The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Or rather, a 3.5 star read.
I will be honest. There were times when the tale took on a very meta quality that I appreciated it to a full 5-star rating and times where the sex and philandering, mistress and the smell of another woman's juices on his face just got to be too much. The repetition of sex in the tale did not seem to be so much pornography but a literary technique to make us feel like Milan Kundera was trying to f*** the reader.
I did say meta, did I not? Well, sometimes it worked and sometimes I just wanted to put the novel aside forever.
Good thing is: I enjoyed it a lot more after the midpoint where these seemingly delightfully *real* characters were reduced to the author's fancy... the matter-of-fact way they got crushed under a truck just struck me as unbearably funny.
But this was not a humorous book. Not at all. It was heavy, man, and as light as ashes in America where everything is so foreign. And let's be clear about this. This is political, Soviet-era occupation literary sex-pomp. With a very touching scene with the death of a dog while the rest of the country expressed their hatred of all dogs as a substitute for hating their fellow men.
Yes, this had a lot of hidden depths and flighty fancy. The prose is pretty wonderful and the moments where it is good, it's very engaging and philosophical. But it's also about the unbearable lightness of being f***ed by Milan Kundera. I suppose that takes some getting used to.
Me, I'm a little sore.
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