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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by Milan Kundera


A young woman is in love with a successful surgeon, a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing. His mistress, a free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals - while her other lover, earnest, faithful, and good, stands to lose everything because of his noble qualities. In a world where lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and fortuitous events, and everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence we feel “the unbearable lightness of being.”

A major achievement from one of the world’s truly great writers, Milan Kundera’s magnificent novel of passion and politics, infidelity and ideas, encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, illuminating all aspects of human existence.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: ClassicsLiterature & Fiction

Reading time: 78 hours

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Alain de Botton
Author, Journalist and Philosopher

Well, there was a stage before I got married and when I was on the dating scene when I gave a lot of copies–this was the ‘90s. I gave a lot of copies of Milan Kundera to people. The Unbearable Lightness of Being was a book that I gave out a lot. I don’t know if I still would, but I do admire this Czech writer very much. And it has all kinds of wisdom.