The Unbearable Lightness of Being - A Novel-logo

The Unbearable Lightness of Being - A Novel

Milan Kundera

When The Unbearable Lightness of Being was first published in English, it was hailed as "a work of the boldest mastery, originality, and richness" by critic Elizabeth Hardwick and named one of the best books of 1984 by the New York Times Book Review. It went on to win the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and quickly became an international bestseller. Twenty years later, the novel has established itself as a modern classic. To commemorate the anniversary of its first English-language publication, HarperCollins is proud to offer a special hardcover edition. A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover -- these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel. Controlled by day, Tereza's jealousy awakens by night, transformed into ineffably sad death-dreams, while Tomas, a successful surgeon, alternates loving devotion to the dependent Tereza with the ardent pursuit of other women. Sabina, an independent, free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals -- of parents, husband, country, love itself -- whereas her lover, the intellectual Franz, loses all because of his earnest goodness and fidelity. In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence we feel, says the novelist, "the unbearable lightness of being" -- not only as the consequence of our private acts but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine. This magnificent novel encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, and embraces, it seems, all aspects of human existence. It juxtaposes geographically distant places (Prague, Geneva, Paris, Thailand, the United States, a forlorn Bohemian village); brilliant and playful reflections (on "eternal return," on kitsch, on man and animals -- Tomas and Tereza have a beloved doe named Karenin); and a variety of styles (from

When The Unbearable Lightness of Being was first published in English, it was hailed as "a work of the boldest mastery, originality, and richness" by critic Elizabeth Hardwick and named one of the best books of 1984 by the New York Times Book Review. It went on to win the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and quickly became an international bestseller. Twenty years later, the novel has established itself as a modern classic. To commemorate the anniversary of its first English-language publication, HarperCollins is proud to offer a special hardcover edition. A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover -- these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel. Controlled by day, Tereza's jealousy awakens by night, transformed into ineffably sad death-dreams, while Tomas, a successful surgeon, alternates loving devotion to the dependent Tereza with the ardent pursuit of other women. Sabina, an independent, free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals -- of parents, husband, country, love itself -- whereas her lover, the intellectual Franz, loses all because of his earnest goodness and fidelity. In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence we feel, says the novelist, "the unbearable lightness of being" -- not only as the consequence of our private acts but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine. This magnificent novel encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, and embraces, it seems, all aspects of human existence. It juxtaposes geographically distant places (Prague, Geneva, Paris, Thailand, the United States, a forlorn Bohemian village); brilliant and playful reflections (on "eternal return," on kitsch, on man and animals -- Tomas and Tereza have a beloved doe named Karenin); and a variety of styles (from
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Description:

When The Unbearable Lightness of Being was first published in English, it was hailed as "a work of the boldest mastery, originality, and richness" by critic Elizabeth Hardwick and named one of the best books of 1984 by the New York Times Book Review. It went on to win the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and quickly became an international bestseller. Twenty years later, the novel has established itself as a modern classic. To commemorate the anniversary of its first English-language publication, HarperCollins is proud to offer a special hardcover edition. A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover -- these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel. Controlled by day, Tereza's jealousy awakens by night, transformed into ineffably sad death-dreams, while Tomas, a successful surgeon, alternates loving devotion to the dependent Tereza with the ardent pursuit of other women. Sabina, an independent, free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals -- of parents, husband, country, love itself -- whereas her lover, the intellectual Franz, loses all because of his earnest goodness and fidelity. In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence we feel, says the novelist, "the unbearable lightness of being" -- not only as the consequence of our private acts but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine. This magnificent novel encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, and embraces, it seems, all aspects of human existence. It juxtaposes geographically distant places (Prague, Geneva, Paris, Thailand, the United States, a forlorn Bohemian village); brilliant and playful reflections (on "eternal return," on kitsch, on man and animals -- Tomas and Tereza have a beloved doe named Karenin); and a variety of styles (from

Language:

English

Narrators:

Richmond Hoxie

Length:

