Book Review: Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
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Online price Hardback $17.21
@ Publisher the book is $22.00 for Hardback
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Dr. Zhivago was first published in 1957 under an Italian translation, then in 1958 was translated in to English.
My copy of the book was borrowed from the library.
Published by Everyman's Library Alfred A. Knopf 1991/544 pages/Fiction, Russian History, Russian Revolution,
Most of you have probably seen the movie Dr. Zhivago, or at least you are familiar with the story. I've seen the movie several times; but I can finally state with pride that I've read the book.
The only problem that I had in reading this epic novel at 544 pages, is the Russian names of the characters. In the front of the book is a list, yet so I did not have to keep flipping to the front of the book I wrote the various names in order for me to quickly reference them. Russian names not only have surnames, proper names, but nic-names or familiar names as well. Throughout the book these names are used, I would have been confused if I'd not had an easy reference.
There are parts of the writing in the story that are beautiful,
"They loved each other greatly. Most people experience love, without noticing that there is anything remarkable about it. To them-and this made them unusual-the moments when passion visited their doomed human existence like a breath of timelessness were moments of revelation, of ever greater understanding of life and of themselves."
The books main focus is the love story between Zhivago and Lara. It also is of Zhivago himself: his life from early childhood when he was orphaned, through his years of schooling, and then early marriage to Tonya and their family life. Zhivago was a doctor during the War with Germany, and then during the Revolutionary period when he was taken by a partisan group. The book is a perfect historical piece on what the Russian people lived through during the early 1900's leading up to the Revolution, and then the years proceeding the Revolution which would be during the early years of Stalin. Zhivago and Lara's love affair is the center of the book; yet the turmoil of war and poverty and starvation and mass murders and fear and panic, are swirling around them. Lara for Zhivago is his center, his comfort, his peace.
Zhivago is tortured by his love affair with Lara because he loves and is devoted to his wife Tonya and their children; but he is drawn to Lara. The consequences of the war and turmoil in the country and of Zhivago's life choices some of which he had no control over, leaves Zhivago and the the story ill fated.
I loved this book! It is exceptionally written, memorable, haunting.
This is a perfect book to read while curled up in your favorite chair with a cup of tea.