Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Book Summary

An Apple Books Classic edition.

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Thus begins what many consider the world’s greatest novel. Leo Tolstoy originally published this sweeping saga in serial form beginning in 1875, portraying a vast swath of Russian life, from the fields worked by starving peasant farmers to the sitting rooms (and bedrooms) of privileged aristocrats.

Despite its epic nature, Anna Karenina is an intricate, intimate study of one woman’s downward spiral into tragedy. As Anna’s husband becomes increasingly absorbed in philosophical and political introspection, Tolstoy’s heroine grows weary of her life as a mother and wealthy man’s wife. Increasingly unsettled by the stark class differences she observes, Anna finds passion again in a forbidden affair with Count Vronsky. But can she overcome her obsessive concern with societal norms to find a measure of happiness?

Passion. Betrayal. Love. Revenge. Tolstoy’s classic has it all.

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Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy) Book Reviews

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- Probably the Best Book I’ve Ever Read5 star

I’m a bookworm in my mid 20’s. I was first introduced to Anna Karenina in my undergrad in a comparative literature class, when I was engaged to someone who was wrong for me. THIS BOOK OPENED MY EYES TO THE TOXICITY OF THE RELATIONSHIP, and gave me the courage I needed to break it off! The book was originally titled “The Two Marriages,” (though I would say it follows three principle relationships) which I think may have been a better title for it as it helped me understand the book so much more. I am now married to someone else and a mom to a one year old. I picked up this book again on the reading app so I could read on the go, as my little one is energetic to say the least. And WOW!! Every time I read this book I am floored, floored people!! The characters, the metaphors, the universal questions and truths, it is all so beautifully done. Tolstoy was truly a master of his craft. Don’t let the page number daunt you; again, I don’t have much time to sit and read because of my baby, but since it’s on my phone I can read AND annotate on the go!! Do yourself a favor get started!!

- mind blowingly descriptiVe3 star

man, listen! this book will describe the white on rice for 10 pages, giVe you the nutritional information the next ten pages, then painstakingly illustrate the character consuming the rice GRAIN BY GRAIN. i adVise you to read this with beethoVen or miles davis playing; you’re in for a long, slow ride. no need to buckle up, grandma is definitely driVing you home today,the long way! to finish this book is to accomplish a feat. tolstoy is not for the idle, impatient reader;)V

- Anna Karenina2 star

I love the classics but this is so wordy and tediously boring

- Very good5 star

This is a very good, very long story. Well written. I have enjoyed it very much. It's hard to keep up with all of the people. I, finally, went back and made notes on the relationships with other people. I will r ad Wa and Peace, but not now. I'll take a break and read a shorter one.

- Profound!5 star

This book was nothing like I expected. I was expecting a dramatic tale of two lovers - which it was, sort of- but it was SO much more. The way Tolstoy weaves the eternal truths about life, death, love, choices, temptation, consequences, truth, and beauty into the story are absolutely breathtaking. His words describe thoughts and feelings that I thought were unique to me as if I had shared them with him because his insight into human emotion and relationships is profound and true. I throughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys the intricacies and under currents to human relationships and choices. Superb!!

- My All Time Favorite5 star

Though it’s a long book, it doesn’t feel that way. Tolstoy paints such a vivid and beautiful image of places and people we still relate to today. Everyone will find theirselves reflected in these diverse, intriguing, and truly human characters. Please read this, it answered questions about life and love I didn’t know I had.

- Anna karenina5 star

Philosophical worth reading many times tussle of ones thought are clearly and explicitly observed and expressed and written wonder how the writer has in-depth knowledge ones feelings feels like readers own emotional behaviour is so vividly projected

- Anna Katrina4 star

Reflects a society in constant change as it portrays the fallibility of people as they focus on power and position; religion; and retaliation. As the story ends it became tedious to plow through some of the dialogue. Still worth reading.

- Not free1 star

Keeps showing up as free book. But it’s not free

- Forgot this one1 star

This novel is not worth the time reading it. It has exremely boring sections, the characters are not likable and it is a hodgepodge of novellas. Tolstoy published these in installments- more money for more installments. Woman are not nicely portrayed, either goofy, stupid, or as in Anna’s case, made to be psychotic. There is no way that she would have thrown herself under a train, when she could have just taken too much opium. I only finished it as a challenge. My advice: don’t read it.

