Book pak BBC Audiobooks America/ Chivers 1995
CS ISBN 0745127347 $114.95 Sixteen cassettes
Since the Russian government forced Pasternak to renounce the Nobel Prize in 1958 and refused to allow publication of Dr. Zhivago in Russia, it's natural to think of it as a political novel. It is not...at least, not primarily. Although the historic events in Russia from 1903 to 1943 form the chaotic background of the story, it's the human drama as seen through the eyes of Yurii Zhivago that gives it meaning. As Yurii becomes a prisoner of the Partisans, separated from his wife and family and then from his great love, Lara, his brooding intelligence finds courage and dignity far beyond that of any political ideology. Despite the superb narration of Philip Madoc, however, this isn't an easy book in audio. There are about sixty main characters, all with complicated Russian names, none printed in a list for clarification. Even if such a list is borrowed from a printed book, there are still confusing twists in the complicated plot--as well as intimidating place names--which can be difficult to follow on tape. Does this mean that the recorded book is impossible to understand? No, only that it's a challenge. But what an exciting challenge it is! With the eloquence of Philip Madoc as inspiration, a dedicated listener will be privileged to experience the full power of one of the great books of this century. J.C. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB 96]
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