Nov. 11th, 2010

liaku: (müller does not approve)
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera was the first and only Kundera book I've read so far. Given the weight and reputation of the name Kundera, I expected a lot better.

It's basically a romance novel with a lot of heady and arrogant introspection and philosophizing, the only point of which is, imo, to indulge the author's ego. Also to indulge the ego of the audiences that believe to understand and find significance in such things. I have no patience for such things. I don't blame the author, really, moreso the audience I'd expect the book to have. It reeks of something people read to feel like they're smarter and better and more intellectual than everyone else. Those faux-academics drive me up the wall. You find them in droves at Columbia.

I'm not a fan of romance as the driving plotline in my novels, but it was done very well, but I have never seen a duller or dumber main couple. However, there are two side characters that also have POV chapters, and those are simply excellent, they come genuinely and highly recommended. Sabina is the genuinely strongest and empowering female character I have ever encountered in fiction. Franz breaks my heart, and the irony of his story is so obviously penned by the great author I expected Kundera to be. I wanted more of both of them.

Anyway, if I weren't stuck on the train for 13 hours, unable to fall asleep, and bored out of my mind, I would never have finished it. It has the slowest start ever, and the character he chooses to open the book up with is about as sympathetic as Navi. Or Rose. That's Zelda and MGS for those without any geek flowing in their veins. It's pretty bad. Luckily, his character development is excellent even though it came far too late. Didn't care for his love interest either, but she's easy to pity and hard to dislike.

I mean, it was okay, ups and downs, you know. I could see why a lot of people would like it. I think it appeals a lot to the masses. That's fine. That's good, actually. Whatever.

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