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Doctor Zhivago Audiobook

Doctor Zhivago

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Publisher's Summary

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of its original publication, here is a new translation of the classic story of the life and loves of a poet/physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution.

Taking his family from Moscow to what he hopes will be shelter in the Ural Mountains, Zhivago finds himself instead embroiled in the battle between the Whites and the Reds. Set against this backdrop of cruelty and strife is Zhivago’s love for the tender and beautiful Lara: pursued, found, and lost again, Lara is the very embodiment of the pain and chaos of those cataclysmic times.

©1957 Boris Pasternak (P)2011 Random House

What the Critics Say

"This new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is for the first time based on the authentic original text, reflects the present, deeper level of understanding of the great masterpiece of 20th century Russian literature and conveys its whole artistic richness with all its complexities and subtleties that had escaped the attention of the earlier translators and readers." (Lazar Fleishman, Professor of Russian Literature, Stanford University)

"Without a doubt, their version will become the standard translation of the novel for years to come." (Barry Scherr, Mandel Family Professor of Russian, Dartmouth College)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (187 )
5 star
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Overall
4.0 (164 )
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4.1 (166 )
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Performance
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  •  
    SydSavvy PARIS, TX, United States 02-16-13
    SydSavvy PARIS, TX, United States 02-16-13 Member Since 2008

    The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Russian Philosophical Feast"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is so much more than an epic historical love story, but I would never have picked up on it earlier in life. It is a Russian philosophical feast. The women in Zhivago's life clearly portray his feelings about Russia and the social changes that it went through. I'm amazed at how Pasternak was able to do this. The audio version was excellent because it provided a short intro that helped me with the magical /folktale part of the book, and then it had an afterword and a short history on Pasternak's life. Just be prepared for its typical Russian length and repetitiveness on theme / thought. Oh, and the love story is magnificent, too.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Quintana 02-04-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Read it for history, not for story about Zhivago.."

    ... and Lara.

    This felt more like a history book than a novel. Of course, a well-written and lyrical history book, but still. Like many, I read this because I loved the movie. As others have mentioned, this is nothing like the movie. The primary goal of this novel, it seems, is to tell what life was like during the Revolution. The secondary, or maybe even tertiary, goal of this is to tell the stories of Zhivago and others. Found this very hard to follow. I have to put this book in the "glad I listened to it, but sure didn't enjoy it" category. I've listened to and enjoyed War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, and Crime and Punishment, so I'm not at all adverse to long, philosophical Russian novels.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth NASHVILLE, TN, United States 12-13-11
    Beth NASHVILLE, TN, United States 12-13-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Nothing like the movie."
    What did you love best about Doctor Zhivago?

    A living historical document of the Russian Revolution, by one who lived through it to tell the tale.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Strelnikov. Hero and villain, most realistic character.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    He did women's voices pretty well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was appalled to learn that Pasternak was a self hating Jew.He went off on some antisemitic rants, which, considering he was of Jewish heritage, was extremely shocking.


    Any additional comments?

    I am more impressed now, by the David Lean film. He was able to take a somewhat tedious narrative and piece together an unforgettable film.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie Sullivan 12-19-15
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    "great story, wonderful reader"

    Pasternak has an amazing ability to capture the necessarily complex Russian philosophical attitudes during and after the Russian revolution and turn them into a beautiful novel of hardship and perseverance.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Monroeville, PA, United States 08-15-11
    Lawrence Monroeville, PA, United States 08-15-11 Member Since 2013
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    "decent"

    The translator and narrators did a fine job. However, the novel had zero humor and was very preachy. I listened to this book because Pasternak won the Nobel Prize and the David Lean movie is a classic. But don't expect Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sally 08-06-14
    sally 08-06-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WoW!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Doctor Zhivago to be better than the print version?

    It was outstanding!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I was warned that it would be difficult to follow the characters, but it was not difficult at all.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    Everything!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    the story of life.


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eduard Alf Breckenridge, Quebec Canada 07-19-12
    Eduard Alf Breckenridge, Quebec Canada 07-19-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Forget the movie"
    If you could sum up Doctor Zhivago in three words, what would they be?

    "Just being there".


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Zhivago ... Yuri .... of course. Because he reminds me of myself. I have a certain inertia which keeps me grounded and for the most part I just flow with what comes at the moment. That is Yuri's mode of living. Yuri is life. This isn't a love story, as one might take from the movie, but of being drawn to something new because it seemed right at the time. That is, the opportunity presents itself and you live it to the full.

    The aspect of living life is poetically described in the race of Yuri in the broken down tram and Mademoiselle Fleury. Yuri simply loses that race and Mademoiselle Fleury carries on with hers. Which is significantly different from the movie which has Lara in the place of Fleury, and the message is entirely lost.

    That Yuri is life shows itself in the manner of description for which Pasternak is emminently skilled. When Yuri experiences something the sensuality of it is brought forth through the words, better than for any other author I know of.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by John Lee?

    The narrator isn't that important here.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. But best savoured in portions ... when reading again after the first time. I read the book perhaps 2 or 3 times a year.


    Any additional comments?

    The repetitions and coincidences are exceptional in this book. An example is the Rowan Berry tree [European Ash] and red wine.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley Hebron, KY, United States 12-30-12
    Ashley Hebron, KY, United States 12-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Endured it, but I didn't get a prize."
    Would you try another book from the authors and/or John Lee?

    John Lee sure. He saved it. But this book was a chore.


    What could the authors have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I read this book because it is a classic. I suspect it reflects the people and the times well. But oh, my. Take me back to Follett's Century Trilogy.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    Voices distinguishable and not annoying, even though the characters were.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Relief it was over and sorry it cost 2 credits.


    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Buttrick Bedford, Massachusetts United States 09-23-16
    Sara Buttrick Bedford, Massachusetts United States 09-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "My thoughts"

    After a trip to Russia, I decided to read Doctor Zhivago and given the difficulty of pronouncing the many names, surmised that the best reading would be an audio book. The reader was perfect! Thank you! The afterword was extremely informative, I wish there had been an option to hear about the life of Pasternak and the political influences on his work before listening to the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna BURLINGTON, IA, United States 04-06-16
    Donna BURLINGTON, IA, United States 04-06-16
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    "classic and timely"

    a must read for anyone who is interested in how history played out in the lives of real people

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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