The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Is it cliché to write about how I adored this book? I suppose it is, but it won't really stop me.

Nearly two years ago, I suggested The Book of Laughter and Forgetting for my book club. It was quite a success so this time around, I put forth The Unbearable Lightness of Being and I do hope that it draws out a similar reaction. This is the novel for which Kundera is best known, I suppose, and that does make quite a lot of sense. I'm not sure if I would term it as "better" but I certainly tore through it at a quicker speed. Some of its popularity might be attributable to the fact that it is quite sexy, too (though I've been warned away from the movie's extreme focus on those parts).

I must say, though, I felt so very much like a young woman in her twenties, underlining passages while reading on the subway and finding parallels to my own life and romance. The fact that I am a young woman in her twenties hardly made me feel any better about the matter, but I can't help it.

The style was lovely and the story was captivating. If you know anything about Czech history, I'm sure that it would help your reading, but even my minimal knowledge was enough to see me through. The most important thing was to embrace each of the four main characters, despite their very human faults. I found a bit of myself in each of them and while some people might find this novel to be a bit depressing or irritating, I find that there was tremendous beauty in it, far lovelier than anything that might feature a lesson learned or a saccharine sunset.

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