Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Review of Doctor Zhivago
The 'light' read compared to 'The Sorrow of Belgium'. Says enough, doesn't it, why I haven't finished the latter, but I will, someday!
Back on Doctor Zhivago. It's an epic tale about Yuri Zhivago and his rise and demise in an unstable Russia. The novel starts out with him as a young boy, in the care of his uncle. As he grows up he decides to become a doctor and eventually joins the army.
He rejoices when the era of the Tsars is ended in Russia and communism is taking its first baby steps, but as his path unwinds he doesn't seem to get ground in any of the convictions around him, which ultimately costs him his happiness.
Doctor Zhivago doesn't only revolve around Yuri himself, but we follow the path of Larisa Feodorovna, a girl who is too beautiful for her own good and starts her journey in life disgraced (by the standards of those times, I must add). Yuri and Larisa seem to exist next to each other, never seeing the other if only for glimpses until fate puts them together at last.
Its story seems one of love gained and lost again. Whether by chance of choice, love seems to be very fleeting and of such an importance that lives are spilled because of it.
Amid the troubled history of Russia, Zhivago is struggling with understanding the treacherous emotion that is love. He doesn't understand it, therefor he is afraid of what it could do, what harm it could cause. In the end he runs away from it, in a desperate attempt to make himself whole again.
This novel is acclaimed to be a very good novel and I'm sure it got its historical facts right, otherwise it wouldn't have been banned in the Sovjet Union, but I'm not sure what I felt about it. It surely wasn't a novel I could read for hours on end. It didn't evoke any great emotions in me, how stylishly it was written.
Would I recommend this novel?
Well, yes, if you want to read something more than just a love story.
No, if you haven't got lots of times on your hands, because it's a novel that you need to invest in.