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Anna Karenina

  • Translated by Louise Maude and Aylmer Maude
  • Runtime: 33.6 Hours
  • Recording: Unabridged
  • Release date: 10.15.2012
  • Publisher: Craig Black
  • Genre: Fiction/Classics
  • 33.63 hrs10/15/2012Unabridged
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-4708-3743-3
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45 day rental Learn more

An Entertainment Weekly Pick of Tragic Love Stories to Read after “Seeing Me Before You”

An Oprah’s Book Club Selection

Sensual, rebellious Anna falls deeply and passionately in love with the handsome Count Vronsky. When she refuses to conduct the discreet affair that her cold, ambitious husband—and Russian high society—would condone, she is doomed. Set against the tragic love of Anna and Vronsky, the plight of the melancholy nobleman Konstantine Levin unfolds. In doubt about the meaning of life—a mirror of Tolstoy’s own spiritual crisis—Konstantine is haunted by thoughts of suicide. Through these and other characters, Tolstoy weaves a vast and rich tapestry of nineteenth-century Russian society.

A magnificent drama of vengeance, infidelity, and retribution, Anna Karenina tells the story of two characters whose emotional instincts conflict with the dominant social mores of their time.

Artwork © 2012 Focus Features LLC. All rights reserved.

Editorial Reviews

“Flawless as a work of art.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky

“For years, I made a point of rereading Anna Karenina every summer. I am still bowled over by its freshness and its immediacy.”

Anne Tyler, Pulitzer Prize–winning American novelist

“Without a doubt my favorite love story is Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina…In grandeur as is pathos, in the sweep of it as in the touching detail, it moves me now…just as it moved me long ago.”

Jan Morris, Welsh historian and author

“A sexy and engrossing read, this book tells the tale of one of the most enthralling love affairs in the history of literature.”

Oprah.com

“There is no doubt that Anna Karenina, generally considered Tolstoy’s best book, is definitely one ripping great read.”

Amazon.com, editorial review

“Considered one of the pinnacles of world literature.”

Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature

“Wanda McCaddon makes this literary cornerstone downright enjoyable…A wonderful listen.”

AudioFile

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2 out of 2 (100%) recommend this product

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    • 5/5

    Quotidian and Titanic

    Bertie Wooster March 24, 2014
    For those of us who have been put off by Tolstoy’s reputation as Great Novelist, this book is a revelation. Great Novelists, we learn, are not always Serious or Glum Novelists. Along with the serious themes and sad outcomes, there is a great deal here to smile and even laugh at. As a consequence, it’s one of those books you inhabit and are able to move around in. You really like Levin. For all his philandering, you like Oblonsky. For all his mental rigidity and blue veins, you can empathize with Karenin. And most importantly, you see the fundamental good in Anna, which makes her slide all the more painful.

    I’ve never read or heard a novel that was so true to life as this one. It is filled with the quotidian, the pleasant and displeasing, the funny and irritating details of life as well as the great moments of transgression, renunciation, suffering and joy. The near-overload of the former helps make the latter more convincing and real.

    And if nothing else, the conversation between Levin and his dog is worth the price of admission.

    One warning: if you’re intrigued by the blurb from Oprah.com calling this book “sexy”, please don’t hit “Purchase”. That appraisal was the act of an idiot, full of self-absorption, signifying nothing but the state of pop culture, which seeks to interpret everything greater than ourselves—and I defy you to find a work of art greater than this one—through the lens of mere appetite.

    As far as the quality of the production, several annoying repetitions make a long book even longer. And I suspect that, because it couldn’t have been recorded in one sitting and maybe even not in a single studio, there are many
    places where the room tone of the recording alters, as does May’s voice, making her sound for a few lines, or even a whole paragraph, like someone completely different.

    But these are minor flaws in a near-perfect performance.
    No 0 | Yes 0
    • 5/5

    Classic

    Lauren M July 19, 2013
    The book is a classic for a reason - the writing, the storyline, the historical setting, the characters' - all amazing. The novel is sweeping and bigger than life but still somehow relatable. The narration by Wanda McCaddon was a perfect fit and really enjoyable. Her light style and pacing keep the book from dragging too much and feeling too serious - impressive with a novel of this length. You get a sense that Tolstoy had a sense of humor - or at least McCaddon gives him one through the real and thoroughly flawed characters she speaks as. If you’ve been meaning to read Anna Karenina for years, like me, this audio version is a great choice.
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Author Biography

Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was born about two hundred miles from Moscow. His mother died when he was two, his father when he was nine. His parents were of noble birth, and Tolstoy remained acutely aware of his aristocratic roots, even when he later embraced doctrines of equality and the brotherhood of man. After serving in the army in the Caucasus and Crimea, where he wrote his first stories, he traveled and studied educational theories. In 1862 he married Sophia Behrs and for the next fifteen years lived a tranquil, productive life, finishing War and Peace in 1869 and Anna Karenina in 1877. In 1879 he underwent a spiritual crisis; he sought to propagate his beliefs on faith, morality, and nonviolence, writing mostly parables, tracts, and morality plays. Tolstoy died of pneumonia in 1910 at the age of eighty-two.

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Reader Biography

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.

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