- Anna Karenina5 star

This book is truly incredible and it is definitely worth your time to read it. Some parts are a little slow but, for the most part, it is utterly captivating.

- Anna Karenina5 star

All you have do to truly enjoy this book to its fullest is slow down, savor, and read it on your iPad so that if there is anything you don’t understand about Russia, Russian customs, locations or whatnot, your iPad is right there to do very quick, smooth research, understand what you read, and then just read on. This book is a great book, every inch it, written by a true master. I still found “War And Peace” to be even better (6 stars?), except for the out-of-control last chapter on Tolstoy’s religious philosophy on war. I found it redundant after reading the rest of the book. That old man sure could write grippers, though.

- It is THE novel that so many subsequent books and movies are based on5 star

There are limited tales from the beginning of time....plots, themes, characters that appear throughout the ages. This novel is one of the best, if not the best to explore marriage, love, and morality. I do think it's a bit much to introduce to today's high school age students though. Thus, you will find low ratings readily among this crowd. But if you're an adult you've no doubt heard of Anna Karenina and if you've never read it, do yourself a favor and decide to read thirty pages. By then, you're hooked!

- Whew! Finally finished!4 star

I think this is the longest book I've ever read! I'm glad I persevered, but it was tough going for sure. Overall I think it's a good story, but it did kind of feel like it was rambling on longer than necessary. However, as an American living in the 21st century, I think it was important for me to read it, if for no other reason than for me to see that people who I would have previously been tempted to think of as being so different from me were shown to be just the same. We all battle the same things and we all need Jesus! So, thank you, Leo; maybe you could have told it with fewer words, but I'm glad you did tell it!

- The best5 star

The best novel ever written. I've read it about 10 times and each time I learned something new about the book, about the world, and about myself. The characters, from a time and place I do not know, make the same mistakes I make, feel the same pain I feel, experience the same joy that I feel in life, friendship, and family. A master writer, The master book.

- Amazing read5 star

Knowing how old this book is, it came with a great surprise how current and relevant all the concepts of the book are. My suggestion to the readers would be to not read it for story - and there is a great story there anyway - but read it to feel the scenery, the human psychology, the difference between the thinking of men and women, different types of men and most of a philosophy about "goodness" as a religion for all the skeptics out there.

- A deep reflection on human life5 star

A deep reflection on human life and human soul

- Anna karenina1 star

I lost the point of this book somewhere around page 8 or 9 hundred. Another rambling story about Russia's ruling class jest like Ar mad Piece. Don't waisted your time. Read Tarzan instead

- Loved it - Great insight into the human Psyche5 star

This classic book is beautifully written and goes into painful detail about human interactions and thoughts; what makes us tick and portrays a realistic and interesting view of Russia in Tokstoy’s time. The book really makes you think about the things that are important in life and the human heart and how much it can be pulled yet still provide a resemblance of love. It is also an interesting lesson in social climate and how, when we are separated from love in it’s various forms what can happen to our perceptions and how we live and die. This is not an easy book to read. Between the timelines for which this was written and the translation, I found I needed to read this book more slowly and there parts I would re-read because I wasn’t 100% sure in how to interpret the text. Each section of the book is written through the eyes of a different character. This explains why I loved some sections more than others. Some were so intimate and full of life and other sections I got tired of hearing what was for dinner. There are many symbols in the book as well and how each person lives with shame forced on us by society. The double standards between men and women were likewise frustrating. I’m glad I read this book and there are parts of the book I still think about even though the book is done. It’s a classic for a reason. Stick with it. One final note, there are multiple translations of this book and some people do not like some of the translations. I found this version on iBooks to be very good.

- Explains the whole of human nature5 star

A truly timeless, brilliant book. The characters' experiences can be directly translated to modern times and each one gives you a lesson in human nature that you will no doubt personally relate to. The most remarkable aspect to me though, is that Tolstoy captured a most profound look into a woman's thought processes.

- Typical1 star

If you liked Crime and Punishment, or Metamorphosis, you'll enjoy this book.

- Amazing!5 star

I tried to read this when I was younger and could not get through it. Now I have no idea why as I just read it, could not put it down and thought about it a lot when I was not reading it. Possibly the best novel I have ever read.

