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Publisher's Summary

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of its original publication, here is a new translation of the classic story of the life and loves of a poet/physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution.
Taking his family from Moscow to what he hopes will be shelter in the Ural Mountains, Zhivago finds himself instead embroiled in the battle between the Whites and the Reds. Set against this backdrop of cruelty and strife is Zhivago’s love for the tender and beautiful Lara: pursued, found, and lost again, Lara is the very embodiment of the pain and chaos of those cataclysmic times.
©1957 Boris Pasternak (P)2011 Random House
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Critic Reviews

"This new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is for the first time based on the authentic original text, reflects the present, deeper level of understanding of the great masterpiece of 20th century Russian literature and conveys its whole artistic richness with all its complexities and subtleties that had escaped the attention of the earlier translators and readers." (Lazar Fleishman, Professor of Russian Literature, Stanford University)
"Without a doubt, their version will become the standard translation of the novel for years to come." (Barry Scherr, Mandel Family Professor of Russian, Dartmouth College)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By SydSavvy on 02-16-13

Russian Philosophical Feast

Any additional comments?

This book is so much more than an epic historical love story, but I would never have picked up on it earlier in life. It is a Russian philosophical feast. The women in Zhivago's life clearly portray his feelings about Russia and the social changes that it went through. I'm amazed at how Pasternak was able to do this. The audio version was excellent because it provided a short intro that helped me with the magical /folktale part of the book, and then it had an afterword and a short history on Pasternak's life. Just be prepared for its typical Russian length and repetitiveness on theme / thought. Oh, and the love story is magnificent, too.

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16 of 17 people found this review helpful


By Jay Quintana on 02-04-16

Read it for history, not for story about Zhivago..

... and Lara.

This felt more like a history book than a novel. Of course, a well-written and lyrical history book, but still. Like many, I read this because I loved the movie. As others have mentioned, this is nothing like the movie. The primary goal of this novel, it seems, is to tell what life was like during the Revolution. The secondary, or maybe even tertiary, goal of this is to tell the stories of Zhivago and others. Found this very hard to follow. I have to put this book in the "glad I listened to it, but sure didn't enjoy it" category. I've listened to and enjoyed War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, and Crime and Punishment, so I'm not at all adverse to long, philosophical Russian novels.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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