Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dr. Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak

Book 53

Dr. Zhivago had been sitting on my shelf for about ever until..I..cheated on my library.  I went to Northbrook to look at the audiobooks and there it was.

People.  Audio is totally the way to go with the Russian epics.

This was like War and Peace, set during a century later.  One of the reviews on LibraryThing said that the film was actually better, because the screenwriters were forced to condense the points of view to Zhivago's and Lara's which made it easier to follow.  I haven't seen the film, but I can see the point.  It is easy to lose focus.

As great love stories go, I wasn't terribly impressed.  As a narrative of the Russian Revolution, it was fabulous.  Zhivago is an educated working man with affluent roots, so either side could potentially make a friend or enemy of him.  And this was this first story I have read - fiction or non - of the Revolution that was not focused (in fact, it didn't go near) the center of power.  Parts were set in Moscow, but we never see the leaders of the nation and the name Rasputin is never spoken.

I might have to read this again sometime, because I know there are things that I missed.  And I suppose I will have to see the film.  This was worth the time.

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