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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel
(OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen)

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Published:
HarperAudio 2012
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Checked Out
Description

When The Unbearable Lightness of Being was first published in English, it was hailed as "a work of the boldest mastery, originality, and richness" by critic Elizabeth Hardwick and named one of the best books of 1984 by the New York Times Book Review. It went on to win the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and quickly became an international bestseller. Twenty years later, the novel has established itself as a modern classic. To commemorate the anniversary of its first English-language publication, HarperCollins is proud to offer a special hardcover edition.

A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover — these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel.

Controlled by day, Tereza's jealousy awakens by night, transformed into ineffably sad death-dreams, while Tomas, a successful surgeon, alternates loving devotion to the dependent Tereza with the ardent pursuit of other women. Sabina, an independent, free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals — of parents, husband, country, love itself — whereas her lover, the intellectual Franz, loses all because of his earnest goodness and fidelity.

In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence we feel, says the novelist, "the unbearable lightness of being" — not only as the consequence of our private acts but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine.

This magnificent novel encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, and embraces, it seems, all aspects of human existence. It juxtaposes geographically distant places (Prague, Geneva, Paris, Thailand, the United States, a forlorn Bohemian village); brilliant and playful reflections (on "eternal return," on kitsch, on man and animals — Tomas and Tereza have a beloved doe named Karenin); and a variety of styles (from the farcical to the elegiac) to take its place as perhaps the major achievement of one of the world's truly great writers.

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
05/15/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062215529
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Milan Kundera. (2012). The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel. Unabridged HarperAudio.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Milan Kundera. 2012. The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel. HarperAudio.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel. HarperAudio, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Milan Kundera. The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel. Unabridged HarperAudio, 2012.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jan 15, 2021 17:47:36
Date Updated:
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        Milan Kundera is the author of the novels The Joke, Farewell Waltz, Life Is Elsewhere, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and the short-story collection Laughable Loves—all originally written in Czech. His most recent novels Slowness, Identity, and Ignorance, as well as his nonfiction works The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, The Curtain, and Encounter, were originally written in French.

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When The Unbearable Lightness of Being was first published in English, it was hailed as "a work of the boldest mastery, originality, and richness" by critic Elizabeth Hardwick and named one of the best books of 1984 by the New York Times Book Review. It went on to win the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and quickly became an international bestseller. Twenty years later, the novel has established itself as a modern classic. To commemorate the anniversary of its first English-language publication, HarperCollins is proud to offer a special hardcover edition.

A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover — these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel.

Controlled by day, Tereza's jealousy awakens by night, transformed into ineffably sad death-dreams, while Tomas, a successful surgeon, alternates loving devotion to the dependent Tereza with the ardent pursuit of other women. Sabina, an independent, free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals — of parents, husband, country, love itself — whereas her lover, the intellectual Franz, loses all because of his earnest goodness and fidelity.

In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence we feel, says the novelist, "the unbearable lightness of being" — not only as the consequence of our private acts but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine.

This magnificent novel encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, and embraces, it seems, all aspects of human existence. It juxtaposes geographically distant places (Prague, Geneva, Paris, Thailand, the United States, a forlorn Bohemian village); brilliant and playful reflections (on "eternal return," on kitsch, on man and animals — Tomas and Tereza have a beloved doe named Karenin); and a variety of styles (from the farcical to the elegiac) to take its place as perhaps the major achievement of one of the world's truly great writers.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Published to critical acclaim in 1984, Kundera's complex novel continues to intrigue and confound. Kundera uses the upheaval of Czechoslovakia in the 1960s to explore the insignificance, the lightness, of human existence. In an appealing performance, Richmond Hoxie lets his subtle use of inflection and tempo deliver the necessary action and character differentiation. For the passages of philosophical and political musings that interrupt the romantic plot, he employs a suitably pensive tone. Hoxie's mellow voice and skilled pacing provide a steady guide as the characters move through tortured relationships and situations seeking the purpose that will make their lives bearable. The political landscape that defines this book has changed, of course, but the story remains timely because the search for life's meaning has not. M.O.B. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Jonathan Oliver employs a husky-voiced tone that proves the right match for this darkish story, one that requires of listeners a dollop of patience. Set first in Czechoslovakia, then in Switzerland, Kundera's story tells the sometimes laborious story of a womanizing Czech surgeon forced to flee the Russian invasion and take on menial roles, giving his passion for the flesh a slighly different perspective, as he is no longer a doctor but just a window-washer. His relationship with this current female-of-choice, the interesting and puzzling Tereza, is at the center of the novel. Oliver is good, very good, pausing with great effect, having just the right amount of low-key drama and contemplative musing in his narration. He's a good fit for a book that not everyone will like, but those who stay the course will generally be pleased they did. T.H. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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When The Unbearable Lightness of Being was first published in English, it was hailed as "a work of the boldest mastery, originality, and richness" by critic Elizabeth Hardwick and named one of the best books of 1984 by the New York Times Book Review. It went on to win the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and quickly became an international bestseller. Twenty years later, the novel has established itself as a modern classic. To commemorate the anniversary of its first English-language publication, HarperCollins is proud to offer a special hardcover edition.

A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover — these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel.

Controlled by day, Tereza's jealousy awakens by night, transformed into ineffably sad death-dreams, while Tomas, a successful surgeon, alternates loving devotion to the dependent...

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