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Download Doctor Zhivago Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Doctor Zhivago Audiobook, by Boris Pasternak Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (30,707 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Boris Pasternak Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9780307934376
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Orphaned as a small boy after his father committed suicide and his mother died, Yurii Zhivago was left to the guardianship of his uncle, Nikolai, who was a free-thinking individual who previously had been in the priesthood.

As Yurii grew older, Uncle Nikolai left to live in Petersburg, leaving Yurii to live with other relatives, the Gromekos. Their daughter, Tonia, and Yurii became friends, and, along with Yurii's classmate, Misha, went into adolescence and early adulthood as a happy trio.

In the background, historical events were in progress. Revolution was building and growing ever closer to their own horizons. Such factors brought Mme. Guishar to live in Moscow with her daughter, Lara. Her lover, an attorney named Komarovsky had been a friend of her late husband, and he set his eyes on only on the widow, but upon Lara as well.

Yurii studied medicine and felt a huge devotion to the family who brought him up. He became engaged and eventually married Tonia, largely to fulfill her mother's dying wish.

Over time, rumors and revolutionary forces mounted. Geographic locations changed frequently for various characters within the novel, putting distance between Yurii and Tonia, as well as allowing Yurii and Lara chance for an illicit love affair. Forces continually beyond these characters' control intervened, causing actions and reactions, as they do in any war-torn environment, no matter the setting or era.

The novel becomes a glorious celebration of the human spirit and of the will to survive, endure and give way to new worlds, new lives and future generations.

Author Boris Pasternak lived from 1890 to 1960. He was a Russian writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958, but declined it for personal and political reasons. He had been best known in Russia as a translator of Shakespearean works from English into Russian.

Highly sensitive and aware of the political ideologies and unrest in prerevolutionary Russia, he was able to bring to a worldwide audience some of the complex issues involved in his country.

Through his deeply complex characters, his superb descriptions and his depth of understanding, he has enabled millions of readers to understand the human condition, especially during times of severe adversity and persecution.

Boris Pasternak’s widely acclaimed novel comes gloriously to life in a magnificent new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, the award-winning translators of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and to whom, The New York Review of Books declared, “the English-speaking world is indebted.”


First published in Italy in 1957 amid international controversy—the novel was banned in the Soviet Union until 1988, and Pasternak declined the Nobel Prize a year later under intense pressure from Soviet authorities—Doctor Zhivago is the story of the life and loves of a poet-physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Taking his family from Moscow to what he hopes will be shelter in the Ural Mountains, Zhivago finds himself instead embroiled in the battle between the Whites and the Reds. Set against this backdrop of cruelty and strife is Zhivago’s love for the tender and beautiful Lara: pursued, found, and lost again, Lara is the very embodiment of the pain and chaos of those cataclysmic times.
 
Stunningly rendered in the spirit of Pasternak’s original—resurrecting his style, rhythms, voicings, and tone—and including an introduction, textual annotations, and a translators’ note, this edition of Doctor Zhivago is destined to become the definitive English translation of our time.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • The best way to understand Pasternak’s achievement in Doctor Zhivago is to see it in terms of this great Russian literary tradition, as a fairy tale, not so much of good and evil as of opposing forces and needs in human destiny and history that can never be reconciled . . . [Zhivago is] a figure who embodies the principle of life itself, the principle that contradicts every abstraction of revolutionary politics. from the Introduction by John Bayley

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stuart Lutzenhiser | 2/16/2014

    " Wonderful, Hugo-esque novel of the Russian Revolution. I have a great respect for the screenwriter of the movie as he was able to preserve so many details in the movie from the book. Loved it as much as the movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deena Scintilla | 2/12/2014

    " One of my favorite books of all time.... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Erin | 2/8/2014

    " This book didn't live up to my expectations. I was really looking forward to a spectacular love story, and I really didn't find that at all. For starters it takes forever to get going, there are moments where the story moves with a bit of pace, but for the majority I felt that it dragged. This was probably because I am not a huge fan of extended description, and Pasternak loves to do that. But the love story didn't even really start until about 300 pages into the book, and even then, I didn't feel the passion that many others have raved about. I struggled through and finished it, but I wouldn't pick it up again unfortunately. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sophia Kostoff | 1/30/2014

