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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars59
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 18 July 2013
Possibly the wooden translation didn't help, nor the feeling that several different people had translated it,e.g. The change from roubles to pounds half way through.There were several very odd uses of ordinary English phrases, idioms and sayings which were inappropriate and stilted.
I was overwhelmed by a feeling that nothing has changed in Russia, something I found on reading a biography of Pushkin.
I have always found 'War and Peace' difficult to enjoy in any sense, so perhaps it's just that I don't like Tolstoy or the people he writes about. They seem to be mostly self-obsessed hysterics who feel that thinking 'great thoughts' about 'great subjects' is more important than really living a responsible life, looking after your family and not living beyond your means so that your unpaid bills reduce some poor tradesman to poverty. They are extremely emotionaly immature and seem unable to empathise with anyone at all.
Probably won't read it again. Though if I found a better translation I might enjoy it more.
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on 29 July 2013
How can you possibly rate a classic?
I first read this as a teenager and have re-read it many times since. This particular edition is one of the better ones with a very easy to read translation which is probably the only good advice I can give here other than to say, forget shades of whatever, if you want passion, read Anna Karenina.
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on 29 March 2014
Decided to re-read this after the rather odd latest screen adaptation. Screen adaptations of the novel are always rather marred by the casting of a femme fatale actress as Anna whereas Tolstoy is at some pains to point out that Anna though far from plain is not _that_ attractive. Adaptations also short circuit the theme of the book by derogating it to a simple love triangle when it is a skilfully woven tale of considerable depth focusing on the plight of an intelligent, passionate woman caught in the wrong society at the wrong time. I prefer it to War and Peace as that work by its very nature has a tendency to ramble a little, dealing with so many characters playing out their fictional lives across a huge geographical and historical panorama of actual events. Anna Karenina is altogether more focused, rounded and satisfying.
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on 11 October 2012
I ordered this hard back edtion as a birthday treat for myself. It has been many years since I read Anna Karenina and I wanted a book to treasure and re-read in the future. I am very dissapointed with the clumsy translation and the abundance of typos on small words. When finished this edition is heading for the charity shop.
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With part of the proceeds of this novel, and the others in this series you are helping to support fighting AIDs and trying to eliminate it in Africa. So you can read one of the world's greatest masterpieces and support a charity at the same time.

Anna Karenina was originaly slated by critics in Russia when it first appeared, but since then has gone on to be acknowledged for the masterpiece it is, indeed some cite this as the perfect novel. Funnily enough I have only met one other person who has read this book, he was an English teacher that I met at a money raising event and he was enthusing greatly on this. I have personally read it many times and it always enthralls me, and I hope that if you read it you will feel the same. Admittedly it is quite a big story but the basic plot is about a love affair. To give anything more than this away would really spoil it for anyone coming to it for the first time. Taking in love, passion, double standards and hypocrisy this novel firmly sets itself in its time by Tolstoy including things that were of concern to the people then living, but despite that this is a story for all time and is ageless.

This can be considered as a crossover between realism and modernism in the novel, as well as incorporating stream of conciousness, and for that alone it would be considered important, but with its great storyline it transcends such things, that really are only of interest for those who study literature.
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on 22 December 2013
I was surprised with this book. Many friends had recommended it, and it was on my List of Books to Read, but I was hugely surprised by the soulfulness and detailed way in which Tolstoy writes. His writing brings the characters right off the page in 4D. He takes you inside their mind and observes the tiniest of tiniest nuances in their character. Although it is a very long, weighty tome there is so much turmoil and emotion within the pages you have to keep on going to get to the end.
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on 21 January 2015
I really enjoyed reading Anna Karenina, I was recommended it by my husband's father, and I'm pleased I read it. I found it quite heavy reading early on, but about 1/3 of the way in it all started to come together. I enjoyed the intricate detail in which you 'got to know' characters, it felt quite different to more modern books, which was refreshing.
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on 8 September 2013
I really liked this book. I love the description, the characters and how they are intertwined. I really felt the relationship between vronsky and Anna and could feel the tension and stress rising. I found the end to this book a bit disappointing, I couldn't see how it was a proper ending for the story really. However a great book would recommend
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on 22 August 2013
This is in essence a love story, or rather a combination of love stories set in late 19th Century Russia. It touches on certain political and social issues and problems appropriate to that age and setting but Tolstoy does ramble on quite a bit on matters that really do not add anything menaingful to the storyline.
It may well be that something has been lost in the translation into English but there are many passages that seem to lack coherence. As the story unfolds Tolstoy tends to include more and more sentences and phrases in French in direct speech passages. This may have been a habit of the Russian aristocracy to confound their domestic staff, but I found it incredibly irritating as it ruins the flow of the narrative when I have to consult Google translate to get an idea of what is being said.
As far as the Kindle version is concerned there are numerous instances of bad layout with sentences broken mid-line with perhaps just one word on the next line and the remainders of the sentence next line down. Perhaps I am too fussy in my old age, but it would not be acceptable in a printed book so I do not see why we should accept it in an electronice version.
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on 29 October 2003
I had reached the 4th CD in this audiobook and all the time I had a nagging doubt that I was missing something. So I went on-line to do some research to find a text for this book.
I find to my disappointment that the audiobook supplied is less than 30% of the actual book and yet nowhere did Amazon say that the audiobook is an abridged version.
If you love classic original literature don't bother with this audiobook.
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