Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

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The critical picture of Soviet society -- the price of Revolution- is framed by the philosophical considerations of the problems of good and evil, historical necessity vs. individual freedom, spiritual values as imminent rather than transcendant. Absolutely a must for the litterati.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

In the grand tradition of the epic novel, Boris Pasternak's masterpiece brings to life the drama and immensity of the Russian Revolution through the story of the gifted physician-poet, Zhivago; the revolutionary, Strelnikov; and Lara, the passionate woman they both love. Caught up in the great events of politics and war that eventually destroy him and millions of others, Zhivago clings to the private world of family life and love, embodied especially in the magical Lara.
 

About Boris Pasternak

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BORIS Leonidovich PASTERNAK won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958 "for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition." - the Nobel Prize committee. Pasternak had to decline the honor because of the protests in his home country. Doctor Zhivago became an international bestseller and was translated into 18 languages but circulated only in secrecy and translation in Russia. In 1987 the Union of Soviet Writers posthumously reinstated Pasternak, a move that gave his works a legitimacy they had lacked in the Soviet Union since his expulsion from the writers' union in 1958 and that finally made possible the publication of Doctor Zhivago in the Soviet Union. Pasternak's son accepted his father's Nobel Prize medal at a ceremony in Stockholm in 1989.
 
Published October 10, 2014 by Stellar Editions. 512 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Romance, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, War, Children's Books. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Doctor Zhivago
All: 7 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Good
on Sep 05 1980

The critical picture of Soviet society -- the price of Revolution- is framed by the philosophical considerations of the problems of good and evil, historical necessity vs. individual freedom, spiritual values as imminent rather than transcendant. Absolutely a must for the litterati.

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The Independent

Below average
Reviewed by Masha Karp on Dec 31 2010

The words and their order painstakingly follow the Russian, but what is the point if the impression the poet was trying to convey is lost?...To get a Doctor Zhivago that would convey Pasternak's genius without sounding foreign, English readers might have to wait for a new translation. We should hope that it comes before another 50 years pass.

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EzineArticles

Above average
Reviewed by Shane Joseph on Jul 24 2012

Descriptions of the landscape during war and peace and of the seasons are well rendered from the author's poetic stance, but the plot line is often contrived...The strength of this novel...lies in the fact that it was written by a writer living and witnessing the period of the Russian revolution and civil war...

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Brothers Judd

Above average
Reviewed by brothersjudd on Feb 08 2000

To be honest, the subtlety of Pasternak's message and our increasing distance from the time when even such subtleties could prove incendiary, served to deaden the effect of a novel which already suffers from being a tad too episodic. In the final analysis, I guess I respected the book more than enjoyed it...

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BookNAround

Below average
Reviewed by Kristen on Jan 26 2012

I have read many other Russian and Societ writers and have never quite felt the dread about returning to their works after putting them down as I did with this one. It was truly a chore... Excessive is the word that springs to mind when I think of the novel as a whole, followed closely by boring.

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Chrisbookarama

Good
Reviewed by Chrisbookarama on May 28 2009

The book is dripping with symbolism and even though most of it goes over my head, I do believe that the women in Yuri's life represent Russia...the language is a barrier at times...However, it has some of the most lyrical language I've ever read. It felt like a Russian fairytale.

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The Oddness of Moving Things Blog

Good
Reviewed by geoffwhaley on Sep 14 2012

I want to mention that although the novel is long it is a good read. Boris Pasternak was an incredible writer. His phrases and his beautiful descriptions stunned me on occasion and I had to re-read a few to truly appreciate the beauty...Definitely read it. It is definitely a slog, but it was worth it.

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Reader Rating for Doctor Zhivago
75%

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