Doctor Zhivago LE, brand new translation

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Doctor Zhivago LE, brand new translation

Nov 1, 2019, 8:28am

Ordered. I am interested to see what number of the edition will appear. The cost of the expedited and the standard shipping were the same at $50.

Nov 1, 2019, 8:34am

Looks wonderful but at that price I will pass.

Nov 1, 2019, 8:35am

Unless this new translation is on an Edith Grossman Don Quixote level, I’m unlikely to shell out for this one, although I like the look of the book itself.

Nov 1, 2019, 9:26am

Given that Suntup is going to announce a new trilogy on Monday, I better save my money.

Nov 1, 2019, 9:43am

I still am avoiding all LEs - I just can't justify the price. But, it looks wonderful. I'll be eager to hear what folks say about the translation, and maybe if they publish a standard edition in a few years I'll buy it. It's a great novel.

Nov 1, 2019, 10:12am

>3 davelin: fully agreed

Edited: Nov 1, 2019, 10:21am

Dr. Zhivago....blehhhhh 🤮. I think Nabokov said it best.

Nov 1, 2019, 10:37am

Going in my cart (sorry, Studies From Nature)

Nov 1, 2019, 10:46am

>8 MobyRichard:

I agree with you and Nabokov.

>9 gmacaree:

With a choice between Studies from Nature and Zhivago, you've probably made the right decision, in my ignorant opinion.

Nov 1, 2019, 10:52am

>10 folio_books: I'll get both eventually but I figure this won't last as long in the warehouse :)

Nov 1, 2019, 11:08am

>5 filox: Good call, looking forward to the announcement.

Edited: Nov 1, 2019, 11:57am

Looks lovely! Hopefully this will not sell out very fast because I have spend way too much on books lately. Is this the first time Folio commissioned a translation? Surely it will not be exclusive to the 750 copies of this LE? Let everyone have access imho.

Nov 1, 2019, 12:39pm

I ordered it - I ended up spending less than I had budgeted for on the Christmas Collection, so I'll make up the budget with this one, I think it looks like a beautiful book. Now, after having received copy #6 of Dracula, we'll see how low this one is!

Nov 1, 2019, 1:52pm

Another 750 limited edition on a classic, quite quickly after Dracula. Selling out within 3 weeks like Dracula/Count of Monte Christo will be less likely though, seeing the high price point compared to the other two. That Jemma Lewis marbling looks absolutely jawdropping though!

Nov 1, 2019, 1:54pm



This has everything I would want in an LE. I am actually tempted by the unique angle FS chose for this book. A unsurpassable triumph. I tip my hat.

Edited: Nov 1, 2019, 1:55pm

Instant buy from me. Russian literature is one of my main collecting focuses and marbled papers always make me quiver in delight. It was a battle I was never going to win.

The fact that it's all in the family is just an additional treat.

Nov 1, 2019, 3:24pm

It`s a warzone out there these days, and the publishers fight for my money ..

I don`t have Dr. Zhivago in my collection, the family element makes this a very special collectible edition / and from a family perspective this edition would most probably be labeled the definite edition and it is gorgeous and all that, and i have been looking for it .. and here it is, as an LE at only .. £395.00. Just what i needed ! Another (pricey) temptation ..

Here is what i will do: I will wait for the Suntup private announcement on monday, and from thereone look over my economy and then decide .. i am supposed to stay in this game at long term. Plan ahead and spend wisely .. (my new motto) ..

Either way, i will be somewhat careful of which editions i will spend on in the future come Folio Society, as this new way of the LE business will challenge which editions i am going to spend on. So i think i will stand off from buying f.ex Frankenstein from the secondhand market ..

Edited: Nov 1, 2019, 3:30pm

VN: "a sorry thing, clumsy, trite and melodramatic, with stock situations, voluptuous lawyers, unbelievable girls, romantic robbers and trite coincidences."

Although, I am a bit interested in reading this book, and the FS LE does look like the most beautiful edition ever made. Although I do think if it was closer to $350 rather than $550 it would be a much easier sell.

Speaking of which, how about a limited edition of Lolita?

Edited: Nov 1, 2019, 6:09pm

Sorry. Got to say it.

$900 delivered.

I think I might need a doctor at this price. Standard slip case too; no solander box. The latter obviously being a rare outing for Folio these days it seems.

It seems that a "Paper covered slip case", according to Folio, amounts to the "Ultimate edition."


Edited: Nov 1, 2019, 3:48pm

>18 Pellias:

Suntup does instalments via, but you probably knew that.

>19 astropi: "a sorry thing, clumsy, trite and melodramatic, with stock situations, voluptuous lawyers, unbelievable girls, romantic robbers and trite coincidences."

I'm sold.

Nov 1, 2019, 4:08pm

Yea. I know, it might be relevant. But to be flair, i like to buy what i can afford. Starting with instalments can be a dangerous business. There are so many upcoming future editions to be prepared for so it would probably come and bite me sometime in the future.

That said. If it's interesting enough or even better, excellent. It might be worthy to consider as an option.

Nov 1, 2019, 4:58pm

Folio is bankrupting me as of late. This new edition is stunning but I need a second mortgage for it!

Why can't they go back to crappy releases like the Autumn release to give my purse a break!!!!

