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The Last Summer

3.01  ·  Rating details ·  141 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Set in Russia during the winter of 1916, Serezha visits his married sister. Tired after a long journey, he falls into a restless sleep and half-remembers, half-dreams the incidents of the last summer of peace before the First World War 'when life appeared to pay heed to individuals'. As tutor in a wealthy, unsettled Moscow household he focuses his intense romanticism on Mr ...more
Paperback, Penguin Modern Classics, 93 pages
Published 1970 by Penguin Books (first published 1934)
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পঞচাশের দশকে ডকটর জিভাগো লিখে বিশবখযাতি, নোবেল পুরসকার, সোভিয়েত সরকারের আকরোশ এবং ডেভিড লীনের এপিক সিনেমা, সবই জুটেছিল বরিস পাসতেরনাকের ভাগযে। যে কথাটা অত পরচার পায় না, তা হলো কুড়ির দশকের গোড়া থেকেই রুশ ভাষার অনযতম শরেষঠ কবি হিসেবে সবীকৃত ছিলেন পাসতেরনাক। তার ভাষার কাবযময়তার কিছুটা আভাস পাওয়া যায় ১৯৩৪ সালে লেখা এই আতমজীবনীমূলক উপনযাসিকা থেকে। রুশ ভাষায় সাদামাটা শিরোনাম পাভিয়েসত ("গলপ") - পেংগুইন কলাসিকসের এই সংসকরণে সেটা বদলে রাখা হয়েছে "দয লাসট সামার"।

মসকো থেকে দীরঘ টরেন জারনি করে সেরেঝা এসেছে
A strange novella: beautiful in places, with dream-like qualities and hence the reader is often a little lost too.

Serezha visits his sister and family in 1916 Russia. He is very tired and dreams/reminisces about his recent past, particularly his time as tutor to a rich boy and the lady's companion who was also employed there.

The meandering nature of the book is echoed by significant references to water, swimming and floating, including "washed in public notoriety" (and oxymoron?), "women... had
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
I feel like I'm missing something, maybe it was the translation, or maybe it's something I'll never get, not being able to read Pasternak in Russian. The introduction explained that this book is not a narrative, but 'loosely interwoven reminiscences. Once I got my head around that, I did enjoy some parts.
Graham Storrs
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was either very poorly translated, or poorly written, or both. It had the feel of a very young man trying too hard to be poetic and quite often missing the mark. The story itself was rambling and amounts to little more than a collection of observations and reminiscences, interesting in parts, but, on the whole, a bit tiresome.
Nick Traynor
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclublove
I did not get it. I didn't understand the ending; I couldn't remember who Lemokh was, because it was so boring and difficult to read. There were phrases, metaphors, sentences and entire paragraphs that made no sense to me.
Greg Deane
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A curiously quaint dream novella about an effete failure who is shamed by the energy of those around him. He is a fortunate wastrel who appears pampered by those who have high expectations of him but gradually come to be disappointed. The work is prose but some of the images are quite arresting and very lyrical reflecting the fanciful nature of the narrator that is in stark contrast to the parched summer that pervades most of the central story that is bordered by the bleakness of a harsh Russian ...more
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Pasternak's writing could be described more as a prose poem in contrast to Dr. Zhivago here, and he takes a lot from his practice as a poet with these beautifully shrouded scenes from the point of view of Serezha who, asleep on his sister's couch, dreams of the last summer before the outbreak of World War I as a young tutor in Russia. It was nice and sweet - hard to follow at times (as is the essence of dreams) but, the pictures Pasternak creates of young Serezha, his relationship with Arild and ...more
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
This came as a disappointment to me after Doctor Zhivago. I really enjoyed some descriptions here, and the draft of the story that Serezha writes, but found myself quite lost in several places, maybe because it delved so deep into Serezha's mind that I didn't care enough (or simply was unable) to break down the metaphors. Perhaps my lack of knowledge about Russian history had something to do with it?

(If someone can share a link to a good analysis of this novella, I'd really appreciate it.)
Richard Cripps
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it
More poetry than prose: perhaps that is why it has such a variety of responses.
While the language is very beautiful, the narrative is extremely loose and the 'half-dreamt, half-remembered' style ends up becoming combative.
The second half ended up winning me over but by then the story was nearly finished and I left feeling unsatisfied.
The Lau Azure Door
Jul 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite books i read when i was kinda young...during the hot humid summer nights at a pale light
Benjamin Farmer
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another five star read. A dreamy, sunlit, sweaty obsessive kind of book. I haven't read Doctor Zhivago, but i will . . . someday. Read this if you like Russian fevers. Dostoevsky on a good day.
Sep 09, 2013 added it
Shelves: fiction, abandoned
Abandoned at page 30 as couldn't get on with it - perhaps it was the translation?

Too many books and not enough time.
Ignas Bednarczyk
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a master novella,translated into English,the best I have read in 30 years by any author.The descriptions are full of direct visual evocation.
Mirza Maric
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
When you read this book, remember that it is not a story per se but rather a dream-like collection of reminisces and memories from the main character. There were some parts of the novel where I was lost, I am still not sure exactly what happened with the main character and Mrs Arild when they took the final train journey together, however there is a lot of beautiful writing here which you'd come to expect from the great Russian authors.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
A perfect little September novel
Aug 22, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
Ik kan me alleen herinneren dat het boek met niet trok en ik de schrijfstijl niet aantrekkelijk vond.
Voor de rest heb ik over dit boek nergens iets opgeschreven en kan ik geen goede review schrijven.

Rolazp .
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Ivan Matthew
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Sep 29, 2011
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Boris Leonidovich Pasternak was born in Moscow to talented artists: his father a painter and illustrator of Tolstoy's works, his mother a well-known concert pianist. Though his parents were both Jewish, they became Christianized, first as Russian Orthodox and later as Tolstoyan Christians. Pasternak's education began in a German Gymnasium in Moscow and was continued at the University of Moscow. Un ...more
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