- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (21 Aug. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 057114456X
- ISBN-13: 978-0571144563
- Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 2.5 x 20 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Immortality Paperback – 21 Aug 2000
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"Ingenious witty provocative and formidably intelligent, both a pleasure and a challenge to the reader." -- Jonathan Yardley, "Washington Post Book World""Inspired Kundera's most brilliantly imagined novel...A book that entrances, beguiles and charms us from first page to last."-- Susan Miron, "Cleveland Plain Dealer""Brilliantly mordant...beautifully translated...strong and mesmerizing." -- "New York Times"
Immortality, by Milan Kundera, the hugely acclaimed Czech novelist and author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being: 'It will make you cleverer, maybe even a better lover. Not many novels can do that.' Nicholas LezardSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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
gesture are revealed in their full, heady, context. On the
way, Kundera weaves in stories about Goethe, Napoleon, the
origins of sound bites and photo-ops, and of course, musings
on immortality. Like many good storytellers, Kundera even
presents himself as a minor character in his tale of love,
gestures and immortality. By the end of the novel, you will
feel intoxicated, as if your long lunch has been accompanied
by a number of good glasses of wine. And as you lift your
hand to wave goodbye to Kundera, you will realize that your
life has been changed, and that you will forever look at the
world with a slightly different view for having read this
The basic plot is about two sisters Agnes and Laura and their relationships with two radio broadcasters. But no one should read Kundera for the plot - there is always much more, and in this respect Immortality is no different to his earlier work.
So we get sections about Goethe and Hemingway, and three hundred pages into the book a new character is introduced on whom the narrative is focalised almost until the end. And there is Kundera's constant authorial voice, which is where, for me, this novel's genius is derived.
Kundera is a definite storyteller, in that he is always telling a story, and we are always aware that HE is telling it. And he tells it so deftly that he can bring to life highly realistic characters, and at the same time dismiss their reality. In Immortality, his presence is more clearly defined than ever, with numerous first person passages being included in which he describes meetings with his (presumably fictional) friend Professor Avenarius.
This is where one of the most remarkable features of the novel appears. Kundera (as a character) talks with Avenarius about the progress of his novel (the very novel which we read this in), and describes the characters of the novel as living alongside Avenarius, and therefore, presumably Kundera himself. There are further connections; for example he describes listening to the radio station which his characters work on.
You may well be thinking that I have misinterpreted a fairly standard first-person narration in which the narrator relates the lives of other characters. Perhaps I have.Read more ›
Watch as the quintessential gestures pass from character to character, discover how your own individuality is unreal, see how the little people become transparent and sad, how their lives are shown to be imitations of eternal ideas, their achievements wrongly targeted, their thoughts not at all their own. If you can survive this with your ego intact, let me know how, because after reading this, I'm not sure I can think or exist at all, and yet the stereogestures keep on flowing. Seriously though, this is a bloody good read, and the most thought-provoking (if blasphemous to the human ego) thing you can subject yourself to. If you've ever read a Kundera, this will better it, and if you want to but haven't yet, forget the rest and go for this. (Then get all the rest as well.) Oh what the hell, this is the best novel since sliced... JUST BUY IT!!!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love Kundera's work, pieces of his imaginative stories always stay with you, and that is no bad thing. Recommended!Published 2 months ago by Europa's Lost Son
An absolute pleasure to read and many aspects of this novel have stayed with me long after reading it. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Nigel Jay Cooper
Love Milan Kundera's Writing.
I have bought this as a replacement to a lost lent copy - from years back. Read more
I am very unhappy with this purchase. The book was classified as having a "very good" condition. However, it came with missing and torn pages!!! Unacceptable!Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
excellent quality for a second hand book, timely delivery. the novel itself is amazing, I've read it several times in the past.Published 16 months ago by Elena