Edited: Nov 1, 2019, 9:40pm

>19 astropi:
Nabokov might very well be right, but he's probably not the best person to rely on when it comes to literary assessments - unless you're willing to agree that Dostoevsky, Conrad, Hemingway, Faulkner, Balzac, Stendhal, Camus, Sartre, Gorky, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Mann, Henry James - to name some - are all sh*t.

Myself, I started on Zhivago(in the original) in my late teens or very early twenties, but gave up after a few dozen pages. At the time, his initial set up felt a bit too laborious, as if he specifically set out to write the 20th century War and Peace, so I set it aside for later. Those were the college days, so with many distractions such as parties, booze, girls, concerts, adventures and various mischief with friends, sports, and pesky exams and projects, there was not much free time left for reading so I never got back to it. Close to a couple of decades has passed since, so I guess it's time for me to give it another attempt.

Folio edition looks great, love the illustrations. I'm glad they decided to use Pasternak's father's art. The edition is not for me as I read Russians in the original only, but I applaud Folio for the effort. And it's great they seem to be championing new/recent translations lately (this, Montaigne, Sappho, The Phantom, etc.)

-Edited for typos and afterthoughts.

Nov 1, 2019, 5:50pm

What beautiful illustrations! Incredible that they're the work of the author's father and that he also illustrated Tolstoy's War & Peace and Resurrection. Now, Ms. Mole, offer me a limited edition of War & Peace with illustrations like these and a translation like the Maudes' translation as recently revised by Amy Mandelker (NOT the clumsy, unnatural V&P translation, please) and then come and have my lawn and wallet.

Nov 1, 2019, 6:40pm

Or you could purchase this for £15 on Abe.

Nov 1, 2019, 6:52pm

>26 wcarter: you're now advocating the Kia over the Jaguar, Warwick? ;)

Nov 1, 2019, 6:58pm

>27 cronshaw:
Not advocating, merely giving choice of models and prices. A new Jaguar is probably 5 times the price of a new Kia. This new Jaguar is 26 times more expensive as a LE than a good quality single owner, rarely driven second hand Kia.

Nov 1, 2019, 7:09pm

>28 wcarter: that looks amazing, and having not read the Pasternak, so therefore unsure as to whether it would be best use of my budget to buy the LE, i may take the plunge on this previous FS edition

Edited: Nov 1, 2019, 7:36pm

>28 wcarter: You're absolutely right of course :)

Meaning that if any Devotee acquiring this new very limited edition Pasternak Jag crafted by three generations of the same family of talented engineers were to experience 27 times the pleasure afforded by the second-hand mass-produced Kia, they'd be getting a bargain!

Nov 1, 2019, 8:22pm

Nabokov was a very opinionated guy; on the other hand I could not care less about his views after reading Speak Memory (l know personal matters and literary qualities do differ, but still, Nabokov style is not to my taste)

One would guess that someone would have more animosity against those who killed their father and brother (worthy individuals assasinated by Russian fascists and German Nazis) than against those who confiscated his family wealth... But Nabokov was not one of those: while his memories have plenty of bitter comments against the Bolsheviks, there is not a single condemmnation of fascism or nazism in them, except some matter-of-fact references. Money was very important after all for Nabokov.

I somehow guess if he had not succeded in leaving Germany and then France his views would be a bit different (having a Jewish wife and son, he would have shared their same fate).

Nov 2, 2019, 1:00am

>20 LesMiserables: "$900 delivered. "

Maybe you can submit the bill to your insurance company and get them to pay for a portion of your doctor fee.

Nov 2, 2019, 4:30am

I’m impressed with this production—both that it’s all in the family and with the half-leather with marbled boards. I’m also very curious to see what the translation is like. I will probably buy it sooner or later, but will wait until next week to see what Suntup releases. (They usually don’t publish what I’m into, but someone else on this forum was speculating LOTR, and if that’s the case...)

Nov 2, 2019, 5:23am

Out of curiosity, is the Max Hayward and Manya Harari translation FS originally used really as bad as they state now that they have a new one for this limited edition?

Nov 2, 2019, 9:02am

An interesting take on the original translation compared to the one from a few years ago, written by Pasternak’s niece:

Nov 2, 2019, 10:27am

>35 goldenbowl:

Interesting, thank you.

Now this really threw me:

The dangers originally posed by Pasternak's prose are inconceivable to the modern reader. In the 70s, I met a Russian who told me, rather sourly, that he'd served six years in the camps for possessing a samizdat chunk of Doctor Zhivago. Ten pages of blurry carbon copy. "Oh dear," I said; "I hope it was worth it." "Worth it! A chapter of nature description?"

Nov 2, 2019, 6:47pm

I love the concept of this new LE and the execution looks super too, but the price is not one I am willing to pay. I had a small windfall today - I don’t ever bet but back in Feb I broke my own rules and backed the Springboks to win the World Cup - and that can go towards my purchases from the Christmas collection instead.

Nov 3, 2019, 6:29am

It looks very interesting and secured a copy for myself. The duo are presenting their work at the British library this month and a good chance for local people to peruse the contents of this publication.

Nov 3, 2019, 10:22am

I would want to see the translation reviewed by several respected critics before plunking down US$550.

