Friday, July 26, 2013

Book Review: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

I was not feeling like writing book reviews from a long time now. But how can I miss writing on this wonderful masterpiece. I saw someone reading this book in a train and we had a chat on what this book is about. The way he described it, I felt it was like a Kafka dark novel but he assured me it is more readable. Now I feel lucky to have heeded his advice.

First of all I was bamboozled by the way this novel was written. It follows a third person narration with a lot of philosophical thoughts, observations and opinions of the narrator interspersed in it. Not only narrator but the characters of the novel also keep on making brilliant philosophical comments and raise mind-boggling observations. I have to give some examples here as no matter how hard I try my words will fail me to describe the beauty:
"People usually escape from their troubles into the future; they draw an imaginary line across the path of time, a line beyond which their current troubles will cease to exist. Tereza saw no such line....."
"What happens but once might as well not have happened at all."
"When the heart speaks, mind finds it indecent to object."
" There is no particular merit in being nice to one's fellow man..... We can never establish with certainity what part of our relation with others is due to......constant powerplay among individuals."

And I can go on and on. I found gems on every page.

The book's plot is about a couple where the guy used to love his wife a lot but couldnt control his longing to have physical relations with his many mistresses. The story is intertwined with communism and one another couple involved in infidelity. But do not at all expect the book to be erotica. It is a pure philosophical artwork which makes u thinking at the end of every chapter. On the topic of infidelity also, the author tried to develop a thought process on how physical involvement was not at all similar to the emotional attachment of the protagonist to his wife. Also the book has parts which give you chill like in "1984 " about the Big Brotherly nature of government in communism.

Overall I think no one should miss this book. I definitely want to read it again and rethink over the various thoughts highlighted in the book.

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