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Anna Karenina

by Leo Tolstoy

Review of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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       I found the story in this book to be rather slow, and I was relieved when I finally finished it.

       Contrary to the thoughts of many other readers, I was more fascinated by Levin than by Anna. I don't believe I have ever found a character in a book who I could relate to more closely than the character of Konstantin Levin. (Not to his life but to the way he thinks and deals with life.)

       By the way, the long Russian names and their many variations become rather confusing.  

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was reviewed by Kyla

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       This book commands the reader to absorb, imagine and enjoy the characters and historical context it depicts. The questions raised for me upon completing the book  remind me of how its eternal themes are both subtle and  complex in their representation. I indulged in the richly descriptive text and wish the characters hadn't disappeared with the ending of this beautiful and moving novel.  

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was reviewed by Jackie

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       As with most Russian literature, this novel explored, in rich detail, the deepest thoughts and emotions of its characters.  I felt it was a fantastic novel with realistic and interesting people, both rich and poor.  Tolstoy seems to have a firm grip on the human condition and in this masterpiece, he presents a variety of characters, all interwoven, who gradually either become more happy or unhappy as the plot unfolds.  One thing I found fascinating was how the title character was far and away the most interesting, but Tolstoy chose to write about her much less than some of the others, leaving the reader wanting more, but also somehow feeling satisfied that it was just enough.  Almost every aspect of a relationship, good and bad, and the misunderstandings that have a cause and effect on those relationships occurs at some point in this novel.  The famous opening line of the book pretty much sums everything up, but you have to read this pillar of fiction in order to see why.  

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was reviewed by Richard Barrow

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       The novel's themes of love and religion have certainly been explored time and time again.  But, perhaps, the mental anguish of Anna and doubts of Levin have not been expressed so beautifully and so symbolically.  It is much more than a "trifling romance."  The writing is moving, and the language along with the analogies are just beautiful.  For example, Tolstoy describes Anna's recollection of her flight from home as "a feeling aking to disgust, and like that which a drowning man might experience after having pushed away a person clinging to him."  So many complicated emotions expressed so compactly.  I was sorry that the novel ended.  

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was reviewed by Casual Reader

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       This book is nothing short of the greatest work ever written. The book is really two stories that interlace with each other. One concerns Levin, a small time farmer trying to win over a rich Moscow society lady, while the other story, the main story, concerns Anna, a woman who has an affair with an army officer. Its from those two stories that a near perfect level of balance happens; in one chapter Anna falls into the darkest of pitholes, while in the next chapter Levin is having a relaxing time in the country. The two stories outline the strange duality of life. AK was originally called "a trifling story of high society life." But it's so much more than that. From it's various subplots, Tolstoy paints a picture of life more real and more true to today than any other writer in the 19th century. It remains the most ageless book from the 1800s; anna and levin's problems resonate today just as much as they did 150 years ago.  

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was reviewed by Liam

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       This novel was beautiful in the detail that Tolstoy included.  The thoughts and feelings of the characters was deeply involved and emotional.  The side information that is not always seen as directly relevant to the story itself was a great addition; it gives insight to how life was lived in that time and place.  Without this I feel the novel would have been too straight and narrow, lacking the depth that it had.  

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was reviewed by Karen Roche

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       A wonderful book telling a wonderful story in a wonderfull way. Some say too many's written about peasants, but it had to be since Tolstoy took the chance to also write about the current situation in his contry, in both artisitc and it's economic state. But the story of Anna is a beautiful story told with so many details which show how deeply human soul was known to Tolstoy. Unfortunately, many people reading it have the disabillity to see the true essence and worth of this great book.  

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was reviewed by Anonymous

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       The story of Anna as many says can be cut of to 400 pages, but indeed is a very powerful novel with such great power.

       The novel starts with an intrigating sentence:  Happy families are all alike, unhappy families are unhappy in their own way.  

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was reviewed by Eni

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       How this book is in the top 100 I will never know.  I am an avid reader, and appreciate  most of the books that are on this list, but Anna Karenina is a long and painful read.  I found the translation to English to be clumsy and inappropriate but the ridiculous amount of unneccesary detail in this story is what killed the book for me.  Do we really need to know thoughts on farming pracitices, that adds nothing to the story?  NO!  If this book was condensed to about a third of what it is now, it would probably be quite good, but in its current state I would not recommend this book to anyone.  I normally read a novel in 2 - 3 days.....this book took me EIGHT WEEKS to read.  

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was reviewed by Hilary

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       I decided to read this book because i've always seen it in stores and on top ten lists and knew nothing about it beforehand. All in all it was worth the effort but of all 817 pages that make up this book, I feel like half of it could be cut out.  There are too many descriptions of things that didn't concern me or that I felt was not relative to the story line.  When the book was originally published it received a review of 'a trifling romance of high life'.  I tend to agree with this view.  While there are other underlying themes present, it mostly dealt with extremly rich people who seemed to be completly cut off from the real world.  There 'struggles' are so comical, compared to the rest of society during the given time period,  that I wasn't sure if i would make it to the end of the book. While this was not the best book I ever read, i'm positive others will enjoy.  

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was reviewed by Anonymous

rule05

       This is one of my favorite books of all time.  In order to love it as I do, you must be enthralled with rich detail.  It takes place in Russia, somewhere in the late 19th or early 20th century.  The main story line is of Anna, in an unhappy marriage who has an affair.  She leaves the marriage, but the relationship with her lover does not turn out well.  There are subplots, such as another woman who has many children, and a husband who cheats on her.  Ironically, Anna councils this woman to stay in her marriage.  Another subplot is of Anna's lover's life as a soldier.  Anna's husband, who we start out disliking, comes to be a character allowing compassion.  The stories move from beautiful country life to high city life of the Russian aristocracy and you learn alot about the lifestyles of these people.  To me it is amazing how many subplots can be described so intrinsically, and then woven together into a main story.  There is a tragic ending.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was reviewed by cool librarian

rule05

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