Nov 3, 2019, 11:24am

Hopefully (and maybe even likely) it will not sell that fast .. and if someone are going to attend that seremony mentioned over - might also share some valuable emotional insight .. the sell factor here are that it`s all in the family .. if the attendant would wish to take a beer with any members of the family then they are probably likable people .. if not then the value of the autograph exuals none ..

.. oh yeah, and the translation. The rest we know. It`s a lovely edition if not very pricey and costs a lot of pieces of eight !

Do we have any spies in London ? .. any more Cambridge spies or closer kinds of species / spies ? - We want you - !

Nov 3, 2019, 11:29am

>39 jroger1:
Here's a review from the Independent that makes points similar to those in the Guardian.
And one from the Globe and Mail by someone who seems to know no Russian (and who thinks the semi-colon archaic).
The translation was published nearly 10 years ago, so there should be plenty of reviews out there.

Nov 3, 2019, 12:01pm

>41 Jayked:
Granted that there are many reviews of the older H&H and the P&V translations, there aren’t any (as far as I know) of the Nicolas Pasternak Slater translation, because it was commissioned by FS and is brand new. It might be magnificent or it might be no better than the others.

Nov 3, 2019, 12:21pm

>42 jroger1: You could probably get a sense by reading Pasternak Slater's C&P. The reviews for that seem positive, although I'm unfamiliar with the work itself. I've also seen some interviews with him on the subject, which are interesting if not illuminating.

Edited: Nov 4, 2019, 8:29pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Nov 5, 2019, 8:24am

>36 SF-72: Now this really threw me:

The dangers originally posed by Pasternak's prose are inconceivable to the modern reader....

Yes, the modern reader is surrounded by various dangers. For example, apocryphal anecdotes. Zhivago was published after Stalin's death during Khrushchev's Thaw. Generally speaking, people were let out of the camps at the time, including Pasternak's own mistress, not sent in for silly reasons. Even Pasternak himself was not imprisoned, just publicly hounded (the mudslinging campaign earning the ironic name "I haven't read it but condemn it" in Russia). And even despite the harsh severity of the official public criticism, a ban on Zhivago, and being kicked out of the Union of the Soviet Writers, some of Pasternak's poetry and translations were still being published in the Soviet Union, he continued to earn some royalties and kept living in his large country home in an elite writers' village granted to him by the Soviet state in the 30s (now a museum, see pic below).

While being a dissident and publicly voicing opinions contrary to the Party line was still dangerous at that time, the level of repressions reduced drastically after Stalin's death. KGB wasn't out looking for random people possessing unapproved literature and people weren't sent to Gulag just for owning a bootleg copy of "a chapter of nature description". You'd have to go farther than that to get in trouble.

I don't know if Ann Pasternak Slater made up the anecdote, someone mislead her (I guess it's possible as she was born and raised in the UK and never lived in the USSR), or if it's a radically reworked story (e.g. a copy of Zhivago was indeed found during the arrest of some dissident who was then imprisoned, but then he was certainly imprisoned not because he possessed Zhivago).

I dislike the Soviet regime intensely no matter the period of its existence, but I also feel that specious information that appears credible to "the modern reader" is uncalled for.

Nov 5, 2019, 11:47am

Finally gave in and have placed an order for Doctor Zhivago. Could not take the exquisite illustrations out of my mind.

Nov 5, 2019, 3:23pm

i see that FS have announced on twitter that they also hope to release this as a standard edition in the future.
i dont know whether thats such a great marketing move, but im sure they know better than i do about such things

Nov 5, 2019, 3:43pm

>47 stumc:

My honest opinion is that is what they should have done in the first place. Quarter buckram instead of quarter leather, no limitation page, fine edition £79.95. I may even have bought it.

Nov 5, 2019, 3:52pm

>48 folio_books: It`s the family`s fault. If it was not for their Dr. Zhivago family project, we would likely have had a cheaper option ;) - (to go with the buckram latest, Crime & Punishment)

Edited: Nov 12, 2019, 12:01am

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Nov 5, 2019, 5:06pm

>49 Pellias:

The version I have (first Folio edition) is, I think, quite lovely and I'm in no hurry to change it. You can pick up a copy on Abe for under £20. I do like the illustrations in the LE but at they worth another £375? This is what I asked myself when the LE was announced. I don't feel anywhere near competent to judge the difference between the translations but the same question arises - is the new one £375 better than the one I have now? It's doubtful, to me, anyway. So I'll stick and await either a sale, if it lasts that long (I think i might) or take a look at the standard edition, whenever that sees the light of day. No hurry.

Edited to add:

>47 stumc: i dont know whether thats such a great marketing move

An enormous blunder, I would say. I'm beginning to wonder how Readers Digest survived as long.

Nov 5, 2019, 6:21pm

>50 narbgr01:
>51 folio_books:

The exact wording was "We are hopeful though that one day it can also be available as a normal Folio edition😊". Quite vague.

Nov 5, 2019, 10:04pm

I think it's good to be as transparent and honest as possible. If this becomes accepted as the best translation, it would be crazy to let only a few hundred people in the world experience it - they should definitely plan for a less limited edition, and not hide that from the current buyers.

People who want the current lovely, superior edition can get it and know they will be the sole readers for at least a few years, as well as having a great work of art. Feels like everyone wins.

