An engaging, beautiful scripted book. The reader sounds like a clasically trained actor and he speaks it as though he's thinking it up himself. The best audiobook yet!
I chose this book from a list of top 100 fiction books, laughingly thinking it might be a cross between Dr. Suess's "Oh, the Places You'll Go" and "Fifty Shades of Grey". Ha.
The main character is a pedophile. I have never been a pedophile, and as an over 50 year old female, I am not likely to be one. He feels jealousy, lust, happiness, satisfaction, etc. like we all do. What is profoundly different is the cause of these emotions. He is personally insulted by the ravages of aging, but specifically the aging of girls from about 8 to about the mid-teens. He is annoyed, in a big and petulant way, by the details - plucked eyebrows, big hips, new ears (new ears? I never noticed that).
The descriptions of the annoyances are vast and poetic and continual - brown leaves choking a brook, one last cricket in a crisp woods, conjuring death as simple as a bit dry wood, the faint leaf echo on the bank of a russet ravine, a nondescript air with a shaggy belly, eyes slit in a muddy void, ruined looks hopelessly worn out at 17, etc. His exasperations are as relentless as aging itself. The story has descriptions of his attractions, but I was more affected by the exacting details of what not only didn't attract him, but definitely and completely repulsed him, thus dooming his hopes (and his soul) eternally.
Surely greater minds than mine know the source of this story, but suffice it to say I don't think you can make this stuff up. Someone was well and truly peeved by puberty. I didn't expect that. I expected horrors but, in what is probably true to the pedophile, the horrors are his, not the victims. That is horrible, but the book is not. The book belongs on the 100 top books, but I am not sure it is fiction.
I had never read Lolita in college, but was intrigued by Jeremy Irons' narration, and decided to download this book. It was just incredible- he does a magnificent job of this book ... it is such a fascinating story of a child predator, and HH's torment is apparent. Very thought-provoking. Highly recommended.
I read (and listen to) a lot of different types of books and sometimes forget how talented some authors can be. (I’m not sure if that’s grammatically correct, but I’m not one of these great authors) Lolita is a book that makes you stop and realize just how beautiful the language can be. The narration adds to the experience. If you’re looking to go back to a classic for your next download, this will not disappoint.
This book builds slowly and subtlety from the diary of a 40-year old sophisticated, intelligent European man, who finds, isolates, and abuses a 12-year old American girl, to an emotionally intense, regretful, despairing self-criticism of his actions. I listened to this book twice, to completely understand the plot, the appearance of another older man, the second motor trip to the west, Lolita’s escape, the meeting two years later, when Lolita is 17, and the death of Humbert Humbert, Clare Quilte, and Dolores Schiller. Vladimir Nabokov’s prose is excruciatingly articulate – speaking of the world of total evil, being drunk on the impossible past, looking for the evidence of a supreme being in the darkness of his own sin, and H.H.’s thoughts, evoked by looking down on a town in the mountains where only the sound of children playing can be heard. The author’s own thought are difficult to discern and this makes reading Lolita a test of your own attitude about the plot. H.H., however, considers himself to be a monster who was cheated of his only chance at redemption when Clare Quilte helped Lolita escape from him. Only when the harm has been done, does he realize that he loves the child and even the dead-leaf echo of that nymphet at age 17.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
I just don't know what to rate this book. As far as the writing itself, it was beautifully written. But the story, frankly, made me a little sick to my stomach. It is the story of a pedophile who is so crazy about this 12 year old girl that he marries her mother so he can have access to her. You start to believe that Lolita welcomes this until she gets a good chance to run away, and then she is gone. By then she is more like 16 or 17. Well this man is certifiably crazy, although he puts on a great exterior. He is educated, handsome, extremely polite and thoughtful. In short, someone who would be attractive to most women, and certainly to young girls. My heart just breaks for Lolita, whose real name is Dolores. He just starts calling her Lolita. It somehow evolves from her nickname of "Lo" into the more seductive sounding Lolita. What she must have gone through!!
Now with that said, I come back to the writing itself. Yes it is beautiful. It is even tastefully done. There are no graphic details other than a kiss, but of course it is extremely suggestive. It seems to me that it takes a lot more skill to suggest what is going on than it does to spell it all out. This book is tastefully written. I guess my heart breaks for Humbert as well. It is truly a sad, sad book. Haven't had something affect me like this since "Tess of the d'Urbervilles." I don't recommend either book, btw, not unless you are into heavy, sad but beautifully written books. I think I have to give this book three stars, sort of in the middle of things, because I sit the fence on it. I can't say that I'm sorry I read it, but it makes me sick to think about it very much.
I am sure one of the reasons I continued with this book is Jeremy Irons' narration. He is, as you would expect, a fabulous narrator. It is easy to fall in love with him. So, fabulous writing, fabulous narration, but sad story equals at the very least an interesting book. I know I should give it a five if I were true to my formula which is, if a book changes my life, it is an automatic 5, even if I didn't like it so much. But something just prevents me from doing that. I will always remember this book, but I will never read it again.
Say something about yourself!
The drowning of Lolita's mother.
Perfect pitch. Flawless.
Every time I read or listen to this book I'm captivated by Nabokov's eloquence.
Despite preconceptions you may have about the subject matter of this book, it is not the least pornographic. Nothing to furtively underline here, folks.... Nabokov is unsurpassed stylistically, and here he uses his prodigious technique to plumb the depths of the sociopath HH. Don't shy away from this one just because you abhor pedophilia.