Monday, July 2, 2018

Book o' the Month: Doctor Zhivago

I remember renting a video cassette of Doctor Zhivago as a teen (the 1965 version, obviously).  It was long and I lost interest.  (It actually had an intermission in the middle.)  I didn't know anything about the history.  I watched it again on DVD (things change!) last May and thirty years older, I was captivated.  I also watched the 2002 miniseries, but I found the actors not as convincing as the dashing Omar Sharif (!) and mesmerizing Julie Christie.  

Then, naturally, I had to read the book by Boris Pasternak.  Wowza, I think I have mentioned somewhere on this blog that it is always a good idea to read the book before watching the film(s).  The 1965 film is quite different from the book, besides some key details.  The 2002 version is like a riff on the previous effort.  I still like the first movie, and frankly, why didn't they get it closer to the novel the second time around?  At least I had two beautiful people in mind as the main characters while I read.

And speaking of reading...I'm so glad I read this Nobel Prize winning book that the CIA helped spread around during the Cold War.  I so love classic literature.  The language!  (I bet it sounds even better in the native tongue.)  Just sink your teeth into these quotes:

Does anyone still write like this in our soundbite world?  Pasternak was also a poet and it shows, no?

I had to include that last one.  It seems oddly...contemporary.  (Looks like I cut off the last several words which are "and left nothing behind them.")

I'm thinking of reading Moby Dick next.  It doesn't have "Sea" in the title, but I think it counts for sticking to my traditional summer reading theme.  What are you reading this summer?


  1. I need to read something - I'm reading nothing. I've never read this book, but the passages you shared were gorgeous!

    1. Pick up Pride and Prejudice or A Room With A View or Jane Eyre. The classics will blow your mind!! (Anna Karenina has LOVELY language, but it is long and takes some concentration!)