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The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Twentieth Anniversary Edition | Milan Kundera
When The Unbearable Lightness of Being was first published in English, it was hailed as "a work of the boldest mastery, originality, and richness" by critic Elizabeth Hardwick and named one of the best books of 1984 by the New York Times Book Review. It went on to win the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and quickly became an international bestseller. Twenty years later, the novel has established itself as a modern classic. To commemorate the anniversary of its first English-language publication, HarperCollins is proud to offer a special hardcover edition. A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover -- these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel. Controlled by day, Tereza's jealousy awakens by night, transformed into ineffably sad death-dreams, while Tomas, a successful surgeon, alternates loving devotion to the dependent Tereza with the ardent pursuit of other women. Sabina, an independent, free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals -- of parents, husband, country, love itself -- whereas her lover, the intellectual Franz, loses all because of his earnest goodness and fidelity. In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence we feel, says the novelist, "the unbearable lightness of being" -- not only as the consequence of our private acts but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine. This magnificent novel encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, and embraces, it seems, all aspects of human existence. It juxtaposes geographically distant places (Prague, Geneva, Paris, Thailand, the United States, a forlorn Bohemian village); brilliant and playful reflections (on "eternal return," on kitsch, on man and animals -- Tomas and Tereza have a beloved doe named Karenin); and a variety of styles (from the farcical to the elegiac) to take its place as perhaps the major achievement of one of the world's truly great writers.
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YLAung
Pickpick

A meditation on life .

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gby0822
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This was...not that good? Has anyone else read this book? What did you think? (Am I missing something?!) 🙃🙃🙃

ImperfectCJ I read it in 2009, and according to the review I wrote on Goodreads I liked it, but I can't remember anything about the book at all, including a scene with doctors trying to get to Cambodia, which I apparently found "incredible." Usually reading back over my reviews triggers memories of the book, but I'm remembering nothing about this one. 1w
Suet624 Yes, I liked it a lot. At the time I had not read a book like it before. 1w
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ladygrey
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"Human life occurs only once, and the reason we cannot determine which of our decisions are good and which bad is that in a given situation we can only make one decision; we are not granted a second, third, or fourth life in which to compare various decisions."

4 likes2 stack adds
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LaraS
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I know there‘s no haunting in this book, but there‘s so much history in Prague it‘s full of ghost stories. They say if you dare go to Charles Bridge late at night you can see severed heads still dangling from the towers at each end...👻 #screamathon

4thhouseontheleft 🖤👻🧡 4w
4 likes1 comment
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Lon89

I think this book was a little more brilliant than my little mind understood. I can‘t really sell it because I don‘t think I fully understood it in it‘s full brilliance. It‘s a story about the lives and love lives of two couples in Prague. It tells the stories of infidelities but ultimately makes the point that life is light in the most unbearable sense, and that we are all trying to make it heavier by finding meaning (I think...).

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Pruzy
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Mehso-so

A couple weeks ago I finished The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, which came highly recommended to me from a former classmate in my graduate program. This book has a reputation for being at the same time philosophical and pretentious. I have to say, the womanizing main character Tomas and his acquiescing wife Teresa were immensely frustrating. However, there were interesting scenes of life in communist Czechoslovakia.

KatieDid927 Agreed. 3mo
Pruzy @KatieDid927 Glad I‘m not the only one who feels this way! 3mo
KatieDid927 @Pruzy It took me a really long time to get through because I didn‘t care. 3mo
See All 11 Comments
Pruzy @KatieDid927 Fair enough! I read it fairly quickly, but just couldn‘t garner sympathy for Thomas until the end. He finally became a somewhat better person 3mo
ephemeralwaltz A bit tedious but an interesting read! 3mo
Pruzy @ephemeralwaltz Definitely a lot of ideas in it! 3mo
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Hmmm. I have this in my stack 😕 3mo
Pruzy @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Maybe you‘ll be one of those who likes it? At the very least, it will give you an appreciation of the hype surrounding the book. 3mo
Louise Perhaps my view of this book is buoyed by the fact that I read it on the train to Prague in my mid-20‘s. 🙃 3mo
Pruzy @Louise Probably the perfect time to have read it! 3mo
Louise Yes! I lucked out on that one! 🤓 3mo
59 likes1 stack add11 comments
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Mishu94
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Finally got my hands on this one! I hope it‘s as good as how everyone claims it to be! 😁
P.s Also say Hi to Reggie! 😻

brit91 Hi reggie! You're a cutie!!😻😻😻 3mo
Mishu94 @brit91 Reggie says thank you 😻🙈 3mo
TheLibrarian Oh my goodness, look at that little ball of fluff! 😻 (edited) 3mo
Mishu94 @TheLibrarian she‘s adorable! 😻 3mo
21 likes4 comments
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IndoorDame
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This one is still on my TBR shelf, but everything I know about it says it will strike exactly this tone. #lilithjuly #acaseofyou @Cinfhen @KarenUK

