Tyler's Reviews > Life is Elsewhere

Life is Elsewhere by Milan Kundera
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's review
Aug 30, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: czech
Read in August, 2007

The beginning of this promises for it to be a more traditionally formed novel than Kundera's well-known, more free-form books, like The Unbearable Lightness Of Being or The Book Of Laughter And Forgetting. The book deals with the main character's adolescence, although the first section lingers on all the "David Copperfield shit," as an infamous fictional teenager put it. However, the introduction of a seemingly tangentially related dream subplot slowly reminds the reader of Kundera's signature style. Life Is Elsewhere ponders many of the same elements that pop up in the author's other works; namely, literature, love, sex, revolution and the Soviet presence in 20th century Czechoslovakia. But the tone is much more satiric than in any other Kundera novels I've read, which makes for an interesting, unexpected change of pace. This book also has the added bit of interest in that it was written almost concurrently (it was finished in 1969) with the Soviet reappearance in Czechoslovakia, mentioned here and further explored in his later The Unbearable Lightness Of Being.

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