Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Doctor Zhivago Group Read: Week 3- I Haven't Finished

Okay, today was the due date to finish the group read of the new translation of Boris Pasternak's classic Doctor Zhivago. I have not finished it. I plan to, but I haven't yet.

Not that I'm not enjoying the book. I am. But I confess I'm finding it a little more molasses-like than I remember the first time. I'm about halfway through the last part, which means I have just under 200 pages to go. That's not a lot. That's a short novel. I can read 200 pages.

But will I? That's the question. I have many, many pages to read in my TBR pile, and many more will be added by Santa. Why would I feel compelled to finish these particular 200 pages? Because it will affect my self-esteem if I don't.

The good doctor has landed in some hot water, separated from his wife and his lover. One thing I forgot about the story is just how short and fragile his sexual relationship with Lara is. But then everything in the doctor's life is fragile, tenuous and delicate. I love the passages from his diary, when he and his wife Tonya first move to Yuriatin, the village where he'll re-discover Lara and consummate their affair. I love his lyricism, his love for nature and physical activity, and the way his love for Lara combines all the things he loves. I noticed also how his attraction to Lara peaks at a time when his wife is pregnant and less attractive to him physically; this is the one time I didn't like him.

Part of Russo-Biblio-Extravaganza
Anyway it's a beautiful book and I will finish it. I will. Just not today.

You can find more links to the Group Read at NonSuchBook. Thanks to the magnificent Frances for hosting this and the Madame Bovary read last month! If you love literary fiction and you haven't been to her wonderful blog, what are you waiting for?


Kathleen said...

I have never read Doctor Zhivago but look forward to reading it in the future. I'll have to make sure I get this translation since this seems to be the one that people are recommending.

Zibilee said...

I totally feel you, Marie. This is one reason that I don't get a lot of group reads done. I am always afraid that I will lose interest or not complete the book, and then I will let people down. All that being said, I still really do want to read this book and am looking forward to grabbing at after the holidays are over. I hope that you find time to finish, and that you share your thoughts with us!

ImageNations said...

I love literary fiction and I have not been there... oya away.

I also don't like discarding off novels simply because they are not interesting. I can suspend for a while but I wouldn't want to discard. Not at all.

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying your comments on this series.

Frances said...

Thanks for reading along! At.....a....very....slow.....pace - for us all. :) Don't punish yourself too much if you decide not to finish it now. It is not going anywhere. Happy holiday reading!