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julianmeynell

Julian Meynell's Books

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Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago - Boris Pasternak, Борис Пастернак

Boris Pasternak essentially won the Nobel prize for this book.  The book was smuggled out of the Soviet Union and it is quite critical of the Revolution and is an anti-Marxist book.  I admire and in certain respects share Pasternak's ideology (apart from the Christianity).  He is in many ways a hero, but this book is just not that great.  I rate books based on the work of art and not the person.

Doctor Zhivago is heavily influenced by Tolstoy and it is in many ways trying to be the War and Peace of the Russian Revolution, but it is just not that well done.  It is quite amorphous in structure and tails out to an end, then tails out to a second end, then tails out to a third end, and then actually ends with poetry supposedly written by the main character.  The rest of the book is not that compelling the characters are all OK.  The writing is fine, but not compelling.  It's all a little boring really.

I admire what the book represents, but not really the book.