Unbearable lightness of dating
Erofeev stunned everyone by dying of throat cancer rather than cirrhosis of the liver in 1990.Also replaces: Anything by Bukowski or Hunter Thompson Witold Gombrowicz, 1937 Any book that is reviled by Polish nationalists, banned by the Nazis, and then banned again the Communists is probably worth reading; it's not easy getting those groups to agree even on a pizza topping.Akhmatova's first husband was the great poet Gumilev, who discounted her talent and then got himself killed. It's usually a risk reading a poet in translation, but this one is worth taking; the collection is worth the price just for the sheer caliber of the critical apparatus.
Predictably this is an excellent book to read while drinking.And every twenty pages the story steps outside for a cigarette so that the author can deliver a short philosophical homily.Kundera has a sterile, cleanroom writing style meant to suggest that he is a surgeon expertly dissecting the human condition before your eyes, but if you look a little more closely, you see he's just performing an autopsy on a mannequin. This is particularly galling given the A-team of Slavic authors just waiting to get their chance in the American dating ring, authors who've written funny, sexed-up books of great literary merit and philosophical depth that are fun to read no matter the mental wattage at your disposal.And just as importantly, fun to re-read - a salient feature of dating books is that you are likely to have to read through them over and over again in your great romantic life journey. You can get by on the plot alone, you can try your hand at correlating the events in the book with Bulgakov's life, or (God help you) you can try to peel your way down further and try to figure out what this novel is actually about.In fact, you may start to find that the books are more fun than the dating, and then you're in the best position of all. Bulgakov's masterpiece is a sly onion of a book, though, and if you think you've understood it, it probably means you're not reading it right.
Apart from being one of the few novels to exceed Hemingway for sheer alcoholic content, the book is a vicious satire of Soviet life and predictably had to circulate in samizdat for years before finally being published immediately before his death.