Anna Karenina

  • by Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by Davina Porter
  • 36 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Tolstoy's masterpiece begins, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."This is the story of the unhappy family of Anna Karenina. The novel contains much concerning Tolstoy's spiritual crisis and his search for the meaning of life. But it is also chiefly about marriage, and the growth and death of love.The touching picture of Anna Aarkadyevna Karenina's slow disintegration has fascinated readers for well over a century. Beautiful and charming, Anna lives in a splendid world of her own making. She smokes, rides horseback, plays tennis, takes opium, practices birth control, and (although she is already married) falls in love with a handsome army officer.Anna's life is played out against a backdrop of dazzling balls and the vastness of Russia's landscape. It is a magnificent story that shimmers with the intensity of intelligence and passion, especially through this superb narration by Davina Porter.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Davina Porter's performance of Tolstoy's dauntingly long and involved world classic makes one feel grateful not to have to make this difficult literary journey alone. Porter's voice is pleasant, expressive and versatile; her Russian pronunciations impressive; and her understanding of the work excellent. In an unhurried and confident fashion, Porter reveals the twisting social and personal tensions that ensnare a very mortal married woman who falls into illicit love. Porter's interpretation gives a warmth and consistency to this demanding novel which silent readers would be hard-pressed to approach, let alone duplicate. This is an outstanding example of performance literature.

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What the Critics Say

"Porter reads magnificently." (Los Angeles Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Greatest Novel Ever Written ?

Tolstoy creates a world of complex characters whom one gets to know and understand and with whom one develops great empathy as the events unfold. The analysis of chatacters' motivation is supreme as Tolstoy demonstates enormous insights into the dilemmas they face as they seek happiness and meaning in their lives. Some fail, some achieve a measure of success, some deceive themselves, some aim low, some aim high.
This book is deeply moving because of its sympathy with humanity.
It is so well written that you cannot put it down but it demands time and concentration.
It is the greatest novel that I have ever read.
If you read only one novel in your life, read Anna Karenina!
Davina Porter judges her reading beautifully
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- Steve

What a treat!

I first read this many years ago, at the age of 19, and was probably too young for it. I was only interested in what I saw as the high romance of Anna's love affair, and am ashamed to say I skipped most of Levin's philosophising, which I dismissed as boring. The good thing about an audio book is that it's difficult to skip bits, so you listen to it all - and I loved all 36-plus hours of it! This time round, I realised that Anna was silly, thoughtless and selfish, and found myself much more interested in Levin's story: yes, all the details about agriculture and local politics that I'd found so tedious before. It was beautifully read, too.
Nice to think that at last I am old enough for Tolstoy!
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- Mirium

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-12-2003
  • Publisher: Recorded Books