The only 'negative' I have about this purchase is that the cover of the book is actually flat white with the title and illustration drawn by Kundera himself, similar to the cover of Immortality done in the same style. This did not bother me at all, and I was actually kind of happy to have it the way Kundera wanted it to be presented but is worth noting if you are aesthetically invested in the book as pictured.
This book predates 'Unbearable Lightness of Being' and it's spiritual sequel 'Immortality' and you can see many of the themes from those emerging here. There is almost no narrative path connecting the entire book unlike the other two mentioned but as fans of Kundera might expect the whole work feels cohesive in a hard to explain way. The story shifts effortlessly between musings on the thematic intentions of classical composers to brutally objective descriptions of sexual debauchery. Even more than other books by this author this book almost requires repeat readings or extensive margin notes. Although the story never drags, it is often hard to get your bearings when you pick it up midway. The story is dense enough and Kundera's dry almost morbid humor is entertaining enough that reading in small chunks is not a waste but you will definitely reach the end wondering if you missed something important.
The amount of 'taboo' subjects and crazy situations contained the book will make you cringe while trying to recommend it to your friends. It almost feels too personal to give any specific opinions about the book knowing that another person will have that in mind as they reached parts the evoke mixed and confusing emotional responses. All in all an excellent book but I wouldn't recommend it to my mom.
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Faber Paperback; Main edition (1 July 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 057117437X
- ISBN-13: 978-0571174379
- Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 322 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)