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Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Doctor Zhivago (1957)

by Boris Pasternak

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,778105433 (3.88)1 / 543
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English (96)  Yiddish (2)  French (2)  Hebrew (2)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  All (105)
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
un libro bellissimo e che adoro, certe pagine sono pura poesia. Un libro per cui le iporboli sono lecite, indimenticabile
  SirJo | Sep 4, 2017 |
I just finished Boris Pasternak’s novel, “Doctor Zhivago,” and I’m a bit wrecked. I had to lie down after finishing. This was a re-reading after too many years. It is one of my all-time favorites, so highest recommendation! I’d forgotten how excellent it is. I always enjoy a good nexus, and the nexus here is my love of history, especially the end of the Romanov Dynasty, Russian Revolution of 1917, and gorgeous writing. This translation is from 2014 and it is wonderful. Yes, the movie is sublime, but the book is even better. I want to run away to Siberia now. Forward my mail to Varykino. ( )
  RonTyler | Aug 11, 2017 |
Trails and tribulations of Yuri Zhivago, romantic and tragic, very hard to follow in places. ( )
  kale.dyer | Mar 11, 2017 |
“I don't think I could love you so much if you had nothing to complain of and nothing to regret. I don't like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and of little value. Life hasn't revealed its beauty to them.”

The novel tells the story of Yury Zhivago, a man torn between his love for two women living through tumultuous upheavals of twentieth century Russia. Yury is the direct descendant of the wealthy Zhivago family but all the family wealth has been squandered by his feckless father. When his mother dies whilst he is still a young boy he is raised by his uncle. Later he studies medicine at a university in Moscow where he meets and marries Tonya by whom he has a son, Sasha.

After university Yury becomes a medical officer in the army and whilst in this capacity he meets Lara who is married to Pasha, a missing soldier whom she has come to find him leaving their daughter, Katya in the Urals. Yury has actually met Lara in passing twice before without ever really getting to know her. Yury is captivated by Lara, but he returns to his wife and son in Moscow.

However in Moscow the family struggle to find food and firewood so they decide to move east to the Urals to try an avoid the hardship. The journey is long and difficult, but on arrival they find plenty of food and wood. As life becomes easier for the family Yury takes to going to the nearest city, Yuryatin, to use the library. There, he meets Lara once more and they begin an affair. However, on his way home one day, he is captured by the partisan army, and forced to join them as a medical officer.

Yury is forced to remain with this force during the war between the Tsarist Whites and the Communist Reds. After several failed escape bids he finally succeeds and returns to Yuryatin and Lara. In the meantime Tonya and his family have been summoned back to Moscow before being exiled to Paris whilst Lara's husband, Pasha, is now wanted. After several months living together they learn that they are in danger of being imprisoned and Yury tricks Lara into taking her daughter even further east in the hope that they at least will escape persecution whilst he remains behind. Before long however, Yury returns to Moscow to find work.

In Moscow he begins living with Marina, the daughter of a family friend, and they have two children before he deserts them too. One day on his way to work he dies of a heart attack. Lara coincidentally has returned to Moscow shortly after Yury's death and attends his funeral and we get to hear some of what has happened to her and her daughter in the intervening years.

Now firstly I ought to admit that I have never seen the movie, basically because I've not really fancied it especially as I believe that it's in excess of three hours long, therefore I didn't really know what to expect other than what the blurb on the book says, "One of the greatest love stories ever told". However, it didn't really hit my expectations. I found it hard to take to Yury. Now whilst he appears to love both Tanya and Lara passionately he was also somewhat prone to abandoning them just as he also does later on to Marina. Also he seems somewhat vain somehow feeling himself superior to those around him or perhaps instead he prefers to surround himself with people inferior to him. On top of this is the usual fact that like most Russian novels this one is heavy in characters sometimes making it hard to keep track of who is whom and where they fit in the overall story. Now whilst I don't doubt that it deserves to be considered a classic it failed to really grip me and I found it a bit of a slog. As such I only found it OK. Personally I prefer Mikhail Sholokhov. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Feb 23, 2017 |
Wow, wow, wow! l was really bowled over by Doctor Zhivago--such a heartbreaking, beautiful, provocative, funny, tragic novel. I had a hard time with the first ninety pages or so. Pasternak narrates the story in brief fragments, jumping from character to character rather than focusing on one narrative thread, and the Russian names are confusing when you're not used to them. But once I got my sea-legs under me, so to speak, I was totally engrossed.

Yuri Andreevich (the title character) is a doctor and poet caught up in the sweeping historical forces of the Russian revolution. He is initially sympathetic to the Bolshevik cause, but after years of civil war tear him from his family and he encounters deprivation and violence, he renounces anyone who bases their actions on abstract political ideologies rather than the imperative of loving the people immediately around us. Zhivago's love affair with Lara is among the great romances of modern literature, I think, and I shed some tears during the long final chapter detailing his physical and mental deterioration.

I loved, loved, loved this book. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
"As a public speaker he was incomprehensible. His work is notoriously hard to translate.
In his increasingly difficult times, it also became safer not to be easily understood. ...
his mind-set is unpredictably complex, evocatively associative, synaesthetic and polysemous. His vocabulary is exceptionally wide, and his intellect has a pronounced metaphysical cast."
"It is quickly apparent that Volokhonsky-Pevear follow the Russian very closely, without attempting to reconfigure its syntax or vocabulary into a more English form.

This misguided literalism is disastrous in dialogue. ...
Pasternak's Russian is packed, concise, colloquial and muscular. Volokhonsky-Pevear's English is prosaic, flabby and verbose. It often renders Pasternak's more philosophical passages incomprehensible. It's far worse than the compact, natural and always lucid prose of Hayward and Harari."
Trails and tribulations of Yuri Zhivago, romantic and tragic, very hard to follow in places.

» Add other authors (116 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pasternak, Borisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guerney, Bernard GuilbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harari, ManyaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayward, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Konkka, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prins, AaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reschke, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheepmaker, NicoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zveteremich, PietroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On they went, singing "Rest Eternal," and whenever they stopped, their feet, the horses, and the gusts of wind seemed to carry on their singing.
The fear known as spymania had reduced all speech to a single formal, predictable patter. The display of good intentions in discourse was not conductive to conversation.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book. DO NOT combine with film.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679774386, Paperback)

n celebration of the 40th anniversary of its original publication, here is the only paperback edition now available of the classic story of the life and loves of a poet/physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Yuri Zhivago, doctor and poet, lives and loves during the first three decades of 20th-century Russia.

» see all 13 descriptions

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