Nov 5, 2019, 10:34pm

I find it odd that we haven't been offered a sample of the text given this is the main selling point of this version
This is a book I love, the leather marbled boards and illustrations are supurb, but will I enjoy the style of the new translation? For most of us ths is personal choice and not something I would take on blind faith.

How do others feel about this?

Nov 5, 2019, 10:43pm

>54 Kiwi_Booklover: I think that is an excellent point and a very odd omission by FS.

Edited: Nov 6, 2019, 3:39am

Well Slater Pasternak is doing a talk at the British Library later this month (sold out) where he will discuss his new translation. I will report from there. I’ve never read Doctor Zhivago, but the history behind it’s publication and family relationships, such as the family correspondence seems (far more) interesting to read about. Slater Pasternak does talk about it one or two articles I read online about him being denied (as well as the whole family) a visa to the former Soviet Union when he was reading Russian at Oxford and how the first publication was smuggled out of the country for a quick translation.

Nov 6, 2019, 6:23am

>54 Kiwi_Booklover:

I would definitely prefer it if FS generally offered a little preview of the texts. In some cases it's no big deal since you can use amazon, but this one (and some other titles) aren't accessible elsewhere. I do like to get an impression of a writer's or translator's style before buying.

Nov 6, 2019, 8:38am

>57 SF-72: If you are looking to 'try out' Pasternak Slater, he has, as mentioned above, translated Crime and Punishment. Amazon link.

Edited: Nov 7, 2019, 12:32am

Initial Thoughts: So... Mixed feelings here. The paper doesn’t feel like paper. It feels artificial. FS says it is printed on Arctic Volume Ivory Paper. The first three words feel accurate to the material. The fourth...not so much. If you shine a light very close to the material there is an interesting speckled quality to it. So there’s that.

The quarter leather: Is it leather? It doesn’t smell like leather. Again is smells artificial. Chemical.

The type: The type is lovely. It’s set well and feels really good on the page and to the eye.

The translation: This is really only a cursory evaluation. Very poetic. There is a real voice to it and I like it a lot. It possesses an almost lyrical quality that feels..poetic. Again this is a very initial evaluation and I haven’t been through the whole text.

The Art: Beauftiful. Stunning work wonderfully transferred and inserted into the text.

There is a real heft to the book. It’s heavy and conveys a sense of importance.

I’m unsure. I don’t know whether I hate the paper or can tolerate it. I do not like the leather. I feel like it was chosen to trick us into thinking it’s premium without actually being premium. On the other hand the art is fantastic and the textual work is also fantastic.

This one is going to be controversial I think. There will be real mixed opinions here when it’s in hand.

EDIT: This should have been letterpress. It would have been a triumph in letterpress and quarter goatskin.

Nov 7, 2019, 3:45am

>59 Sorion: Thanks for the review!

I think I'm going to get it anyway -- I want to support Folio when they make ambitious choices like commissioning new translations, for one. But perhaps I'll put it off for a month or so.

Edited: Nov 7, 2019, 5:16am

>59 Sorion: Reading about Arctic Volume Ivory Paper it seems to be optimised for both reading and displaying colour images. So I'm assuming the images are not on separate pages and that's the reason for the paper choice. About the smell - are you sure you're not smelling the ink of the marbled paper?

Nov 7, 2019, 4:40am

There has been a lot of discussion about the new Pasternak translation of Dr. Zhivago commissioned by the Folio Society.

I felt the best way to compare them was to show a few pages where the FS standard edition from 1997 is compared with the 2019 limited edition.

First of all, the Limited Edition is at least one third larger and thicker than the 1997 edition, and probably three times the weight. A very substantial and solid volume.

Below selected chapter openings are shown from both editions, with the 1997 standard edition shown before the 2019 Limited Edition. The layout differs significantly between the two volumes.

Now you can choose which translation you prefer.

Further information about the 1997 edition can be seen here.

Edited: Nov 7, 2019, 6:03am

Call me a pedant, but my preference for the 1997 translation, established in the first two paragraphs of the first sample on grounds of its to me more agile prose, was cemented at the end of the third paragraph by the sloppiness (I assume it isn't the author's) of the new version's apparent statement that seamstresses and apprentices were bought as part of the purchase of the business.

Nov 7, 2019, 7:59am

>63 terebinth:

Agreed. The 1997 examples just strike me as being better English and show more control over the nuances of the prose (the inflections are clearer and relay which parts of each sentence or idea are most important). The new translation examples seem built for compactness or just have a disinterest in capturing the nuances of the storytelling.

Nov 7, 2019, 8:25am

Even the very first line is jarring. Such a statement would nearly always be separated by a comma in English, not a full stop. I assume that's how it's written in Russian, but it sounds completely stilted in English.

Nov 7, 2019, 6:26pm

Just opened my copy (#23) - I think it’s a beautiful book and I actually kind of like the different paper, I think it’s nice for the illustrations. I am happy I got it, it’s taller and heavier than I expected but it looks very nice nestled in with my other LE’s. I would agree with the comments though that it’s price point is on the high side.

