The Unbearable Lightness of Being Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Tomas, a womanizer, falls in love with Tereza but is unable to abandon his erotic friendships, especially with Sabina. In the midst of the Czech Revolution, Tomas and Tereza long for idyllic country life and struggle with the ephemerality of their own lives in the face of their paranoia and the oppressive government.
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The review of this Book prepared by Jessica Marler

This rich and beautiful book, using an ostensible plot about two couples -- Tomas and Tereza, and Sabina and Franz -- in Czechoslovakia during the 1960s, addresses issues of love, sex, friendship, art, kitsch, political responsibilities, and life and death. Tomas is a physician whose fear of women drives him through an endless series of affairs, even after he falls in love with and marries Tereza. Sabina, a free spirit who often sleeps with Tomas, has a "heavier" male partner in Franz as well. Their emotions and activities play out against the Communist dictatorship and Prague Spring, into which Tomas is reluctantly drawn. The narrator sometimes addresses the reader directly about his characters, issues of morality (even as they apply to animals), and other philosophical issues, but not in any obtrusive manner. Much richer and more lovely than the decent movie based upon it.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   surviving repressive dictatorship Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   nature of existence (heavy philosophy) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Unmarried Love Triangle?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Eastern European


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Eastern Europe City?    -   Yes City:    -   dirty, grimy (like New York) Misc setting    -   moving train

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   actual description of hetero sex Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Milan Kundera Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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