Amy Reed's Reviews > The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
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's review
Jan 06, 2008

did not like it
Recommended for: NO ONE

I have a bone to pick with Kundera and his following. People, this has got to be the most over-rated book of human history. I mean, references to infidelity alone (even infidelity that makes use of funky costumes like '50s ganster hats--the only note-and-applauseworthy aspect this book!) do NOT make for good literature, and such is The Unbearable Lightness of Being, in a nutshell. The male protaganist is, hands down, a one-dimensional and boring buffoon, while the female protaganist is lackluster and underdeveloped. This book is not but chicken soup for those obnoxious, lonely intellectuals who wish they could be playaz, and therefore admire Dr. Love's trite antics. In addition, Kundera's references to philosophy and Beethoven were clearly extracted from a cracker jack box. In conclusion, the emperor has no clothes! Kundera-following (and you are the majority), free yourselves (!), and stop pretending that this book is good.
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Finished Reading
January 6, 2008 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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Eozenaj Oh man I know

Nicolletta Your review is quite ironic in that it is pretentious. It doesn't account for individual taste and the fact that everyone will take from a novel something different. Why didn't you concentrate on expressing your own opinion of the novel rather than poorly criticising differing opinions to yours?

message 3: by Alison (new) - added it

Alison Orr I don't believe there WERE any 50s gangster hats in the novel.

Bobby Bermea This is an interesting phenomenon on Goodreads and maybe all over the place. One person doesn't like a book so they call into question the intentions behind everyone who does.

message 5: by Alison (new) - added it

Alison Orr "Look how many attempts at witty barbs I can make!"
Negative views are fair enough but the way you have expressed them is more suitable for the discussion boards. They are separate from the reviews section for a reason.

message 6: by Ali (new) - rated it 1 star

Ali This is what I was trying to said it better. Thanks.

Kristen Apparently seemless execution of subtext mirroring decades of society changing philosophy, reflections on European political strife and it's psychological implications, and brilliant uses of literary devices are just no match for your intellectual prowess, huh? I guess generations of "lonely intellectuals" are all just not reading deeply enough into the story to tease out the bullshit you were able to draw from the text. Please have mercy on our idiocy.

Simon Loved you review. "This book is not but chicken soup for those obnoxious, lonely intellectuals..":D very well said.

message 9: by Lizzy (new)

Lizzy Matthew And has a really lousy and empty ending.

message 10: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy I liked the book a little more than this, but still, bravo.

message 11: by Jamie (new) - rated it 1 star

Jamie I agree, what a shocker. The line abot uutut women like the weight of men on top of them during sex as allpoets agree throughout the ages . Gee whiz how dumb. Of course all the poets are menprob . Pretenious , grandiose, unreadable.

Sheldon Sequeira Did any of you notice that he used up around 50 pages or so to talk about "shit", "defecation", "faeces"? He must've realised by that time that his novel was really shitty, so he decided to talk about "shit"... and philosophize about it!

Catarina Great review!

message 14: by Leo (last edited Jan 06, 2016 09:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leo Walsh @Amt Reed said "This has to be the most over-rated book ever." That seems a bit hyperbolic and melodramatic. And to insult readers who like the book seems counterproductive.

We all dislike some books -- even great ones. I. for instance, still rate "Moby Dick" only two or three stars... and I've read it like three times... just to make sure I wasn't mistaken. And we all love books we know are "trash," but read for joy.

That said, you may want to focus on the text instead of making broad generalizations about readers. And so you know, I am reading the book now and getting a sense of the strengths/ weaknesses of it. So love reading both positive and critical reviews.

I found yours of little help. Since you seem morally outraged by a character's infidelity, and insult readers who enjoy the book. But do little to tear apart the text and tell me why you are dissatisfied.

FYI, having a character who cheats on his or her spouse does not mean that Kundera approves of the behavior. Instead, he is using the serial infidelity to explore what the character means... to the author.

Laura I agree with your review 100%, I couldn't wait to finish this book not because I wanted to see what happens to the character but because I wanted to start another book.

Roohi Syed I didn't enjoy the book either. Too much Philosophy for me and I thought he wasted a lot of time talking about stuff that I thought was totally unnecessary.. and yes the abrupt ending! So yes, I also couldn't wait to finish it and move on! This one was definitely not my cup of tea!

Megan Arthur Roohi wrote: "I didn't enjoy the book either. Too much Philosophy for me and I thought he wasted a lot of time talking about stuff that I thought was totally unnecessary.. and yes the abrupt ending! So yes, I al..."

The ending is actually very meaningful to the rest of the book. This whole book is a philosophical question about meaning to life (weight) or no meaning to life (lightness). The end with the butterfly floating in the room relates to the lightness/meaningless of life while the music coming from below relates to the heaviness/meaning to life. What Kundera is trying to say is that we will never find an answer. These two ideals will never be separate.

message 18: by Mdss (new) - rated it 1 star

Mdss Thank you, I totally agree with the review and I'm giving up the book. The explanation of Teresa psychology based on the Life kg the mother has zero depth, it's basically cliché.

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