Nov 8, 2019, 4:23am

>62 wcarter:, Warwick, thank you so much for the comparison of the two versions. I must admit taht I prefer the 1997 version, which is Hayward’s translation - the first English translation that was rushed. Haynard chose to read a Russian paragraph and then translated off by memory. From the samples it seems quite a joyful read.

Edited: Nov 8, 2019, 4:31am

I think we’ve now learned between the Montaigne discussion in the Christmas Collection thread and this thread that translation preferences are a deeply personal thing and there is no telling who will prefer which one.

And as always thank you >62 wcarter: for always bringing so much effort to this forum.

Edited: Nov 8, 2019, 2:25pm

These two videos are a joy to watch. I think they are new:

A brand new translation of Doctor Zhivago

The illustrations for Doctor Zhivago

Nov 8, 2019, 8:56pm

>69 Czernobog:
Thank you for posting the links. I watched them both in their entirety and was fascinated.

Nov 8, 2019, 9:07pm

>69 Czernobog:
Beautifully produced and informative videos.
Very pleased that I purchased the new LE.

Nov 9, 2019, 5:10pm

Just received my copy (#81) this weekend. In my opinion, this is an unqualified triumph and Folio should be congratulated for presenting us with a unique all-Pasternak family volume. Perhaps I was not paying close enough attention to the pre-publication materials, but while I knew the illustrations were done by Boris' father and the modern English translation by a nephew, I did not realize that the nephew's wife and yet another relative also contributed (the aunt of the translator who herself contributes several translations of Zhivago's poems at the end). I also did not recall anyone commenting that the Zhivago poems are laid out with Cyrillic on the verso and English on the recto. And while I cannot read Russian, I have always found the Cyrillic lettering beautiful to look at.

Upon unboxing, I carefully looked through each and every illustration and I find both the style and variety of them quite pleasing if not downright thrilling to me. I have never read the book before, so cannot comment on the quality of the translation, but the book itself is wonderful. It is larger than expected (even though I did look up the dimensions) and much heavier. The paper is quite a thick stock but seems very sturdy and luxurious and can support both the well laid out text and the illustrations (some color, some charcoal and other sketch reproductions).

I do not share an earlier poster's dislike of the paper. I also do not share the criticism of the quarter leather binding. It is a luxurious blue (goatskin?) leather reminiscent of many other Limited Editions. The hand-marbled paper sides by Jemma Lewis are by far my favorite design choice and complement the quarter leather color and the endpapers quite well. The entire design holds together well and screams luxurious.

So yes, this was a very expensive edition of a title that I already own in the 1997 Folio standard edition, a book with several gorgeous double-spread and evocative color illustrations that I never suspected would share shelf space with an alternative edition. But they are so different I'm pleased to own both versions and in the final analysis, while I would have preferred a price point of $350 instead of $550, I have no purchase regrets and think the price can be justified by materials quality and pure satisfaction.

If you are on the fence about purchasing, I would highly recommend placing an order. You will not regret it and you can always spread payment over 4 months by calling Folio Society directly (and demanding to speak to the London office).

Nov 9, 2019, 5:25pm

>72 UK_History_Fan:

Thanks for this detailed appraisal, Sean. It comes after today's post brought the rather elaborate 12-page flyer, which does a much better sales job than the website; between the two, this book has shifted from maybe not to probably yes, although a budgetary breathing space will be taken, unless sales are much brisker than I expect.

Nov 9, 2019, 8:07pm

Oh dear! The enableometer is getting dangerously near to critical. My wallet has been put on full alert.

Nov 9, 2019, 11:51pm

>72 UK_History_Fan:

I got #95 yesterday and I totally agree with you.

Love the illustrations, the paper is exquisite- appropriate for the illustrations and text. The leather and the hand marbled paper sides are also amongst the best that I have seen on a FS LE.

I have 43 Folio Society LEs + the full Shakespeare set. I can say that Doctor Zhivago easily ranks amongst the top five for me.

Nov 10, 2019, 12:02am

>75 Neil77: High praise indeed!

Edited: Nov 10, 2019, 10:10am

#6 for me. All of the elements of a great book came together on this one. Collecting FS books since 1974 and this Doctor Zhivago is already one of my favorites.

Nov 10, 2019, 12:10pm

Not a book that is high on my radar as I've never read it. The regular edition seems sufficient for my purposes but the comments above have me questioning my first instinct. Still, I'm already well past my 2019 book budget so I think I will keep my credit card on lockdown until I see the New Year sale offerings.

Edited: Nov 11, 2019, 7:08pm

The 12 page brochure for the Dr. Zhivago LE has now been uloaded to the FSD wiki here.

Nov 11, 2019, 9:35pm

It's because of you FSD ppl that I finally splurged and bought this book! .... I hope it's worth it.... FS is bankrupting me with their LE editions.... :-(

Edited: Nov 11, 2019, 10:27pm

I've received my copy and can't quite make up my mind. I've started reading it and the glossy paper causes a little glare when reading at night while the size is a little large and heavy (though I tend to like large books). The translation feels a little stilted to me but it's hard to compare since the last time I read this book was over 30 years ago (Hayward & Harari translation). Love the hand marbled boards, type, page layout, and illustrations. I bought the P & V translation in trade hardback when it came out but I never read it.

