The Unbearable Lightness of Being

  • by Milan Kundera
  • Narrated by Richmond Hoxie
  • 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A young woman is in love with a successful surgeon, a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing. His mistress, a free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals - while her other lover, earnest, faithful, and good, stands to lose everything because of his noble qualities. In a world where lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and fortuitous events, and everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence we feel "the unbearable lightness of being." A major achievement from one of the world's truly great writers, Milan Kundera's magnificent novel of passion and politics, infidelity and ideas, encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, illuminating all aspects of human existence.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Strives to be deep

There are parts of this book that I thoroughly enjoyed. There are moments of great beauty through skilful prose and a thoughtful story. However, I think you can only enjoy an opinionated book if you agree with the opinions expressed. Unfortunately, in enough of the cases to spoil it, I did not.
My other complaint is quoting the ancients to prove your point rather than illustrate it. Euclid was a truly great mind - it took us a couple of thousand years to show his work as incomplete, but eventually we moved past him.
I would go as far as to say I could possibly be a fan of the author, but not the philosopher.
I know others have found this book very deep and enjoyable - it is well written, so I am wary of putting another reader off it just because I didn't enjoy parts of it.
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- Ant

A wistful and wise sideways look at "reality"

Kundera's work is always profound. His characters face all the usual dilemmas thrown at us by life and the complex business of being "human". Some characters soar above the mundane, others are sucked down by it. Kundera never tires of throwing us the deep questions - the plot is richly drawn with a sweet and sour mixture of humour and sorrow. This is provocative philosophy wrapped in a vivid sugar coating of human endeavour and intrigue.
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- William

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-09-2012
  • Publisher: Canongate Faber