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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Twentieth Anniversary Edition Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 4, 2004
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About the Author
Milan Kundera is the author of the novels The Joke, Farewell Waltz, Life Is Elsewhere, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and the short-story collection Laughable Loves—all originally written in Czech. His most recent novels Slowness, Identity, and Ignorance, as well as his nonfiction works The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, The Curtain, and Encounter, were originally written in French.
- Publisher : Harper; 20th Anniversary ed. edition (May 4, 2004)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0060597186
- ISBN-13 : 978-0060597184
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.63 x 1.05 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #490,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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“Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”
A good, thought provoking read.
I know that some publishers do this type of printing with uneven pages, and I have no idea why. I just thought any bibliophile looking to buy a book should know the quality and type of the print before he spends his money on a book.
The author goes on adnauseam with the definition of words or thought processes. And what this entire book really lacks is emotion. Even the supposedly neurotic Tereza is not fleshed out with emotion - just shaky hands and bizarre dreams.
The best part of this book is the dog Karenin. HE has some personality.
My feeling is that Kundera enjoys his own company so much that he wrote a book so he can read over and over again. Who should read this? Pseudo intellectuals and hipsters. And that says plenty.
This is a story that shouldn't be confused as anything other than the complete story of current and vintage humanity.I didn't want to read the whole thing in one sitting because then the fantastic, sensual, deep masterpiece would be finished. I had to put it down occasionally, only to be regurgitating the sentences in my mind and reviewing the concepts written in the book, in words I could never have come up with for things I have known for a long time. Could that be the sign of a brilliant writer- one who can beautifully and perfectly write things you have known for a long time but couldn't ever articulate?
My friend who recommended it was so in love with the book that she got a tattoo of a bowler hat in it.
Top reviews from other countries
1 A passing but devastating account of the 1968 Russian occupation of Czechoslovakia, now Czechia, the repressive nature of the Soviet Union, the compliance of its newly recruited agents, the pervasive reach of its regime, communism’s distortion of human life, including in Vietnam.
2 Sprinklings of philosophy which are stated unargued and unexamined. The vast array of philosophers Kundera cites deserve more than walk-on parts. Kundera seems to focus on the transience of life, which he too easily assumes translates into its insignificance.
3 His characters are obsessed with sex. Although in the English translation, sex is rendered as ‘making love’, Kundera in fact marginalises the metaphysic of love within the physicality of sex. Sex appears rather as irresistible mechanical urge, obsession, dominance, control, weaponised by threat of exposure. A skilled surgeon, an intellectual academic, an artist, are all driven by their sex urge. This is not a holistic account of humanity, either ethically, or empirically.
Kundera writes well, so a deeper treatment of any of these themes might prove more satisfying.