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Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Doctor Zhivago (original 1957; edition 1997)

by Boris Pasternak

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7,407106474 (3.88)1 / 524
Title:Doctor Zhivago
Authors:Boris Pasternak
Info:Pantheon (1997), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Epic, Russian Literature, Classics, Historical Fiction, Love/Romance, Political, Russia, Russian Revolution, War, Nobel Prize, Made into Movie

Work details

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (1957)

  1. 30
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English (93)  Yiddish (2)  French (2)  Hebrew (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All (101)
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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 |
A bit of a project, but really good. ( )
  moonlight_reads | Dec 11, 2016 |
This was a very hard book to rate. At times I was thoroughly enthralled by Pasternak's wandering thoughts and at other times I felt like I was listening to my Great Aunt Lilly [93'ish] talk about whatever subject came into her head.

The book jumped quite a bit, quite abruptly. Kind of felt like I was on a coal cart and never knew when the cart would jump the tracks to another completely new track.

But this was a lush story. The hope, the despair, the national psyche, how everyone was effected by their emotions was as much a part of the story as the actual plot.

Characters weren't ones that you'd want to hang out with. Everyone was a revolutionary at the beginning, until they realized just want the Communists actually were. And the characters' dream of a Soviet Utopia died in fire, famine and horror.

Zhivago himself was a sad, pathetic character and at the same time I commiserated with him and hated him. He was crushed by the reality of communism, he went into and out of relationships like they had no meaning [3 wives? and 2 of them he created families with? Only to abandon them?]. Let's just say I wasn't sad at the ending of Zhivago's part of the story. In many ways it was better than he, Zhivago, deserved.

The ending to the book itself was so long and drawn out that I was ready for it to be done with after about 2 pages of the Continuation" and "Epilogue".

It definitely helped that I've read books by [a:Ivan Goncharov|5326370|Ivan Goncharov|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1334441735p2/5326370.jpg], [a:Leo Tolstoy|128382|Leo Tolstoy|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1342945438p2/128382.jpg] and [a:Fyodor Dostoyevsky|3137322|Fyodor Dostoyevsky|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1328375676p2/3137322.jpg] before this." ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Sigh. I sort of hate myself for not liking this book. I really wanted to love it, but I could not get into it and I struggled to the end. Hugely disappointing. I will reread someday and hopefully have a better experience. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
I tried... I really did... Couldn't get more than 50 pages in before I had to give up. The story and the writing wasn't holding my interest and the plethora of names the author throws at you gets confusing pretty quickly. Might come back to it at another time...
  GoldenDarter | Sep 15, 2016 |
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» 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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 16 descriptions

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