Wednesday 15 November 2017


Once upon a time I would drive groups of men who hadn't seen their wives and girlfriends for a couple of weeks. On our way home they would buy little stuffed animals with hearts and such. They would phone their wives/girlfriends and there would be a lot of 'miss you' and 'kissy kissy' going on. Okay, and once a porn film, but that is another story altogether.

Anyway, when seeing what those men did and hearing what they said, my stomach usually tried to a few somersaults. I felt that if I had a boyfriend/husband who behaved like that, we would need to have some serious discussions! Mind you, some might think it's romantic. 

The boyfriend who was romantic with me one day, did not come with teddy bears and roses. He did not say smooshy words on the telephone. He brought painkillers and the most regular bar of chocolate he had in his cupboard. But to me, that was so romantic (the relationship didn't last. Lack of romance on my part really). 

When I started my current reading frenzy (read something with some cultural oomph), I was told Dr Zhivago might be good! It was romantic after all....

It was worse than the kissy kissies. It was worse than the stuffed animals. And there was not a rose in sight either. Instead there was revolution. Attempted murders. A young girl led astray by a much older man. Hunger. Terror. A man with an arm and a leg cut off as a warning. Deportation. War. Burnt down villages. Ruined crops. Oh, and there was a two-timing B^%$#@^d. Well, three-timing really! 

I don't know what some people call romantic. But honestly: dismemberment and war are romantic? A married man having it off with not one, but two other women and yes, having children with both of them! 

Juliet's balcony in Verona. 
All that aside though: I thought the book was really good. Once I got into it, which took a few chapters. Having read the (abridged) Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitzyn helped me to understand some concepts Pasternak was talking about, mainly about the deportations and the gulags. The translators (Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky) did a great job. The footnotes they provided helped as well, explaining about the Russian Orthodox Church and its rituals and several other things like the revolution and its aftermath. 

So, what's next? Well, ehm... probably a simple romance novel where a boy and a girl meet, have a fight, fall in love and live happily ever after. 


  1. Hari OM
    I am not one for romance of this type either - which might explain why I also remained single. Men - apparently - want the damsels in distress, the little girls lost...or the dominatrix. Not my thaaannngg. Neither do I wish to read such. Dr Zhivago is as much about the social effects and history of its time as it is about the romance. I didn't enjoy it as much as War and Peace, which is rather more literary. But I congratulate you on persevering and finding something of worth! It will be intriguing to see what you choose next. YAM xx

    1. Well, we are definitely NOT damsels in distress! Although at times I do like to read about it (not too much damselly though, there must be some grit in her as well).

      As for the good doctor: I think it was very good in explaining the social and political effects of war and revolution. For me the romance was very much on a lower level. At one point I was about to put the book down (he was going to tell Tonia about his affair. Or perhaps not). But then he got kidnapped by the Red Army people (I think) and the story moved another way completely. Brilliantly done by Pasternak. And I didn't need to persevere after I finally got the hang of the names, which was the main obstacle for me in the first few chapters. It was a pleasure to read.

  2. I can't remember the last time anyone bought me flowers so I buy them for myself.

    1. So do I! The best way to get exactly what you want.

  3. LOL LOL LOL LOL at your description of Dr. Z. Mom says Bravo Bravo for your seeing it thru.
    Years ago an NC author, Charles Fraser wrote a much acclaimed book " Cold Mountain". Mom was very excited about reading because she likes to support local authors.
    OMCs and OMDs she could not get passed the for 4 pages.
    In which the author was describing what he saw out one window. BUT she did really enjoy the movie.
    Hugs Madi and mom

  4. Kissy kissy? That can get a bit yucky. But some are like that.

  5. Nothing like a good book to get your mind wandering!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    1. And transport you to a different world. That is always my favourite. Traveling without having to leave your armchair (or driver's seat in my case).

  6. You made me laugh with your "single" men experiences ! I know that only too well, but the worst was that I had always troubles to keep them from me ! If sexual harassement would have existed at that time I would be millionaire ! Fortunately I am gifted with a sharp tongue and after a while they left me in peace, and then everybody started to know that I was a hopeless case, lol !

  7. I could never enjoy reading that book. I love the simple love stories that are out there!


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