Dr. Zhivago

September 15, 2023

On My Shelf

I am currently reading Atlas Shrugged, and it’s going to take me a while to finish it… I am currently about 200 pages in, with about 1000 to go. Because of this, I figured I’d share some of the books that I have read in the past.

I have a “ton” of books that I have read, that are still on one of many shelves that I can share.

Today, I’m sharing Dr. Zhivago…

This is one of a few books I inherited from my grandmother when we moved her into a nursing home back in 2010. Since I had them, I figured I’d read them…if I liked the book, I’d keep it. If not, I’d donate it to the local used bookstore. Not one of them did I get rid of.

The truth is only sought by individuals
and they break by those who do not love it

~ Boris Pasternak
Doctor Zhivago

~ Doctor Zhivago was written by Boris Pasternak in 1957, first published in Italy.

An “epic tale about the effects of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath on a bourgeois family was not published in the Soviet Union until 1987. One of the results of its publication in the West was Pasternak’s complete rejection by Soviet authorities; when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958 he was compelled to decline it. The book quickly became an international best-seller.

“Dr. Yury Zhivago, Pasternak’s alter ego, is a poet, philosopher, and physician whose life is disrupted by the war and by his love for Lara, the wife of a revolutionary. His artistic nature makes him vulnerable to the brutality and harshness of the Bolsheviks; wandering throughout Russia, he is unable to take control of his fate, and dies in utter poverty. The poems he leaves behind constitute some of the most beautiful writing in the novel.” (Britannica)

~ most articles I can find say the book is 456 pages long, the copy I have is 503 – including the conclusion. When adding the epilogue and poems, the book is 559 pages long. It is copyrighted 1957.

Even though it is not a “huge” book to read, it took me a long time to read. It’s a complicated read, with many of the characters going by different names (nicknames). Sometimes I’d put the book down and when I picked it back up I had to reread a few pages, to remind myself what was going on. I tried to read every night, but it didn’t always happen – as I was still attending classes at Shepherd University at the time.

It is a good read, a classic.

I have yet to see the movie, except for the frozen house scene, so I can’t compare the book and novel. If I had to venture a guess, I’d probably say the book is better. I know the movie is a classic, so don’t shoot me.


I’m no more, but you’re still alive,
And the wind, complaining, weeping,
Sways the forest and the dacha,
Not each pine tree separately,
But all in their entirety,
With all the boundless distances,
Like the hulls of sailing ships
On the smooth surface of a harbour.
And it’s not out of mere bravado,
Nor out of pointless fury, but
So as in anguish to find words
To make for you a lullaby.

~ a poem of Yurii Zhivago

nothing is certain
and there’s a little time

(internet image)

At the moment I’m thinking of doing “on my shelf” a couple times a month, until I finish reading Atlas Shrugged. I might keep up with it, afterwards…we’ll see what happens.

*photos are mine

hope you have a great day!
thanks for stopping by!!

2 Comments on “Dr. Zhivago

    • Thank you!
      I just haven’t been able to watch it yet… Lara’s theme/somewhere my love was my mom’s favorite song, it was played at her wedding.

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