Nov 12, 2019, 12:04am

I earlier expressed some concerns about this LE. Watching the very informative videos and reading the comments on this forum, I concede a change of heart. Yes, I ordered it. So much that was helpful (and enabling) in what I learned here.

Nov 12, 2019, 6:41am

I am honestly more excited about purchasing this LE than any other title that was released this year. It is the best in a long time.

Nov 12, 2019, 11:21am

The page now is mentions 'Over 200 sold'. Not bad for 12 days of availability. Although the limitation is not too low, it might not stick around as long as I had initially guessed.

Nov 12, 2019, 1:15pm

For those who don't already know that they love (or are likely to love) the book, it might be useful, or at least interesting, to take a look at the review by LT member languagehat (the link is to his blog, where the long version lives):

(I had the first FS edition and am not sorry to have read it, but I didn't keep it.)

Edited: Nov 12, 2019, 4:46pm

They're killing me too.

At least you're probably reading what you're buying! I've been buying about one LE every 1-2 months and, on a background of MANY other folio society and easton press books I've accumulated over the years, I could likely never finish them all over the remainder of my life even if I were to retire tomorrow (and, to put that in perspective, I'm 37...). I have about an hour free per night after work and 3/5 weekends off, and I tend to pass out after about 4 paragraphs on work nights. To make things even worse I refuse to give up on burdensome products in tired English like Dryden's complete works of Virgil in fancy font, and in that same amount of time I could likely get through 5 books of easily distinguishable S's and F's.

I guess I'm more of a collector, and an excellent money spender.

As always, I'm determined to read Zhivago expediently when it arrives.

Nov 12, 2019, 5:54pm

>86 pancarre12: Just a fantastic post. Commiserations and a huzzah to you and your excellent abilities to spend money. I salute your determination!

Nov 12, 2019, 5:57pm

Thank you, sir!

Nov 16, 2019, 2:28pm

Ordered !

Found the last clue today to tip me over : Namely the David Lean film cover at my parents - the movie had just been watched yesterday, the gift i gave mom two years ago. She had a thing about Omar Sharif, hopeful it is only by fantasy, as i am not Omar Sharif`s son !

>62 wcarter: Two in a way, very opposite translations

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 12:54pm

This is at "Over 300 sold" since yesterday. First mention on Instagram November 5th.

Nov 26, 2019, 11:46am

>90 Czernobog: and an email sent out today mentions 375 copies sold, i.e. half the limitation has sold within a month. Impressive, and another resounding victory for FS!

Nov 26, 2019, 1:48pm

>91 Fierylunar: It's nice to see them take a chance doing something original and having it pay off. Let's hope they do equally inventive things in the future!

Edited: Nov 26, 2019, 2:00pm

>91 Fierylunar: That's great news for Folio and all of us really. I might have to send in my order form a little sooner though.

Nov 28, 2019, 2:13pm

I am really tempted by this one but it is much more than I have spent on a single book before... I don’t have any Folio LEs yet. It looks really nice.

Nov 28, 2019, 3:17pm

>94 Mooch360: In all fairness, this is how FAD starts. Zhivago looks like a brilliant bug to get infected from.

I can't remember the first book I splurged on.

Safe to say that I don't mind paying $500+ or more for a single volume after discovering Folio back in 2017, and this forum this year. :)

Nov 29, 2019, 12:03am

>95 RATBAG.: You know it’s really bad when $500 dollars starts seeming reasonable and on the cheaper end.

Nov 29, 2019, 10:55am

>96 Sorion: I burst out loud at how true this is!

Nov 29, 2019, 1:49pm

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Wow, is this turning into yet another thread about how much money RATBAG has?

Dec 7, 2019, 1:41pm

I have received my copy of Dr Zhivago recently so thought I would share my initial impressions. This is only the second Folio Society LE I bought, after The Book of the New Sun.

As others have mentioned, this book is massive and heavy, and you really need to read it on your lap or table. The leather on the spine is lovely, and while I like the marbling on the covers, I would have preferred the same blue leather to fully cover the book.

The paper stock is very heavy, and smells great. The generous artwork is easily rendered on that paper with no bleed through. Given the amount of white space margins on each page, I would have preferred a larger font or a smaller page size, which would have kept the weight down.

Finally, I was surprised to find the tipped-in limitation and signature page to be glued along one edge only, causing it to literally flap as you turn that page. I don't expect that on such an expensive book, and find that limitation pages from other publishers I have like Centipede Press, Subterranean Press, and Easton Press are handled much better.

Overall I love this book and have no regrets about buying it. This will be my first encounter with Dr Zhivago and I will treasure every moment.

Dec 8, 2019, 5:17am

Someone, far more eloquent and well versed in fine book collecting than I will inform you about the tipped-in illustrations and that is the norm.

Dec 8, 2019, 7:16am

I was referring to the tipped-in limitation page, not the illustrations. I guess a picture speaks a thousand words:

Note my hand passing underneath as it's only clued on one side, and does not feel very secure. Do other owners have the same feature on thier copies?

Dec 8, 2019, 7:38am

>101 didaho:
This is a common way of inserting tipped in pages, be they photos or colophon.
In other words, this is normal and how it is meant to be.

Dec 8, 2019, 7:59am

>101 didaho: As others have mentioned this is standard practice and not limited to this edition, Birds drawn for John Gould also features a tipped limitation page with only the left side glued as shown below.