    " The ending just doesn't work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chuck | 1/20/2014

    " A terrific Russian novel with descriptive, metaphysical writing telling a love story that is haunting and tragic while capturing the Russian revolution. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 ❦♥ℱαтḯღα♄♥❦ | 1/18/2014

    " awfully boring!!! couldn't keep up! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deodand | 1/10/2014

    " I adore this movie and have seen it many times, but I just couldn't finish the book. Why do you suppose this is? It's usually the other way 'round for me. The story is epic and full of everything I usually enjoy. Maybe I need to get my head into a different space before tackling this one again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vivian | 1/6/2014

    " Some of his descriptive paragraphs are quite stunning. Later on in the book, those give way to his philosophy on his country's system, which, while not as stunning to read, still are poignant, only in a different fashion. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristi | 11/28/2013

    " I enjoyed the book for the most part but did not like Dr Zhivago's decision at the end of the book with regards to his wife and Lara. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zaiga | 11/28/2013

    " I just like it. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ahdelina | 11/11/2013

    " That was an easy, wonderful and thoughtful reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 EvaDestruction | 9/17/2012

    " Translation is so important, and I'm not sure I had a good one of Doctor Zhivago, but I still liked it and would be up to try it again in a recommended translation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ice Bear | 9/16/2012

    " The book seemed more substantial than the films and subsequent screenplays "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pasquale | 7/13/2012

    " Prolisso e dettagliatissimo romanzo di vita. Un classicissimo da seguire con attenzione. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenni | 5/19/2012

    " Well I read it! It took me a long time mainly because it had a soporific effect on me and would enduce sleep before I could read to much! Never slept so well! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel Vaseekaran | 2/21/2012

    " translated from Russian. It is long read with a slow plot line. I gave up after reading 70% of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Freya | 12/27/2011

    " Set against the backdrop of the Russian Civil War this epic love story follows Dr. Zhivago across Russia facing a variety of hardships and struggling between the love of two women. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isabella Rodriguez | 10/14/2011

    " AHHHHHHHHHHHH. My favorite of all times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristie | 10/11/2011

    " One of my all time favs! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth Sulzby | 10/8/2011

    " I had never read this book although I have heard about it for decades. I just re-read War and Peace and Anna K. This book has an intro by John Bayley who poses comparisons with Tolstoy, Dostoievski, and Pasternak and their spiritual and political views. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Chiaravalloti | 8/10/2011

    " An unreal experience to read through this epic novel. I loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 6/26/2011

    " Julie Christie and Omar Sharif were really good in this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 6/22/2011

    " While the entirely epic life story of Yurii was intriguing, I found the most enjoyment from the philosophical conversations among the main characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 6/20/2011

    " I don't do favourite books, but if I did this would possibly be it. What 's not to like? Historical romance set in revolutionary Russia, based on Pasternak's own life plus his poems, which are spine-tingling even in translation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shams | 6/1/2011

    " A story regarding human nature. I don't wish to give spoilers, but tell me... would you not react the same? A historical and literary masterpiece; read it and learn. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allie | 5/29/2011

    " I never finished this book still on pg 262. It was too hard but I tried! :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 5/18/2011

    " Yes, I concur with Nabokov on this one. Trite, sentimental, and far too Christian for my taste, with an inflated sense of its own importance and a painful lack of actually developed human beings. Sorry, but it irritated me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rajendra | 5/14/2011

    " I read it long time back, I recall it to be very moving story in true Russian tradition "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 5/8/2011

    " Dark but beautiful and just as wonderful of a read the second time around. I come back for the stunning descriptions and "fun" Russian politics - not so much for the love story because I just can't seem to conjure up that much sympathy for Lara or Zhivago... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 5/2/2011

    " This book must be given the highest rating. There is no question about it. It is a book one hopes will continue to be read for a very long time, as long as there are books. "

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About the Author
Author Boris Pasternak

A poet, translator, and novelist, Boris Pasternak was born in Moscow in 1890. In 1958 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature but, facing threats from Soviet authorities, refused the prize. He lived in virtual exile in an artists’ community near Moscow until his death in 1960.
 

About the Narrator

John Lee, a stage actor and writer and a coproducer of feature films, has narrated more than one hundred audiobooks of every conceivable genre, earning some three dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award.