Cinfhen Sounds like a perfect choice and a book I‘ve been meaning to read 🤩Thanks for the reminder ♥️ 4mo
IndoorDame @Cinfhen these photo challenges are really awesome for book ideas! (or terrible if you ever plan to finish your tbr list...) 4mo
Cinfhen I know!!!! It‘s never ending 😣🙈 4mo
StayCurious I don‘t think we‘re ever meant to finish our TBR list - the joy of being an avid reader! 4mo
KarenUK On my #TBR too! 💕 4mo
33 likes1 stack add5 comments
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LaraS
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Going through my old book journals, came across this photo from several years ago. Prague is beautiful, even if Charles Bridge IRL is *slightly* more crowded than show on the cover. 😜

LaraS If it weren't for this book, I never would've ventured into the countryside of Bohemia to experience what Tereza and Tomas's country life would've been like. Much a I love Prague, Cesky Raj was my fav part of the Czech Republic. 5mo
BarbaraBB Charles Bridge is hell but still, its the Prague of Kundera and Kafka 💜 5mo
7 likes2 comments
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GatheringBooks
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#QuotsyJune19 Day 23: Life as a #sketch unfinished.

BarbaraBB So many awesome quotes in that book 💜 5mo
55 likes1 comment
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AdaChivers
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Pickpick

I always heard awlfull things about this book and had a vague memory of the movie being so boring (but it had Daniel Day-Lewis in It) that I never found the courage to read this.
I was wrong.

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whatsthEStorey
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1. Every few months, but they usually pass quickly
2. Letting go & bingeing tv for a few days, then restarting
3. Any book with lush gardens and great old houses. I forgot the entire plot of Rebecca, but could‘ve drawn Manderly, if I could draw!
4. Favorite title tagged. Also... Like Water For Chocolate. Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Love in the Time of Cholera.
5. @bookishandsane @Jinster @Jas16 @MoonWitch94

Eggs Like your method-#2 7mo
MoonWitch94 Oh fun! Thanks for the tag 😊 7mo
33 likes2 comments
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Butterfinger
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Didn't personally enjoy it, but I can relate to the multiple ironies of life.

#PopSugar19 19/50 (multiple POVs)
#AtoZLitsy19 21/26 (U) @BookishMarginalia
#AroundtheWorld19 2/52
(Czech Republic)

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Christine11
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1. Aquarius ♒️
2. I got through my first week of a really intense month at university!
3. I couldn‘t finish Unbearable Lightness of Being - I just found it odd and couldn‘t get into it.
4. Doing some present shopping for Mother‘s Day and hopefully some reading.
5. 💗⭐️💗

#friyayintro @howjessreads

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mellissimo
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1. in a little village near Dresden, Germany
2. I would like to move to Dresden. It's a really beautiful town and the village where I live right now is a bit to small if you ask me ;)
3. Prague, the tagged one.
4. Dresden is famous for Stollen and our neighbour village is famous for its gingerbread. I also live close to Radeberg. They are famous for their beer 😀
5. I sent some #litsylove letters today ❤❤

#frideas
@SailorMoon

Tanisha_A I would love to visit Dresden! Sounds so nice. Last year went to Cologne, and this market called Titisee. Was a super short stay but loved it all! 8mo
SailorMoon Thanks for playing!!! 💕🤟🏻🌙 8mo
mellissimo @Tanisha_A It is definitly worth a visit! Make sure to tell me when you go there. I know all the good places 😉 🤗 8mo
hgrimes Dresden sounds like a magical place! 8mo
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marginalia_misfit
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"When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.”

