Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

"She announced to her husband (whom she considered a difficult drunk rather than an eccentric) that she was leaving him."

What a delightful respite from the stress of work deadlines. To drift off into a sensual exploration of the sense of self and the other private life underpinned by erotic adventure.
Tomas is not one for fidelity, he loves his wife Tereza like no other and yet this is not reason enough to preclude his continual philandering. Kundera’s exploration of the reasoning behind these interactions is really intriguing.  I particularly enjoyed his discussion of the tension between the private and the public and Tomas’ desire to uncover all that was hidden in every woman he met. The tension between Sabine, Tomas’ mistress and his wife is also interestingly explored.
This is a book full of political upheaval, emotional roller-coasters and the odd bit of navel gazing, all beautifully packaged up with words that transport the reader to another place.  A place that is private and introspective, yet, at the same time, engaging on a number of levels. It seeks to explore the divide between love and lust and the points where they sometimes meet in the middle.
I devoured this book, not unlike a detailed dream that you regret waking from and feel leads you to return to bed.
5 out of 5 anything but light and fluffy.

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