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Anna Karenina cover art

Anna Karenina

By: Leo Tolstoy
Narrated by: Maggie Gyllenhaal
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Summary

Winner: Audible's Best of 2016 - Classic

"Anna Karenina is one of my favorite books. But when I agreed to read it for Audible, I had no idea how much work it would be, how intense it would be, and how deeply I would fall in love with it. There were places where I thought 'if I don't give Alexey Alexandrovitch the respect that he deserves in my reading of this scene, a critical part of the book will be ruined. If I don't give EVERYONE the utmost respect and understanding, I'm not doing justice to this brilliantly compassionate book.' But at the same time, I also wanted to have a light touch in the way I played the different characters, so that the magnificence of the novel could shine through. I feel like performing this novel is one of the major accomplishments of my work life - it was so challenging and so deep, a real pleasure." (Narrator Maggie Gyllenhaal)

Leo Tolstoy's classic story of doomed love is one of the most admired novels in world literature. Generations of readers have been enthralled by his magnificent heroine, the unhappily married Anna Karenina, and her tragic affair with dashing Count Vronsky. Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight, The Honourable Woman) cites Tolstoy's epic as one of her favorite books of all time, and her love for the literature permeates her performance. Anna Karenina is a masterpiece not only because of the unforgettable woman at its core and the stark drama of her fate but also because it explores and illuminates the deepest questions about how to live a fulfilled life.

Public Domain (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Anna Karenina

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narrator

The narrator was wonderful to listen to. I hope she narrates more Tolstoy , I would purchase more of hers.

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    3 out of 5 stars

It’s not war and peace

It’s not war and peace which is a masterpiece, but Maggie Gyllenhaals performance is outstanding, filling the characters with a naturalness and relatability which makes the experience personal and very enjoyable

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Quietly delightful

Loved it! Moments of amazing writing (Kitty and Levin's honeymoon, Anna at her son's birthday, the near proposal, the mowing, the hunting, the psychotic episode (?), and the portrait), and the characters feel real! Language isn't too florid but serves the story. Found the narrator clear but sometimes too airy/dramatic but was a good voice of Anna (genuinely felt Wronsky's frustration at the end).

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic!

Well worth the wait - it's been on my list for years! It was something worth making sure I had time to enjoy.

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An epic

Wow! From ten hours on, this audiobook completely enthralled me. Rich in characterisation, beautifully written, with wonderful lilting chapters and perfect narration by Maggie Gyllenhaal. At 35 hours in length, this audiobook is certainly a commitment of time but so worth the dedication: a classic and rightly so. Highly recommended for those who enjoy period dramas of epic proportions.

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Absorbing read, marvellous narration

In an act of bravery I undertook to listen to Anna Karenina - if not now, when? What an absolute pleasure.The whole of humanity is in this novel, in all it's complexity, despite its focus on these protagonists in a very defined historical period. Maggie Gyllenhaal's narration was outstanding. She brought compassion and insight to the text, without overperforming - I feel the reading enhanced the written text, which of course isn't always the case with audiobooks. I was enthralled by sections I probably would have skimmed if faced by 1000 physical pages. I am sad to have reached the end and, if you can believe it, plan a reread in the future.

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Spoiled by the narration

I stuck with it but the reader’s voice and rendition was too much of a drone for my taste

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  • 08-04-17

Brilliant narration

No other voice would have done justice to this Magnificent piece. Maggie Gyllenhaal enriches every segment and every character with a unique voice, which keeps you glued to the narrative. Felt every bit of emotion and empathy with each of the brilliant characters. Tolstoy has captured the political, moral, gender aspects of the Russian society, prevalent at his time and that are still very much relevant. Highly recommend to embark upon this journey of the author!

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Worth the investment.

Enthralled by the story, many unexpected turns. Only negative was Gyllenhall's atrocious command of French...

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a masterpiece

It felt too long sometimes, especially when focused on Anna's mental struggles, but it is worth finishing it, the ending could not be better, and the narration is just wonderful.

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