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36 Reviews
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intoxicating read!
Reading a novel by Milan Kundera is a bit like taking a
long lunch with your favorite college philosophy professor,
and discovering that he's a wonderful storyteller. This
particular novel begins with a woman's beautiful but
fleeting gesture, and continues by telling us more about
her until both the history and the significance of her...
Published on 6 July 1996

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cold, intellectual sex...
In an opening with obvious Proustian overtones, the resistance of a gesture by an ageing dowager to properly conform to her maturity sparks off the construction of Kundera's novel. Construction is truly the word here, as we readers are invited from the inside into the author's process and Kundera obliges by laying open his various tricks and techniques to move the story...
Published on 22 Nov 2012 by Dr. G. SPORTON


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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 25 Jan 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Immortality (Paperback)
If you like Kundera, you'll like this one. Undoubtedly his best work.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kundera on the Appetites of Titans--love, death, & fame, 11 Nov 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Immortality (Paperback)
We best know Milan Kundera for The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the novel and movie set during the 1968 Russian invasion of Prague. Now, with a fine translation by Peter Kussi, Kundera has written Immortality, a novel about life, popular culture and the fiery chemistry of love and fame. The revelry begins with the casual wave of a woman's arm. Kundera's captivating prose soars from that gesture and we soon know Agnes and her family. As a character in his own novel, Kundera ponders modern culture and its emphasis of image over substance. Since he achieved fame through the film of his previous book, it is ironic that his disdain extends to movies. Yet he insists novels should be written so they are impossible to adapt to the screen. Kundera's presence gives the book an intriguing synchronicity: The events that inspire the writer are simultaneously happening to his characters. Immortality's counterpoint is a romance between the aging poet Goethe and a young woman hungry for a slice of his fame. The conversations in heaven between Goethe and Hemingway are stunning. Repeatedly, as we are about to question the relevancy of Kundera's fascinating insights, they become integral to the story with surprising twists of irony. With finely balanced plot, sub-plot and theme, Kundera propels us beyond the word into a vision of immortality.
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14 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over-hyped and heavy, 4 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Immortality (Paperback)
Far be it for me to strike a dischordant note with the other reviewers, but I really really didn't like this book. I found Kundera's style to be both pretentious and slow. The book was leaden, complicated and onerous. The characters were poorly developed and Kundera allows himself to ramble all over the place. For the first time in ages I started a book and never actually finished it. The only thing immortal about this book is its eternal mediocrity.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still not sure, 16 Sep 2012
By 
Mrs. S. Gilvarry "Sueg" (Liverpool,UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Immortality (Paperback)
I normally find books like this quite uplifting but to be honest struggled with it and not really sure what it's all about. Maybe it's me!
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8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Kundera's last great novel, 18 July 2002
This review is from: Immortality (Paperback)
Although three novels have succeeded it, 'Immortality' is the last truly great Kundera novel, belonging not so much to this trilogy as to that represented by the earlier architectural masterpieces, 'The Book of Laughter and Forgetting' and 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being'.
The earlier trilogy is characterised by various structural devices: 7 chapters, comprised of sections of contrasting lengths and styles. The novels in the latter trilogy ('Slowness' and 'Identity'; I speak somewhat unsurely of 'Ignorance', since the English translation has yet to appear) are comprised of 51 short chapters, characterised by a more homogeneous style. Artistically, the latter has shown a continual decline of Kundera's powers and use of 'polyphonic' techniques.
The former trilogy, however, shows Kundera's genius for intellectual inquiry strengthening into the existential query that is 'Immortality'. Often frustrating elliptical, in 'Immortality' Kundera takes this quality to new heights, embodying it in the playful tyre-slashing intellectual Professor Avenarius.
The central panel of this grotesque triptych depicts the vanity of man`s quest for the self, a labyrinthine search which Kundera roots both historically and as a condition of man's existence. The paradoxes that follow (in the first chapter we are told that a gesture is by its very nature 'more individual than an individual') reinforce Kundera's firm belief that the novelist's task is to ask questions, not to try and solve them.
While these comments may also hold true of the novel's two predeccesors, I think that through examining these issues through the prism of man's 'longing for immortality', Kundera makes some of his most penetrating observations.
I call for a toast to Kundera's most readable and intellectually exciting novel yet!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Immortality (Paperback)
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Immortality
Immortality by Milan Kundera (Paperback - 21 Aug 2000)
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