utterly wonderful to feel and know exactly what each character is going through and when a character such as Anna does not think of something, it shows just how far into denial she really is.

I'm totally spellbound by this book and encourage others to eat it up too.
Its a free kindle download, so you'd be daft not too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully true, insightful classic 1 Aug 2010
This book was my first foray into Russian literature, and I could not have had a better introduction. Tolstoy has a way of phrasing the thoughts and feelings of the characters that is so insightful, precise and identifiable that it easily transcends the innumerable differences between a modern reader and the selection of people he focuses on living in nineteenth century Russia. They are all incredibly psychologically developed and I felt as if I knew them all personally and could predict how they might react in any given situation. Tolstoy also colours his narrative so that it is seen through the eyes of the different characters, giving the reader many different viewpoints from which to perceive events and settings and so making the novel very rich. A scene from the perspective of Oblonsky, for example, is light, frivolous and faintly cynical, whereas the same situation seen through Levin's eyes is thoughtful and earnest.

Unfortunately, while the human drama of the novel has stood the test of time admirably, much of Tolstoy's social commentary has not fared so well. The sections on social economy, agriculture and political systems may have ben fascinating to a contemporary Russian reader but I found them lengthy, tedious, unnecessary and, dare I say it, dull. However, I'm more than willing to ignore the effect of these passages in light of the sheer brilliance of the rest of the book.

This particular translation (Penguin, 1954, this edition 2000) by Rosemary Edmonds is fantastic. Her prose is readable and appropriate, so that the book does not read like translated literature at all, but like any other nineteenth century novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost all of human life is here. 24 July 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Although the characters in Anna Karenina may live in Tsarist Russia, you have met their like, and you will recognise the truth and tragedies of their portryal in this wonderful novel. You may find the expositions of such areas as how to treat farm workers rather wordy, but you will find yourself savouring the descriptions of Levin mowing and empathising with his irritation at slovenly work. I haven't mentioned the eponymous heroine and her lover, but there are so many passages that will linger in your memory ...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clunky translation 1 Jan 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is wonderful but the electronic version is awful. Why can't they use the wonderful new translation? This one is so clunky that it is almost painful. Made me want to read the book in the original Russian
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has fired my passion for reading once more 18 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thank goodness for the Kindle- if it weren't for it I wouldn't have read Anna Karenina! I have a new found love of Leo Tolstoy. The character development is wonderful, each one fleshed out realistically and even sympathetically, and Tolstoy articulates feelings so incredibly well, so that you as a reader can understand the reactions, compatibilities/incompatibilities of the various characters. The social politics was also a very interesting and unexpected component in this work. The style of the translation i thought fitted the time at which the book was written; maybe in time I will try a more modern version, but for me this translation style complemented the story. Incredible literary work of art- I haven't felt this passionately about a book for more than a decade.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This book needs a second reading.
I feel that th this book has so much depth to it, that it will require a second reading. But first I must learn how to pronounce the Russian name's. Read more
Published 6 months ago by john Hamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful
A long read but so rewarding. Immerse yourself in the beautiful writing, rich descriptions, elegant world of Russia's aristocracy and landowners, and, above all, a passionate and... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Maggie
5.0 out of 5 stars a towering achievement
If you want to understand history, read War and Peace, if you want to understand how women think, read Anna Karenina. Read more
Published 10 months ago by senex53
5.0 out of 5 stars Phew
Timeless...relevant now in all aspects of life...challenges and stimulating, full of details, emotionally charged...needs slot of thought. A summer read that took in autumn too.
Published 10 months ago by JW07
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel best approached with no preconceptions
One cannot approach a novel of such status of Anna Karenina without preconceptions, expectations, and the tendency to mould ones mindset to conform to the traditional views of this... Read more
Published 12 months ago by A. J. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful translation
I have dog-eared so many pages where the words were so poetically written I could read them a thousand times. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Krystle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff!
OK, the book is a little worn and a little frayed - I wasn't expecting perfection! Every page is in tact and, while there are a few scores on the cover, this is deceptive as the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Katie the Unicorn
5.0 out of 5 stars Anna Karenina
I have read this before but it never disappoints and will I am sure read it again. One of the all time greats!
Published 17 months ago by FMCramb
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but a bit rambling.
Interesting read, can be very colourful and shines a light on life and the history of Russia which I enjoyed.
Published 17 months ago by MR D J BRUNNING
4.0 out of 5 stars No Dostoevsky
A quality book, however I don't think it matches up to many of the other Russian authors Dostoevsky, Turgenev and others.
Published 19 months ago by Imo
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