That said Folio doesn't always follow this rule of thumb. The Book of the New Sun features a limitation page stuck fully on, not just the corners but seemingly the entire surface. However I wouldn't rate Book of the New Sun in the same production bracket as Doctor Zhivavgo or Birds for John Gould which are leagues above and their partially glued limitation page, while it may seem flimsy, in my opinion, is more a mark of a higher quality production.

Dec 8, 2019, 9:10am

Thanks for confirming this is a normal feature of Folio LEs, I will now forget about it and continue to enjoy this wonderful book.

Dec 8, 2019, 2:27pm

>102 wcarter: "In other words, this is normal and how it is meant to be."

It is disappointing when you realize that an average 5 year old can paste a tipped-in page just the same. Sometimes the old traditional ways are just really disappointing and flimsy.

>103 wongie: "...while it may seem flimsy, in my opinion, is more a mark of a higher quality production."

Again, surely these fancy bookbinders could come up with a better solution than what an average 5 year old can do. Shouldn't one expect more from fine presses than "arts and crafts hour" techniques? For example, it is possible to blend/merge two different types of paper together, leaving a subtle seam, which could be performed to fit a separately signed textured paper to a sheet of paper matching the rest of the signature sheets, which could then be sewn in with the signature sheets to provide a flawless integration of the textured paper into the rest of the book. The seam wouldn't even be visible once everything is assembled. Sure, the approach would be more expensive than the tipped-in solution but the fit and finish of the final product would be greatly improved.

Dec 8, 2019, 3:17pm

Well, here's a Barbarian Press edition which also has a tipped in page only glued on one side. A cursory glance on the Wikipedia entry also mentions that generally tipped-in pages are only glued on the inner side of the book suggesting this is a widespread custom. Whether for practical or traditional reasons I certainly trust bookbinders with combined decades between them all as to why they do this.

I'm sure they could do it as you described though feel free to show me a premium bookbinder in your experience that has actually done this for a tipped-in page. I've seen some editions where the entire endpaper is glued to the first/last signature page and as mentioned Book of the New Sun had the signature page completely glued on the sheet but then it wouldn't be a tipped-in page and sure enough it isn't actually listed as a tipped-in page anywhere on the Folio page for BotNS but instead described as "labels."

Practically speaking I would rather have a flimsy tipped-in page that allowed me to easily repair a loose sheet with a quick dab of pva than be confronted with a fully glued page that, heaven forbid, ended up with a visible air bubble and having to send it into another binder to repair.

Dec 9, 2019, 5:14am

The reason I can think of to glue in such a page on one side is the stress on the paper when bending the page. When glueing to pages flat onto one another and bending them the convex side (I don't know how to describe this in english properly) will have experience more stress as the bend radius is ever so slightly higher. In the long run this could damage both pieces of paper due to stress. This is just my guess so take it with a grain of salt.

Dec 9, 2019, 11:13am

>107 c_schelle:
Yes, for gluing, that would make good sense as to why only part of the insert is glued.

Jan 25, 2020, 4:26pm

Just checking things on the Folio website, it says over 500 have been sold, I think that's pretty good for just shy of three months since its release.

Jan 26, 2020, 12:16pm

>109 vmb443: I just purchased a copy.

Mar 10, 2020, 3:16pm

Received a press release today from FS, touting a new favorable review by the LARB. The article sounded of with:

“ For now, The Folio Society has only made the novel available in this “special edition,” limiting the print run to 750, and pricing each at $550. But a more affordable edition is currently in the works — and this might, at long last, restore Pasternak’s reputation among English-speakers, making it clear that he well deserved the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958. In 1956, Pasternak implored Isaiah Berlin to help Doctor Zhivago travel the world and, quoting Pushkin, “lay waste with fire the hearts of men.” Soon, Pasternak Slater’s translation will have a chance to reignite that fire.”

Italics are mine for those who missed this vital snippet in the first edition of The Slipcase. I will close with the link to the full review:

Review Doctor Zhivago

Edited: Apr 18, 2020, 11:30am

Thank you NLNils.

I'm a bit curious how well Leonid's illustrations match together and with the whole story. They do look magnificent but as I understand none were really made specifically for Doctor Zhivago but instead handpicked out of thousands to match the characters, landscapes and situations at hand.

On a similar note I checked the Folio Archives review of the 1st edition and the illustrations really seem to work out. Also, if I'm not mistaken, the edition seems to fall in line with that of Crime and Punishment which is the only FS book I own on Russian literature (... and which doesn't seem to aesthetically match any other adjacent book).

Hope the LE doesn't run out soon. They're now both at the top of my wishlist.

Apr 18, 2020, 11:40am

>62 wcarter: really helpful! Personally the newer translation sounds better to me. I'm a loud reader and the first page rolls out my tongue more naturally. The first translation reads choppy and chunky in comparison. Not to say that my opinion is of any academic value - I'm not a native English speaker and wouldn't really know (or get annoyed by) a misplaced comma or semicolon If I see one.

Apr 18, 2020, 11:46am

>112 clymbouris: I ordered in February and got a limitation number in the mid 500s. If they’re truly sending out in numerical order now than I’d think they may be nearing the last 100 copies or so at this point.

