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Dr zhivago ne level 5/book Paperback – Apr 15 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Readers UK; 2nd Revised edition edition (April 15 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405882425
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405882422
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 0.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 59 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #312,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“The best way to understand Pasternak’s achievement in Doctor Zhivago is to see it in terms of this great Russian literary tradition, as a fairy tale, not so much of good and evil as of opposing forces and needs in human destiny and history that can never be reconciled . . . [Zhivago is] a figure who embodies the principle of life itself, the principle that contradicts every abstraction of revolutionary politics.”—from the Introduction by John Bayley --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
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. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By W on May 2 2003
Format: Paperback
Many passages are crafted with such care that they reach the level of poetry, which should be no surprise given that Pasternak seems to have had aspirations as a poet. (Is it just coincidence that the good doctor does so much of that kind of writing in the novel?) The short passages and lightly threaded vignettes characteristic of the novel are captivating. You get the initial sense that the novel is an underrated Russian classic. Ultimately, however, Pasternak doesn't quite reach the level of mastery of a Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Turgenev, even though it aims for their kind of sweep and scope.
Doctor Zhivago is generally less coherent and cogent than any of the true classics of Russian literature. Many of the vignettes embedded in the book are beautiful, and as passages of near poetry, almost can standalone. Yet, as moving as much of the book is, its heft is insufficient at helping Pasternak push towards any master theme, focus or even plot, so the force is dissipated at the end. It is no accident that the book's conclusion and epilogue seem aimless.
What redeems the novel is the wonderful characters: Zhivago himself, of course, the brilliant doctor, with the dreamy poetic sensibility; the beautiful and bright Lara (who unfortunately ultimately fails as a character, though, because it's unclear what she is meant to be at the end; the contrast with Tonia could have been made better if Tonia had not been left so two-dimensional); the tactician Strelnikov, whose combination of military brilliance and ruthlessness enthralls us; the way he exits the novel at the end is unfortunately also a disappointment).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kelsey F. on Feb. 23 2003
Format: Paperback
The events of the novel revolve around a doctor and poet by the name of Yurii Andreievich Zhivago whom we first meet at a crucial point in his life. From the day of his mother's funeral to the day of his own, we follow Zhivago on his travels throughout Russia. He travels to the warfront, flees to Siberia, and is drafted into the Red Army before making his way back to Moscow. Over the course of these two decades, Zhivago repeatedly encounters a beautiful woman who essence fills his thoughts and heart. He is loyal to his wife Tonia and his little son Sasha, but he cannot help falling in love with the lovely Larisa Feodorovna Antipov, who is also already married to a famous war general. It is these chance encounters that allow the plot to progress and lead to their eventual love affair.
Even with such a complex plot, "Doctor Zhivago" remains a primarily character-based novel, as can be seen from the vast number of names and people we become familiar with throughout the story. Even the minor characters become dear to us, once we have figured out who they actually are and how they are connected to the main story. It is a challenging process to sort through the long list of characters, who may have any number of pseudonyms or nicknames along with their original Russian forenames. It is rewarding to recognize that Pavel Pavlovich, Pasha, Antipov, and Strelnikov are, in fact, the same person. We are also given several glimpses into the views and opinions of minor characters. Each person we meet along the way has a detailed history and a certain point of view to establish. Even if a character is only remotely connected to the main plot, Pasternak educates us on his family history and his role in the revolution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hairy Growler on Aug. 21 1997
Format: Paperback
Doctor Zhivago is an important and courageous chronical of the events, opinions, and atmosphere during the Russian Revolution. The settings are vividly depicted, a broad spectrum of attitudes are recorded, and the basic story is good. Unfortunately, judged as a literary work -- as art -- Doctor Zhivago is really quite bad.

Doctor Zhivago is painfully uninvolving: it evokes almost no emotion and stimulates little interest in the characters. The choice of Zhivago as protagonist is unfortunate as he is the dullest and weakest character of the story. Larisa attaches to Zhivago an elevated "air of...freedom and unconcern" but he is more accurately characterized as submissive and uninspired. Zhivago meanders zombie-like through the extraordinary events that unfold in his life without serious contemplation or introspection. The only time I found Zhivago compelling was when he wrote poetry.

Zhivago is sometimes refered to by critics as "spiritual" but this is a gross misreading of the character. While Zhivago is not pedantically intellectual, he is aesthetic and light rather than spiritual. Zhivago lacks the requisite moral development, conviction, and seriousness to be considered spiritual. Zhivago is spiritual like a hippie is spiritual -- that is to say, he is precisely the opposite.

This book is NOT a love story. While the women in Zhivago's life may have loved him, Zhivago skulks around unencumbered by anything so sublime and powerful as love. His relations are as maudlin and shallow as a prepubescent crush. When a relationship becomes inconvenient he abandons the object of his affection and his efforts to reunite are "lukewarm and half-hearted." Larisa and Strelnikov (Pasha) love each other but their love is never consummated.
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