Coli Barth's Reviews > Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
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's review
Jan 20, 11

Read in August, 2010

Dr. Zhivago is a book based around a relatively simple and straightforward plot, that due to its massive list of characters, not to mention their difficult to pronounce and undifferentiable names, is sometimes difficult to discern. Following Dr. Yuri Zhivago through the numerous momentous and incredibly coincidental situations that he stumbles upon is interesting and all the more exciting due to their complete unexpectedness. His entire life, it seems, is based on a series of complete accidents.It almost comes to the point that when you are introduced to even a minor new character, you can almost guarantee that you will meet them again in some coincidentally consequential situation later on.
There is the basic story of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again. But in this particular case, boy ends up losing girl all over again and dies before he can find her for the second time. The love story, or stories, of this book are incredibly tragic but also inspiring because they take place in such an inhuman and merciless environment. Russia in the 1910's and 20's was a brutal, cold, and dangerous place to live. The fact that the characters managed to keep their love alive through the tragedies and hardships they faced was incredible and awe inspiring, but ultimately doomed.
I feel like this book addressed several important topics. We see, for instance, how good intentions can lead a person astray. The biggest example of this would be the Russian Revolution, which started as a desperate bid for freedom from the Russian people but ended in poverty and misery for millions of people. Idealism was beautiful, but also extremely dangerous, and revolutionaries were eventually shunned by the common people for the destruction the unintentionally brought about.
Another theme is the need to companionship. nearly every character in this book is searching for someone, hunting them down amid the chaos of their daily lives.
In conclusion, this was a good read, with few drawbacks. It was interesting, lively and somber at different times, and informative . But it was also occasionally difficult to follow and understand, due to the authors unique writing style and the varied characters.

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