Immortality (Book Review)

Posted: March 9, 2010 in Book Reviews


Immortality by Milan Kundera  (Book Review)

Milan Kundera’s Immortality is translated from Czech by Peter Kussi. Kundera needs no introduction; this Franco Czech novelist has written several novels. This one was recommended by a  friend and being a book lover I couldn’t wait to read the book which sounded interesting to me. For people with philosophical inclinations this one is a wonderful read but for others it might be a little heavy. Themes of existence , the ‘here & now’ that trickles often into thoughts of after life , the association and longings that embody one’s imaginations and dreams.

Agnes sees, relates, thinks and wishes along these terms sailing through life with eyes wide open, observing, taking in and assimilating it all only to find herself being disillusioned at times and wishing for alternatives- including death. Then there is Goethe and Bettina, Laura, Paul, Avenarius, Hemmingway and others appearing through the narrative, adding flavorful extensions to his concept and rhetorics.

The book is beguiling in the sense that it lures the reader into accepting the thoughts and the vision that might often sound contradictory or blasphemous but the reality sometimes, explained by Kundera.

 Hard to pick any one line or lines to highlight but they are all over the book in various nuances. ‘Imagologues’ being one of them. A term used and described very well and making sense often as to what is perceived and what is the truth.

 Some brilliant lines:

 “All ideologies have been defeated: in the end their dogmas were unmasked as illusions and people stopped taking them seriously.”

  “Ideology was like a set of enormous wheels at the back of the stage, turning and setting in motion wars, revolutions, reforms. The wheels of imagology turn without having any effect upon history. Ideologies fought with one another, and each of them was capable of filling a whole epoch with its thinking. Imagology organizes peaceful alternation of its systems in lively seasonal rhythms.”

Several such interesting discussions run throught the book. 

Hoping to catch up with some of his earlier published works.

  1. Meera San says:

    Think i will love it ! I have read this review 3 times already ! :) Thank you.

  2. Sure Meera! Enjoy reading it ..cheers :)

  3. Binu says:

    Hi Blizzy,

    That book is with me. Few pages i read. Then i picked up something else. I enjoyed Life is else where. Beautiful written book very accessible. I will go back to this Immortality soon.

    Thanks and regards


  4. Hi Binu,
    I liked it ,though few pages dragged a bit; for the most part it was a nice & an interesting read.
    Hope to get ‘life is elsewhere’ from the library.. and his other ones eventually…
    Thanks for stopping by.

  5. nupurroopa says:


    This sounds so interesting and intriguing. I have heard about this book but have never had a chance to read it Your. review makes me want to read this one soon.

  6. Hi Nupur,
    It is an interesting book and I’m sure u will enjoy it too. If you haven’t read “Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom you’ll like that 4 sure..

  7. Shivanee R. says:

    This is most definitely a book I’m going to add to my ever-growing ‘to read’ list. I’ve owned a copy of Kundera’s ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ for quite some time, but not read it – have you encountered that one in your readings, yet?

  8. Shivanee, happy to see you here on the book reviews. I haven’t read the ‘lightness of being ‘ yet. Hoping I will some day. This particular book is quite interesting. I like his style of writing a lot.
    And you are right..I have a big backlog of books to read too and write reviews on. Got held up with other commitments :))
    Best wishes

  9. Meera San says:

    I think I will get this book this year and read it finally, came by to see in search of a book to read :-) Happy New Year Suja :-))

  10. Hey Meera happy New year to you and family too… You might like it…happy reading :) Try Gabriel Marquez ‘Love in The Times of Cholera’..
    Hugs to the kids :)