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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

This Penguin Classic is performed by Miranda Pleasence, the stage and television actress best known for her roles in Notes on a Scandal, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and The Affair of the Necklace. This definitive recording includes an introduction by Richard Pevear.

Tolstoy's epic novel of love, destiny and self-destruction.

Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their subsequent affair scandalizes society and family alike and soon brings jealously and bitterness in its wake. Contrasting with this tale of love and self-destruction is the vividly observed story of Levin, a man striving to find contentment and a meaning to his life - and also a self-portrait of Tolstoy himself.

This acclaimed modern translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky won the PEN/Book of the Month Club Translation Prize in 2001. 

©2003 Translation: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"The new and brilliantly witty translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is a must." (Lisa Appignanesi, Independent, Books of the Year)

"Pevear and Volokhonsky are at once scrupulous translators and vivid stylists of English, and their superb rendering allows us, as perhaps never before, to grasp the palpability of Tolstoy's characters, acts, situations." (James Wood, New Yorker)

What listeners say about Anna Karenina

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Beautifully, sensitively read. Thoroughly transported to 19th century Russia

Having always wanted to read Anna Karenina but never feeling quite ready to tackle such an epic, I decided to try the Audio book samples on Audible.
I listened to a few samples before I found this stunning reading by Miranda Pleasence. She reads it absolutely beautifully.
Her voice adapts subtly for each character enhancing their form and personality so you quickly feel you recognise each of them well. She reads with a depth and passion that transports you to another world.
I was instantly absorbed and captured by the story.
An epic tale set in opulent 19th century Russia. Exploring love, happiness, envy, morality, spirituality, life and death.
The intricacies of different relationships and marriages of the time were a real education for me in what it must have been like to be a women in high society Russia in the 1800’s .
The story is written entertainingly and colourfully amd carries you along in the drama, yet Tolstoy is consistently exploring the deeper meaning of life through each characters inner thoughts.
I’m pretty in awe of how Tolstoy, being a man describes the emotions of Anna Karenina herself..... I won’t write any more to avoid spoilers!

I highly recommend this adaptation read by Miranda Pleasence.

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A wonderful experience

Miranda Pleasence has brought magic to this magnificent book. It was a brilliant experience that brought me emotions, tears and life. The whole 36 and 59 mins were an unforgettable experience. Total genius. Thank you.

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  • Kory Grow
  • 12-12-20

Happy listeners are all alike

I sampled a dozen narrations of Anna Karenina, including several sections of the Maggie Gyllenhaal version that’s included in Audible membership, before settling on this one. I chose this one because Miranda Pleasance reads it with enthusiasm and gives each character a unique personality. She makes 37 hours of audio fly by. If you’re having trouble picking a version (not to mention maddening yourself with finding the “right” translation — this is Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s, if that matters to you) I highly recommend dropping a credit on this one.

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  • Nom de Guerre
  • 14-06-21

beautiful work of art

This is a gorgeous and highly enjoyable novel, and the narration is stellar. Do listen to this translation as it is the gold standard.

1 person found this helpful