Anna Karenina [Russian Edition] Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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A beautiful society wife from St. Petersburg, determined to live life on her own terms, sacrifices everything to follow her conviction that love is stronger than duty. A socially inept but warmhearted landowner pursues his own visions instead of conforming to conventional views. The adulteress and the philosopher head the vibrant cast of characters in Anna Karenina, Tolstoy's tumultuous tale of passion and self-discovery. This novel marks a turning point in the author's career, the juncture at which he turned from fiction toward faith. Set against a backdrop of the historic social changes that swept Russia during the late 19th century, it reflects Tolstoy's own personal and psychological transformation. Two worlds collide in the course of this epochal story: that of the old-time aristocrats, who struggle to uphold their traditions of serfdom and authoritarian government, and that of the westernizing liberals, who promote technology, rationalism, and democracy. This cultural clash unfolds in a compelling, emotional drama of seduction, betrayal, and redemption.
Please note: This audiobook is in Russian.
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|Listening Length||41 hours|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||22 November 2011|
|Publisher||New Internet Technologies|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 111,727 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
3,657 in Classic Literature
11,830 in Classic Literature & Fiction
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Top reviews from Australia
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About one sixth of the way I became a little disenchanted by her prose, or interpretation. I thought that there must be other translations. I was right, I found a few. One was by an American couple, well known but I've forgotten their names; easy to look up of course. Another was Rosamund Bartlett's translation completed in 2014. She is an Oxford Don, which I admit impressed me, and I decided to download that from Amazon at a cost of AU$8.43.
Bartlett's version offered about 870 pages.
Finding my place from the original version, I commenced reading the new one from there. I read until about two thirds of the way through that version. By that time I became too irritated to continue and I reverted to the earlier version.
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I changed from the Garnett version because I felt that her translation was written in a slightly older, pre-war, type of English. I felt that, being about one and a half generations younger, my appreciation of the narrative would be improved by a later interpretation. However, after reading Bartlett's interpretation for a large chunk of the book; to attempt to justify the expense; I found I might have been hasty. Her translation became increasingly irritating.
Bartlett's version, although using fewer pages, is far more detailed. Bartlett constantly 'stars' and 'numbers' notations about small details and names. Also she translates each and every one of the highly frequent French sentences, and many German ones also. There are thousands.
As is known, Russian nobility; which, by the way, constituted a very small section of the population; regarded Russian as a vulgar language, therefore all spoke French as a matter of course, often also learning some German and English. Thus to translate Tolstoy one had to maintain the original text. Some, like Garnett, simply copied it without translations; Bartlett, on the other hand, translated the lot. I simply couldn’t continue reading it and simultaneously enjoy the book.
So I reverted to Garnett’s version. I did so for the reverse of the reason that I original changed from her version! I came to believe that since the book was written around 1873, her translation might be closer to the intent of the writer.
Altogether it must have taken me almost a month to read; extraordinary; since I bought the 2014 Bartlett version on November 29th, 2017, but did not complete the book until Christmas eve; about 30 days!
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It is a difficult book to read and follow. One primary reason is the problem of following the Russian naming habits.
Everybody is normally referred to by their formal first name followed by their patronymic, not forgetting that the patronymic is adjusted according to gender. As if that is not enough, when talking WITH close relatives, they then constantly refer to both THAT close relative and OTHER close relatives by the use of endless diminutive forms. These are endless because they are changeable almost at whim.
Finally, do not forget the actual family name. Thus, even with a list of names provided at the beginning of the novel, one is wise to begin with a notepad and writing down all the formal and informal names, patronymics and diminutives as one reads: Because it is truly tough.
It is secondly difficult because the point of the book changes. If you take a current writing course, do not expect this book to follow anything like the modern rules you learn.
Add to that, this book is Russian and that probably says it all. English writers, even as far back as Jane Austen, tend to be cool and rational. Germans, highly philosophical and consistently obtuse (just a personal, unsupportable opinion.) But Russians are emotional, highly so. Add a heavy dose of philosophy, i.e. “why me?” and “why are we here”, and finally entirely smother it by various levels of depression..
Russians and Serbs – does the world need them?
Read the book; I think the earlier one is better. Try to read it earlier in life; I am 76, I would have liked to have read it 40-50 years ago. Many of us probably need it.
And the relief at finishing it is almost sublime.
I often found it hard to follow with the constant use of different names used for most of the characters. It wasn't what I would call a easy read, long and hard going at times. In the end I found it all worthwhile.
Top reviews from other countries
I skipped the parts about agriculture in nineteenth century Russia as this did not interest me and I didn't see what bearing it had on the fates of the characters.
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. The illusion was so well-executed that the only time I was made aware that I wasn't reading original language literature was when characters discussed which pronouns to use to refer to one another, an aspect of language which is absent from modern English. Both the translation and the original writing make this a thoroughly excellent book.
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!
I am only 22% through the book and I am really enjoying it so far, it's not as 'heavy' as I thought it would be. The story so far is of forbidden love, how Anna is pursued by Vronsky even though she married. She falls for him and so the turmoil starts...
The book also gives us and insight into what life was like in 1800's Russia, which is something I knew very little of. Further more after reading the short biography of Tolstoy (at the start of this book) you can see how he has used elements of himself in his male characters, Levin I think being the man he strives to be, working hard on his land not just for himself but for the good of all. Trying always to do the right thing be a good person. Vronsky who is more like the 'young' Tolstoy, a military man, out to satisfy himself, thinking little of others feelings we see this in the way Vronsky treats Kitty.
If you like a good love story with a good smattering of history thrown in, along with a host of supporting characters with their own little stories this is the book for you. This is a 'readable' book, not too heavy.