Apr 18, 2020, 3:59pm

>112 clymbouris: The illustrations match amazingly well. There must be a large oeuvre of his from which to pull.

Apr 18, 2020, 5:12pm

>114 ChampagneSVP: The website currently says "over 600 sold".

Apr 18, 2020, 7:51pm

>116 pythagoras:

Folio's statements about inventory are about as reliable as a colander as a rain hat.

Apr 18, 2020, 9:22pm

>117 EclecticIndulgence: You slander colanders. One can solidly rely on colanders-as-hats to keep one's head wet.

Apr 19, 2020, 1:07am

>118 ultrarightist:

Please accept my apologies. Colanders are the holiest kitchen appliances next to seives.

Apr 19, 2020, 1:41am

>119 EclecticIndulgence: Apology accepted, and well played.

Jul 5, 2020, 8:03am

Finally pulled the trigger on this with the low stock warning. I delayed as it seems pricey for what it is, but with not much in the summer collection and sales I can just about justify it!

It does look lovely and a really unique package overall, with the family connection.

Jul 5, 2020, 8:09am

And it is down to 7

Jul 5, 2020, 9:39am

>122 SinsenKrysset:, now 3. Probably won't last the day.

Jul 5, 2020, 11:17am

I nabbed the last one.

Jul 5, 2020, 11:19am

And... it's gone!

>124 folio_books: Very daring to wait until the very last moment. Would be interesting to know if you receive #750.

Jul 5, 2020, 11:24am

>125 WishIReadMore_: Very daring to wait until the very last moment. Would be interesting to know if you receive #750.

Yes indeed, that's what I am wondering. In theory I should but I doubt it. They are not that organised, yet.

When I got to the webpage and I saw only one left I had to ask myself do you really, really want to let this go? And my nerve snapped.

Jul 5, 2020, 2:16pm

I got the last Aeneid. Wasn’t going quite so fast as this one though.

Jul 5, 2020, 5:00pm

When I ordered Studies from Nature with 10 left I received copy 494 of 500.

Edited: Jul 5, 2020, 7:19pm

>124 folio_books: You lucky duck. Now I suppose I'll just sit here and drum my fingers while I wait for a standard edition to be released! ...hopefully some day.

Jul 5, 2020, 7:49pm

>129 Unbroken1: I’m in the same boat. I had Doctor Zhivago in my basket, then took it out and bought The Door in the Wall instead. I really wanted both, but figure a standard edition of Doctor Zhivago will be released someday. The Door in the Wall, on the other hand, is truly special and probably won’t come in any other edition nearly as comparable.

Jul 6, 2020, 5:20am

>129 Unbroken1: I'll just sit here and drum my fingers while I wait for a standard edition to be released

I would say that's a near-certainty. It was that belief which stopped me from buying the LE, but at the end my nerve wasn't strong enough.

Jul 6, 2020, 5:31am

>126 folio_books:
Did you get number 500?

Jul 6, 2020, 5:35am

>132 wcarter:

I don't know the number yet. It should be delivered tomorrow. (The limitation is 750).

Jul 6, 2020, 8:23am

I'm glad it's sold out, I kept being tempted by it but it's really too expensive and probably too big for me to read comfortably. Hoping for a standard edition also!

Edited: Jul 7, 2020, 9:56am

>125 WishIReadMore_: Would be interesting to know if you receive #750.
>132 wcarter: Did you get number 500?

Well, obviously, buying the last copy of a limited edition of 750 you'd expect to get ...... 655.

A tad disappointed, but failing to land no. 750 was hardly unexpected. Like I said, Folio are not that efficient.

Edited for typo

Jul 7, 2020, 9:50am

Mine doesn't come until July 13th, though I ordered on the 4th. And those shipping charges to Canada are pretty hefty.

Jul 7, 2020, 3:26pm

It's a beautiful book, you will not be disappointed. The artwork is stunning.

Jul 9, 2020, 12:07am

>135 folio_books: I purchased when they were down to 33 copies, and recieved edition number 650. So in line with yours, but still not representative of the number of copies remaining.

Jul 9, 2020, 1:45am

Do the lettered copies get counted in the limitation? I presume there were some. If the lettered copies get counted, then no one will get 750.

Jul 9, 2020, 4:03am

>139 SimB:
Every recent LE colophon states that there are a certain number of copies (750 for Dr.Zhivago) plus a specific number (usually 20 to 26) of lettered copies, so the total copies is clearly stated for each LE the FS produces these days.
Earlier LEs done before 2000 just stated that there were lettered copies but not how many, or sometimes did not mention the lettered copies at all.

Jul 9, 2020, 9:06am

For info, I ordered on the 5th just after an email saying 29 copies left. I received copy 720, so they must have been sending them out sequentially, at least in part.

Jul 9, 2020, 11:21am

>141 ranbarnes:

That's very interesting, thank you. And welcome to FSD! I urge you to visit, and preferably bookmark, our Wiki :
Everything you could ever wish to know about Folio, its books and this group.

Oct 17, 2020, 12:06am

If anyone missed this book and would like to have it in perfect condition for what I paid for it, kindly let me know. Decided there are other books I’d rather have in my collection, as beautiful as this one is.