Dr. Zhivago

Written by Boris Pasternak and translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Dr. Zhivago, follows the life of one man during the Russian Revolution. Dr. Zhivago is a poet-physician with a brooding streak who moves his family away Moscow to the Ural Mountians. Caught up in the conflict between the White Army and the Bolsheviks during the Russian civil war, Dr. Zhivago maintains his romantic heart.

Despite its length, it was such a good and crippling read. It did take me a good hundred pages to get into the language but I am so glad I did. I found Pasternak’s prose to be verbose but highly varied. His vocabulary is so big, it is great to exercise my brain muscle with those big long worlds. Also, the translation is wonderful-the whole book follows beautifully.

The plot is thick, as you would expect a good Russian novel to be, but isn’t terribly confusing. I loved the devolution that Dr. Zhivago experiences as he loses so much of himself, his family, his career and his loves. The bigger political turmoil that occupied all of Russian life exacted such incredible tolls on mere mortals.

If you like Anna Karenina or War and Peace, you will like Dr. Zhivago.


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