Dull. Good basic plotline. Convoluted. Atmospheric. Drags out. Too wordy. Beautiful phrases placed like pearls in the middle of long, boring paragraphs. I can't say that I found any of the characters all that likeable either. Last third or quarter of the book was good, but I am so glad to be done with this book.
I went into this book expecting to love it. Shostakovich is wonderful and he and Pasternak were living in the same time and place, and Shosty wrote the music to the 1971 version of King Lear, and Pasternak translated the Shakespeare to Russian, but Shosty's music is beautiful, and full of meaning, where as Pasternak's writing is full of meaning, but the beauty comes from far and few between as beautiful diamonds of quotes that get your hopes up that the writing will get better, only to have the next twenty or forty pages be as dull as the last twenty or forty that came before.
And on another note, I am very frustrated by the Wikipedia description of Lara and Komarovsky's relationship as 'an affair.' That they were relieved that Lara's mother hadn't learned of their 'affair.' Komarovsky was Lara's mother's boyfriend. If such a relationship happened in todays society it would be called sexual abuse, and I feel that in descriptions and analysis of the book it should be called that as well.