Thursday, April 30, 2009

Netflix: Doctor Zhivago (1965)

I don't really have any thoughts on the movie. I mean, other than the heavy British, I mean, Russian accents were pretty hilarious. I thought it was well done and theMonica could have done without all the adultery, but, hey, I didn't want to gauge (hurts way worse than gouging) my eyes out. It had that going for it.

At any rate, I know a dispropororpoportionate percentage of this blog's readers are incredibly smart and have advanced degrees and whatnot. And the movie did pique my curiosity. I'm looking for a good book to read to learn all about Julie Christie. No, not her, that slut. I want to learn more about this time in Russian history. I'm leaving it vague ("this time") because I don't know how far I would need to go back tsar-wise, nor how far into the revolution. That's where all you history Phd's/Phd's to-be come in (I'm including you Alan).

And I'm looking for the straight dope. I don't want a romanticized view written by some '30s style American/British communist-sympathizer intellectual (if I just made up the existence of that class of people, please disregard) nor the late-Tsar's autobiography.

This is like homework. Nose to the grindstone people!

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Blogger Queen of West Procrastination said...

Hey! This is one that I can help with! I have two books that I've used as a beginner's guide to the Russian Revolution, and which are also both the two books that got me introduced to Russian history. And they're both really good reads.

My favourite one for getting the broad context of what was going on with Russia is W. Bruce Lincoln's Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia. You get a long sweep of the history in this one. It's really engaging and casts the city of St. Petersburg (and sometimes its Winter Castle) as this main character in an epic.

Another really accessible one, which focuses on 1891-1924, is Orlando Figes's A People's History: The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924. Actually, this might be the better one for you to read.

Tea and Russian history. These are the subjects where you know you'll get advice from me. Because I'm a dork.

11:05 AM

Blogger May-B said...

Of course she has a list for you. I'm surprised she didn't provide a tea to go with each book.

7:47 PM

Blogger roger said...

Thanks Maryanne! You are like a top 5 Canadian.

Hey Bronwyn - uh, you had a top 5 Canadian kid mullet . . .? Just kidding - you're tops too, but need to brush up on your Russian history.

9:51 AM

Blogger Queen of West Procrastination said...

Top five of all Canadians you know? Because don't you only know five of us?

And now I'm even more of a dork because I read through my comment and realised I should have said that the second book was called A People's Tragedy. Not "History." And I couldn't just let it sit like that.

And now, to play into the stereotype of myself, I'll make everyone a cup of tea.

10:25 AM

Blogger Joe said...

High Fidelity was a pretty good book.

Oh...wait. You wanted something specific to all of that stuff you just wrote, didn't you?

7:41 AM


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