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Cathythoughts
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#TimbitTunes #TheWeight it‘s a long time sinse I read this ... but I remember the question of needing the “ weight “ in our lives too. Gravitas .... time for a reread ♥️👍🏻

Cinfhen Still haven‘t read this one...need to remedy 9mo
NeedsMoreBooks This is one of my favorites ❤️❤️ 9mo
merelybookish I read this years and years ago (in my late teens), probably before I could really understand it. I've often wondered if it would be worth revisiting. 9mo
64 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Kristy_K
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Mehso-so

This was a lot more philosophical and sexual than I thought it would be. I listened to it on audiobook and I feel that did it a disservice as many of the passages are ones that need to be studied and thought over. I‘ll probably come back to it again sometime, or else look up an analysis on it.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

#24in48 #readathon #modernclassic

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GatheringBooks
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#QuotsyJan19 Day 27: The #heart and mind are always portrayed to be at odds with each other, particularly so in this novel by Kundera, which I adored in my early 20s.

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GatheringBooks
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#QuotsyDec18 Day 31: A vertigo-inducing #Goal. Happy New Year, Litsy folks!

TK-421 Happy New Year! 10mo
55 likes1 comment
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LibrarianChels
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Bailedbailed

I know many love this book, but I feel no connection. 97 pages in and I realized mid-sentence that I don‘t care about any of the lovers in the story. Reading just to get to the end is no way to live life. Moving on.

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bookcollecter
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JoScho I am not familiar with that cheese! 11mo
Leftcoastzen Love Unbearable Lightness of Being! 11mo
64 likes1 stack add2 comments
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dariazeoli
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Struggling with this book, but it‘s my #LetterU for #litsyclassics, so I shall continue on.

2BR02B I adore this book so much. 13mo
46 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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AmandaEve
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1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera or Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
2. History
3. (Left to right): Ralphie (shih tzu), Frankie and JoJo (dachshunds)
4. Austin, TX: 947,890 from 2016

#sundaysurvey @alisonrose

alisonrose OMG their little faces!! I love dachshunds especially ☺️ thanks for playing!! 14mo
TheSpineView Such cuteness! 14mo
AmandaEve @alisonrose awww yes weenie dogs will always have a special place in my heart! 14mo
AmandaEve @TheSpineView thank you!! They are quite adorable! 😊 14mo
16 likes4 comments
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Tashreads
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#AugustIsATrip #subconscious

I‘m not 💯 sure that this fits today‘s prompt. But this books definitely has a philosophical and steam of consciousness feel to it. However, I read it so long ago that I can‘t even tell you what it is about. It lives in my #subconscious 😉

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 👍🏻👍🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 1y
vkois88 Haha perfect at the end 😂😂 1y
72 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Mandigolightly
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Pickpick

Day 7 of the little book adventure is The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

I‘m going to nominate @jpmcwisemorgan this time! For 10 days, post a book that changed you, without context

jpmcwisemorgan Oh boy! 1y
Leftcoastzen Welcome to Litsy! I love this book! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Welcome to Litsy!! 1y
See All 6 Comments
CarolynM Welcome to Litsy🌼 1y
Wife Welcome to Litsy!🌹 1y
Bronte_Chintz Welcome to Litsy! 🎉🎉🎉 1y
15 likes6 comments
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Sparkin
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Sitting in the Archiship cafe, Yokohama, wondering what books they might have about the Czech Republic

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ComradeMao
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Evening read. Nothing better than a well-loved book and some teh-o, kosong (black tea without sugar).

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ComradeMao
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Sunday lazing and reading. ☕️☕️☕️

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ComradeMao
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There is something petrifying about re-encountering a book you read and loved 8 years ago. You worry it was naivety and romanticism that kept you intrigued by an author‘s work. Ultimately, you‘re afraid you‘ll fall out of love with a book you held close to your heart.

And hell, I got myself a new copy so I will not be influenced by the scribblings and highlighter marks of my younger self. #melodramaticbookwoes

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Nickinpa
Mehso-so

It had some good parts but overall it was kind of meh for me.

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jeancarranza

"La verdadera prueba de la moralidad de la humanidad, la mas honda, radica en su relación con aquellos que están a su merced: los animales"

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charissharpe
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Day off today, made a start on The Unbearable Lightness of Being this morning whilst drinking copious amounts of tea. Am also currently reading Harriet Harman‘s A Woman‘s Work. Really should update what I‘m reading here on my profile although I get the feeling some of them are indeed languishing unfinished 🤣
Do any of you video book reviews? If so where do you share them? YouTube?