9h 41m


Chapters

Introduction
Introduction

00:28


Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapter 1

03:18


Part 1, Chapter 2
Part 1, Chapter 2

02:32


Part 1, Chapter 3
Part 1, Chapter 3

05:42


Part 1, Chapter 4
Part 1, Chapter 4

04:46


Part 1, Chapter 5
Part 1, Chapter 5

04:01


Part 1, Chapter 6
Part 1, Chapter 6

04:59


Part 1, Chapter 7
Part 1, Chapter 7

04:58


Part 1, Chapter 8
Part 1, Chapter 8

03:25


Part 1, Chapter 9
Part 1, Chapter 9

03:45


Part 1, Chapter 10
Part 1, Chapter 10

04:17


Part 1, Chapter 11
Part 1, Chapter 11

02:49


Part 1, Chapter 12
Part 1, Chapter 12

04:25


Part 1, Chapter 13
Part 1, Chapter 13

03:35


Part 1, Chapter 14
Part 1, Chapter 14

03:00


Part 1, Chapter 15
Part 1, Chapter 15

04:21


Part 1, Chapter 16
Part 1, Chapter 16

03:01


Part 1, Chapter 17
Part 1, Chapter 17

03:30


Part 2, Chapter 1
Part 2, Chapter 1

01:12


Part 2, Chapter 2
Part 2, Chapter 2

01:46


Part 2, Chapter 3
Part 2, Chapter 3

01:21


Part 2, Chapter 4
Part 2, Chapter 4

03:44


Part 2, Chapter 5
Part 2, Chapter 5

01:37


Part 2, Chapter 6
Part 2, Chapter 6

02:56


Part 2, Chapter 7
Part 2, Chapter 7

01:29


Part 2, Chapter 8
Part 2, Chapter 8

03:15


Part 2, Chapter 9
Part 2, Chapter 9

02:40


Part 2, Chapter 10
Part 2, Chapter 10

02:19


Part 2, Chapter 11
Part 2, Chapter 11

03:33


Part 2, Chapter 12
Part 2, Chapter 12

02:35


Part 2, Chapter 13
Part 2, Chapter 13

01:40


Part 2, Chapter 14
Part 2, Chapter 14

03:05


Part 2, Chapter 15
Part 2, Chapter 15

03:28


Part 2, Chapter 16
Part 2, Chapter 16

02:26


Part 2, Chapter 17
Part 2, Chapter 17

01:26


Part 2, Chapter 18
Part 2, Chapter 18

03:01


Part 2, Chapter 19
Part 2, Chapter 19

01:12


Part 2, Chapter 20
Part 2, Chapter 20

03:08


Part 2, Chapter 21
Part 2, Chapter 21

02:05


Part 2, Chapter 22
Part 2, Chapter 22

02:38


Part 2, Chapter 23
Part 2, Chapter 23

02:10


Part 2, Chapter 24
Part 2, Chapter 24

03:19


Part 2, Chapter 25
Part 2, Chapter 25

03:44


Part 2, Chapter 26
Part 2, Chapter 26

03:46


Part 2, Chapter 27
Part 2, Chapter 27

03:57


Part 2, Chapter 28
Part 2, Chapter 28

02:32


Part 2, Chapter 29
Part 2, Chapter 29

01:34


Part 3, Chapter 1
Part 3, Chapter 1

10:42


Part 3, Chapter 2
Part 3, Chapter 2

06:55


Part 3, Chapter 3
Part 3, Chapter 3

03:19


Part 3, Chapter 4
Part 3, Chapter 4

03:42


Part 3, Chapter 5
Part 3, Chapter 5

04:12


Part 3, Chapter 6
Part 3, Chapter 6

02:17


Part 3, Chapter 7
Part 3, Chapter 7

06:50


Part 3, Chapter 8
Part 3, Chapter 8

04:10


Part 3, Chapter 9
Part 3, Chapter 9

03:00


Part 3, Chapter 10
Part 3, Chapter 10

03:44


Part 3, Chapter 11
Part 3, Chapter 11

01:04


Part 3, Chapter 12
Part 3, Chapter 12

07:23


Part 3, Chapter 13
Part 3, Chapter 13

05:42


Part 3, Chapter 14
Part 3, Chapter 14

02:24


Part 3, Chapter 15
Part 3, Chapter 15

05:14


Part 3, Chapter 16
Part 3, Chapter 16

05:06


Part 3, Chapter 17
Part 3, Chapter 17

08:16


Part 3, Chapter 18
Part 3, Chapter 18

07:29


Part 3, Chapter 19
Part 3, Chapter 19

04:15


Part 4, Chapter 1
Part 4, Chapter 1

02:41


Part 4, Chapter 2
Part 4, Chapter 2

03:08


Part 4, Chapter 3
Part 4, Chapter 3

03:14


Part 4, Chapter 4
Part 4, Chapter 4

03:04


Part 4, Chapter 5
Part 4, Chapter 5

01:44


Part 4, Chapter 6
Part 4, Chapter 6

03:10


Part 4, Chapter 7
Part 4, Chapter 7

04:07


Part 4, Chapter 8
Part 4, Chapter 8

02:39


Part 4, Chapter 9
Part 4, Chapter 9

03:23


Part 4, Chapter 10
Part 4, Chapter 10

01:09


Part 4, Chapter 11
Part 4, Chapter 11

