The Unbearable Lightness of Being is sad and beautiful. Set in the aftermath of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the short novel focuses on two couples, womanizing Tomas and his tormented wife Tereza, and Tomas' long-term mistress Sabine and her new lover Franz.
There isn't a lot of plot to the story; it is a novel of ideas and philosophy, but on a human, personal level, as Milan Kundera considers whether life is difficult because it is heavy with responsibility and consequences, or impossible because it is meaninglessly light. The characters induce sympathy, even when they act less than admirably, either trying to live with political and intimate situations beyond their control or to assert control when they can.
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I finally got around to reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being because my 2013 TBR challenges involve reading all the books on one of my TBR shelves, which I chose at random. I put off reading the book because I didn't care for the movie. The book was far superior.
It also counts as one of my books for the 2013 European Reading Challenge.