#bookstack #currentlyreading #tbr #tbrpile #morningslikethese

27 likes1 stack add
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lexwithwords
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Pickpick

Honestly, I try not to make notes in my books, but this book needed them. Underlines, questions, and thoughts litter its pages now. If you are looking for a book that experiments with narration and linear form, read this. If you are looking for a book about Czechs during Prague Spring, read this. If you are looking for a book that questions your faith, read this. Kundera packs so much into this novel, but it is an easy read.

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loleebs
Pickpick

Read this my senior year of high school and then again my senior year of college. Identified with different characters at different points in my life. Great read for self reflection. Love Kundera, his Laughable Loves is also great.

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GatheringBooks
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#QuotsyMarch18 Day 1: This notion of #Success by Kundera as vertigo-inducing may be accurate. This is the very first book in the very first book club I joined in my early 20s. It was with a group of young faculty from the university -all of us coming from different specializations: psychology (for myself), geography, philo, linguistics, sociology, poli science, anthropology, archaeology. Now we are all over the globe but still keep in close touch.

ephemeralwaltz Nice story :) 2y
TK-421 That's wonderful! Thanks for sharing 😊 2y
29 likes2 comments
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erzascarletbookgasm
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Cathythoughts Very lovely one 💕💕 2y
youneverarrived 💛💛 2y
76 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Sarah83
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Katerina What exactly are these posts about? Are you matching Littens to classics? 2y
Sarah83 @Katerina I made up a reading challenge for next year called #litsyclassics. You could register yourself until last week with a Google form and I had a look, which Littens chose the same book. So I load up all the matches right now. 2y
Katerina @Sarah83 Ah, okay. Thank you ☺ 2y
Gissy I like Kundera's novels! 2y
30 likes5 comments
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bookworm.krizia
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bookworm.krizia
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Mehso-so

😕😕😕

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GidgetsTreasures75
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10-11-17: Day 11: Underrated Read. #bookriot #riotgram #underratedread

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youneverarrived
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Re-arranging my shelves at the min so they‘re looking #bare (the rest of my room isn‘t though I‘ve got books all over 😂) #uncannyoctober

Leftcoastzen That will last a minute 😂I forgot what bare shelves look like. 2y
49 likes1 comment
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2BR02B
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#5fordinner: living authors edition

From top left: Ursula K LeGuin, Milan Kundera, China Miéville, Neil Gaiman, Alison Bechdel

saresmoore Mmhmmm 2y
30 likes2 comments
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Mamalala13
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Pickpick

I also finished this one a few days ago. First, I thought I wouldn't be able to get through it because it is deeply philosophical at times. However, once I got used to those deep passages, I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt like I was studying philosophy again. Kinda miss those constant "brain pains" while reading texts :D
(Pic: Google)

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ephemeralwaltz
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Pickpick

An interesting philosophical reflection of life through love, sex, jealousy, society, politics, perspective and the mere concept of human existence itself against the historical background of the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. It dragged a bit in certain places so I'm giving it only 3.5⭐ but I'm saving many quotes I've loved - it's a pick for sure

Allkat Great review. I‘ve always wanted to read this book. 2y
Pruzy Interesting that you liked it! I just finished it and I thought that Tereza was treated unbearably by Tomas. I‘m surprised Tomas was able to get away with his countless affairs with no real blowback from Tereza. There were interesting digressions and ideas, but definitely not Nobel-worthy in my books. 3mo
43 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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ephemeralwaltz
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Up in the air

Louise I read this book on the train to Prague! Unforgettable! 🤓💕 2y
48 likes1 comment
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EleanorJ
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Mehso-so

Existentialism is usually something I love, however this felt hollow. The women fell flat and the men were something to be ridiculed. I understand that this is about exploring our insignificance in the world but these characters failed to develop the narrative in an engaging manner.

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ephemeralwaltz
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Coffeeshop reading 📚

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ephemeralwaltz
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Good morning Littens! It is WAY to hot outside so I think I'll have to do my reading inside today :( 📚

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jessy1995

Love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost.

DebinHawaii Welcome to Litsy! 🎉📚👍😀 Hope you enjoy it here! 2y
MrBook Welcome to @Litsy ! Just warning you now, you won't want to leave. 😆👏🏻 2y
4 likes2 comments