- Great Story....bad ending4 star

It was kind of like a novella. I honestly despise the author's decision to kill Anna out of the book in such a ridiculous manner.

- Anna Karenina5 star

Was a great book. Good reading for all.

- This is a good book5 star

I love this but it's really good so far

- Like it4 star

It a great story but I don't like the end and don't have no footnote

- Anna Karenina3 star

I have read many books on my iPhone and many of which are free publications of the classics. This review of Anna Karenina receives 3 out of 5 stars because of its lack of footnotes. There are multiple French phrases and Russian references that have footnotes, but are not indicated nor referenced in this eBook. I had a hard copy on hand, as well and I used that as my guide. Inconvenient to say the least, but necessary as I am not fluent in French. About the story in general, I adored it until part 7. This, to me, should not be acclaimed as one of the greatest love stories of all times due to the ending.

- Anna Karenia2 star

Disappointed in Anna's fate. The names were very confusing. Felt it was way too detailed in regards to conversations and trivia. Very little action. Too much musing about unfamiliar subjects, agriculture and the like. Also difficult to follow the philosophical self-talk and endless discussions.

- Timeless...5 star

This tells the story of Anna's strong passion and kitty's calm love and why one is destined to fail whereas the other gets stronger every day. Wonderful, sad, epic...

- Anna Karenina is a great romance!4 star

I read this book over the summer, and I really liked it. The only thing was the fact that it went really slow at times, and I would put the book down for a few weeks out of boredom. Anna Karenina is a very-well written book with two different kinds of romance: Tragic, sinful forbidden love vs. happy, beautiful, and blessed love.

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Wow! Leo Tolstoy, a man of FEW words - NOT! (My version was 2,560 pages.) If he’d written the story using just the first names he could have shortened the tale by 200 pages at least. If someone had edited out all the unnecessary bits the story could have been cut in half. I’m a non-violent person but by page 1,000 I was hoping Anna K. would commit suicide just to shut her crazy talking up. I’ve seen some high maintenance and I’ve seen some crazy chicks - this one took the prize. The Title of the book doesn’t suit. The entire story had VASTLY more about Levin than anyone. Anna K. (Spoiler Alert!) committed suicide 200 pages before the end of the book and as an example almost ALL of those 200 pages are about or around Levin. I was glad the ordeal was over and now I can say, “I read it.” I just can’t explain why I stuck it out to the end. Would I say that it worth the read? Y-yeah, though I bought the book I’m doubtful I will pick it up a second time but I’m glad I read it.

- Translation = FRAUD1 star

English never YaUnkee excrement!!

- Anna karerina4 star

Bon, mais un peu trop long. Certains chapitres auraient pu être plus court.

- Bane.Pk5 star


- Powerful and meaningful5 star

Tolstoy's description of Russian's daily life under the Tsars, is vivid. The characters are whole and unique as if we met them in different circumstances and gottten to know them. Yes, Tolstoy is concerned with spiritual and moral consideratios, but we could still read some more about the characters even though then novel is quite long. One needs to be a bit patient and follow the writer through his descriptions, to get to Tolstoy's message.

- Mindnumbingly tedious1 star

This novel could have equally been called Russian Agriculture in the 1800s as much time was spent with Levin complaining about the laziness and uselessness of his peasants. And indeed his quest for explanation of God. Anna was a poor mother, unable to love her second child, or to remain with her husband in order to keep her first child. Both main characters surely suffered from depression, and I felt similar as I plodded through this massive tome. Fortunately for me I knew the end having watched a film years ago and when Anna ordered her coachman to drive to the train station my depression began to lift as I realised the end was in sight at last. And now I think, some Jane Austen re reading is in order.

- A beautiful classic4 star

Anna Karenina gives a wonderful insight into pre-revolutionary Russia. The names given in full are sometimes a bit confusing but definitely authentic. It would be helpful to have footnotes explaining the concepts to modern readers but the interwoven stories of Anna and Levin come through strongly. Definitely worthwhile reading.

- Boring3 star

I think this is only for adults kids won't understand it

- Anna karenina5 star

A book which takes the reader on a journey about love, loss, how men and females communicate differently, think differently, indulge in power struggles, economics, religion and the purpose of life. So much to enjoy and like.