01:34


Part 4, Chapter 12
Part 4, Chapter 12

04:38


Part 4, Chapter 13
Part 4, Chapter 13

01:55


Part 4, Chapter 14
Part 4, Chapter 14

01:30


Part 4, Chapter 15
Part 4, Chapter 15

01:38


Part 4, Chapter 16
Part 4, Chapter 16

03:33


Part 4, Chapter 17
Part 4, Chapter 17

03:22


Part 4, Chapter 18
Part 4, Chapter 18

01:50


Part 4, Chapter 19
Part 4, Chapter 19

01:28


Part 4, Chapter 20
Part 4, Chapter 20

02:28


Part 4, Chapter 21
Part 4, Chapter 21

02:28


Part 4, Chapter 22
Part 4, Chapter 22

01:57


Part 4, Chapter 23
Part 4, Chapter 23

01:53


Part 4, Chapter 24
Part 4, Chapter 24

03:23


Part 4, Chapter 25
Part 4, Chapter 25

03:07


Part 4, Chapter 26
Part 4, Chapter 26

02:46


Part 4, Chapter 27
Part 4, Chapter 27

02:18


Part 4, Chapter 28
Part 4, Chapter 28

02:31


Part 4, Chapter 29
Part 4, Chapter 29

02:37


Part 5, Chapter 1
Part 5, Chapter 1

01:42


Part 5, Chapter 2
Part 5, Chapter 2

05:49


Part 5, Chapter 3
Part 5, Chapter 3

02:51


Part 5, Chapter 4
Part 5, Chapter 4

07:56


Part 5, Chapter 5
Part 5, Chapter 5

08:58


Part 5, Chapter 6
Part 5, Chapter 6

07:18


Part 5, Chapter 7
Part 5, Chapter 7

04:22


Part 5, Chapter 8
Part 5, Chapter 8

07:27


Part 5, Chapter 9
Part 5, Chapter 9

05:36


Part 5, Chapter 10
Part 5, Chapter 10

07:44


Part 5, Chapter 11
Part 5, Chapter 11

05:20


Part 5, Chapter 12
Part 5, Chapter 12

05:49


Part 5, Chapter 13
Part 5, Chapter 13

15:52


Part 5, Chapter 14
Part 5, Chapter 14

06:37


Part 5, Chapter 15
Part 5, Chapter 15

07:45


Part 5, Chapter 16
Part 5, Chapter 16

01:25


Part 5, Chapter 17
Part 5, Chapter 17

02:24


Part 5, Chapter 18
Part 5, Chapter 18

05:35


Part 5, Chapter 19
Part 5, Chapter 19

04:13


Part 5, Chapter 20
Part 5, Chapter 20

03:54


Part 5, Chapter 21
Part 5, Chapter 21

06:07


Part 5, Chapter 22
Part 5, Chapter 22

03:21


Part 5, Chapter 23
Part 5, Chapter 23

05:52


Part 6, Chapter 1
Part 6, Chapter 1

01:26


Part 6, Chapter 2
Part 6, Chapter 2

02:53


Part 6, Chapter 3
Part 6, Chapter 3

01:45


Part 6, Chapter 4
Part 6, Chapter 4

02:49


Part 6, Chapter 5
Part 6, Chapter 5

02:07


Part 6, Chapter 6
Part 6, Chapter 6

01:56


Part 6, Chapter 7
Part 6, Chapter 7

01:23


Part 6, Chapter 8
Part 6, Chapter 8

01:23


Part 6, Chapter 9
Part 6, Chapter 9

01:40


Part 6, Chapter 10
Part 6, Chapter 10

03:12


Part 6, Chapter 11
Part 6, Chapter 11

02:09


Part 6, Chapter 12
Part 6, Chapter 12

03:35


Part 6, Chapter 13
Part 6, Chapter 13

01:57


Part 6, Chapter 14
Part 6, Chapter 14

03:27


Part 6, Chapter 15
Part 6, Chapter 15

03:27


Part 6, Chapter 16
Part 6, Chapter 16

01:59


Part 6, Chapter 17
Part 6, Chapter 17

02:20


Part 6, Chapter 18
Part 6, Chapter 18

01:47


Part 6, Chapter 19
Part 6, Chapter 19

01:33


Part 6, Chapter 20
Part 6, Chapter 20

03:07


Part 6, Chapter 21
Part 6, Chapter 21

02:05


Part 6, Chapter 22
Part 6, Chapter 22

01:49


Part 6, Chapter 23
Part 6, Chapter 23

03:21


Part 6, Chapter 24
Part 6, Chapter 24

02:50


Part 6, Chapter 25
Part 6, Chapter 25

01:10


Part 6, Chapter 26
Part 6, Chapter 26

04:29


Part 6, Chapter 27
Part 6, Chapter 27

01:24


Part 6, Chapter 28
Part 6, Chapter 28

02:26


Part 6, Chapter 29
Part 6, Chapter 29

00:56


Part 7, Chapter 1
Part 7, Chapter 1

09:30


Part 7, Chapter 2
Part 7, Chapter 2

11:19


Part 7, Chapter 3
Part 7, Chapter 3

09:24


Part 7, Chapter 4
Part 7, Chapter 4

08:08


Part 7, Chapter 5
Part 7, Chapter 5

09:25


Part 7, Chapter 6
Part 7, Chapter 6

06:10


Part 7, Chapter 7
Part 7, Chapter 7

15:43