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Doctor Zhivago

Narrated by: Phillip Madoc
Length: 18 hrs and 25 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (120 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Translated by Max Hayward and Manya Harari. 

Banned in the Soviet Union until 1988, Doctor Zhivago is the epic story of the life and loves of a poet-physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Taking his family from Moscow to shelter in the Ural Mountains, Yuri Zhivago finds himself embroiled in a battle between the Whites and the Reds and in love with the beautiful nurse Lara. 

©2011 Boris Pasternak (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

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Incorrect translation

The audiobook is of the translation by Hayward and Harari, not the new vintage edition as advertised. It is important to be accurate as the translation is important to many readers. Nonetheless this is an assured and moving reading.

9 people found this helpful

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The translation is not the one in the photo

I bought this in order to read along with my edition by Vintage, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, only to find that the photo is is completely misleading and it is a different translation. There seems to be no information about which translation this is.

6 people found this helpful

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An epic of love and war

My favourite film of all time is Dr Zhivago with Julie Christie and Omar Sharif. I’ve always meant to read the original but the fat tome has sat on my bookshelves unread for decades, whereas this audio version has accompanied me as I do other things and the many hours have sped by. It’s a monumental work that tells the developing love story of Yuri and Lara against the backdrop of early 20th century Russian history.

I have to say that if I hadn’t seen the film recently I think I would have been lost among the numerous characters and locations with unfamiliar names. Even so there is a lot extra material in the book with side stories and, for me, a too many lengthy monologues on politics, theology and philosophical musings. Tolstoy’s War and Peace has the same propensity which may have influenced Pasternak.

For those who have seen the film and can visualize the scenes as you hear them described it’s a five start listen.

The narrator give a tour de force performance that enhanced the power of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Love Story

What did you like most about Doctor Zhivago?

The Drama of the Piece was brillian

What did you like best about this story?

Just when you think its over, life changes in the most dramatic ways

Which scene did you most enjoy?

When he returns from the civil war

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It was very romantic. I loved it.

Any additional comments?

It was also very good at giving a historical representation of Russia during the civil war. A must read if you are studying that period.

4 people found this helpful

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In love with this book

Have wanted to read this book for ages but never managed to find the time for this hefty novel. So glad I've listened to it. Such engaging narration and a gripping story. It takes a lot of concentration to understand the first chapter, all of the characters and what's going on. I suggest you look up summaries / sparknotes kind of thing while listening. This way for the first chapters while there is a lot of darting from place to place in the story you can make sure you understand everything properly. I'm definitely going to buy the book now

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Can only praise this book.

A stunning life story set in the Russian revolution. The author manages a wide cast of very believable characters as he flits effortlessly between the adorable, the deeply emotive, the violent and terrifying, and some of the most beautifully crafted scenery painting I have read. The performer is marvelous. The way he smoothly slides between male and female characters makes it a joy to listen to. His range is excellent. Great job. Pasternak stages coincidences through the book which were both wonderful and occasionally heartbreaking. Saying all that it is long and starts densely. Some may find it hard to get into, my advice is to let it wash over you, and you will catch up as you go along. It is worth it. Can't rate it high enough.

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a joy to listen to

An absolutely wonderful audio book. Phillip Madoc performs beautifully. His voice is full of melody, it drew me further into the story than did the words alone and he used it to make each character come alive as distinct individuals. I will listen to this book again and again.

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Doctor Zhivago

I love the story of Dr Zhivago, but unfortunately it was read too fast...it was hard to take it all in..

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Amazing reading of an amazing book

The performance of this book is simply incredible and the book itself of course beyond criticism of any kind.

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A paean to the profundity of existence amid the horrors of political chaos.

While not a perfect read, with some passages digressing and some, I thought, with unconvincing dialogue, this is still undoubtedly a masterpiece. Lyrical and utterly sublime in its descriptions of Russia and the natural world, profound in its reflections on life, love, art, morality and politics, it is an all encompassing tragedy, lifted into transcendence in the telling of the fortunes of individuals caught in the cruel tide of history. I loved the film, which cleverly kept to the main narrative of this occasionally rambling work, but the book adds another layer, particularly in the sublime descriptive passages which reminded me of the purpose of great art to open our sensibilities, hearts and minds. It is politically an immensely important book, a dangerous and dissenting voice to the Soviet regime, and a reminder to beware ideologues, a towering work... highly recommended

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  • Jane
  • 08-09-16

A great tale

I read a lot of the great Russian authors in my student days but for some reason never read this, so I was very pleasantly surprised at how well written it is and how is the story of the tumultuous period between the wars

1 person found this helpful