- Fantastic5 star

One of my favourite books. Suggest to all.

- Anna Karenina3 star

An enjoyable read with mixed pace and foreign social interest. The final chapters speak loudly in today's world about Russian perceptions, and Tolstoy imparts some wisdom as well as balanced debate into the arena. TM (May 2013) is being a tad catty in his objection to Tolstoy bringing a spiritual dimension to his work. Most writers and creative artists give something of their inner selves to their work, and denying them this would limit them unfairly. In fact, I don't agree with all Tolstoy's conclusions (seeming to verge on universalism, as they do) but wouldn't gainsay him the right to express them. The best part for me was Anna's passion at the end - very gripping, yet understandable - followed by Levin's 'conversion' and war debate with his brother and others - perhaps some resonance in how Russia thinks of Ukraine? Like Dickens, Tolstoy has his moments of verbosity, but these are offset by his observations of an era long ago in a land far away, that brings modern Russia closer to our understanding.

- Great book!5 star

Loved reading this story & Loved the film too!!

- Anna Karenina5 star

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well written book. Tolstoy captures human emotions and puts them into words so magically that I was transported into his era and could not put this book down once I started reading it. Towards the end I felt a bit let down by the change of events, however felt uplifted again by the beautiful way in which he ended the final chapter. A brilliant piece of work that portrays so many different lives and captures the essence of their being!! I would certainly recommend reading it.

- Anna Karenina3 star

Yes - you need to read it. It is a seminal text. However, be prepared for a long read...and a meandering one! Tolstoy tells us the tale of the beautiful and the damned, but he takes the opportunity to insert swathes of description of 'country matters' while interlacing the whole thing with the tale of his personal journey in faith. I appreciate his crafting of the text and understand his point of view, however I really could have garnered that from a contracted explanation. I do see his description of his personal journey as an act of self-indulgence, with slim regard for the effect on the reader - bar the obvious preaching element. Preaching religion via a work of fiction I consider both pedestrian and duplicitous. I am aware that my opinion may be entirely due to personal beliefs, however a modern audience obviously will bring a much wider range of 'reader contexts' and thus produce a wider range of opinions than those produced in imperial Russia. Ultimately, read and enjoy - with a pinch of salt!

- Brilliant very easy to read, once you start you get lost in it.5 star

Brilliant very easy to read, once you start you get lost in it...

- A brilliantly written, haunting read5 star

This is a masterpiece! Do not be put off by the length or pedigree of the author. It is beautifully written and easy to read. Anna's passion and jealousy is offset perfectly by Kitty's gentle love story. I loved it!

- A true classic5 star

Ahead of its time, this is fascinating as much for its detailed look at Russia in a time of change, as it is for its complex and well-drawn characters. I actually preferred reading the ebook as I found it easier to follow than the paperback (small screen and less densely packed with unfamiliar Russian names)!

- 👍👍👍5 star


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Anna Karenina ile millet kütüphanesinde diriliş Ertuğrul izlemek mi?Cumhurbaşkanlığı yazdıysa bozsun.Bozmuş zaten.😂

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This book is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina!! Wtf how did i not get it??? Anna K?! I loved the original so i…

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Anna karenina ile kitap fuarında çay içiyoruz. ( daha iyisi olabilirdi. Niye her bi şeyim bele sıkıcı :/)

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@kimber_silver21: “I think... if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as the…

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Tverskaya, her cigarette. Tant mieux, mon p-re._ Talk away from its way of myself! - Ulysses and Anna Karenina #JamesJoyce #Tolstoy

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@FilmstoFilms_: Anna Karenina (2012)

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@FilmstoFilms_: Anna Karenina (2012)

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Raga ma quant’è bello il conte Vronskij di Anna Karenina?

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@FilmstoFilms_: Anna Karenina (2012)

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@FilmstoFilms_: Anna Karenina (2012)

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“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even withou…

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@kimber_silver21: “I think... if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as the…

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19- Anna Karenina (2012) most tragic love story ever. count vronsky is undeniably handsome but likewise i feel poor…

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Sometimes for once detected him to announce him, Levin blushing. - Anna Karenina in A Ghost Story #Tolstoy #Dickens #Christmas

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