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It has taken me some time to reflect and distill my thoughts about Milan Kundera‘s most well-known book The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I must admit that I have mixed feelings about this one. Hence the 4⭐ rating.

Kundera writes like a philiosopher (channelling Nietzsche perhaps?) who uses his pen as a weapon to skilfully win readers over to his viewpoint. He employs seemingly simplistic, self-evident axioms to explain life and the range of human experience, from love and death to infidelity and courage. Despite being initially charmed by Kundera’s ideas and their relevance to my own life, in the end I was left somewhat unconvinced. His take on the differences between men and women seem outmoded and at times sexist. Yet in the midst of his philosophical salvos lies a fascinating story about the Czech Republic under communist rule. For me this aspect of The Unbearable Lightness of Being intrigued me and compelled me to read onwards until the end. It was worth reading this novel, although what I gained from it was different than what I expected initially.

This was my first book from Kundera, and I was overall pleasantly surprised by his writing. Based on reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being I am very curious to read more of Kundera’s work.

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