I read this book years ago and liked it just fine, but didn't really see what all the fuss was about. This recording made me understand. Jeremy Irons is nasty, hilarious and (surprisingly) heartbreaking. I can not recommend this book highly enough.
I read Lolita years ago, and thought it sordid and smug then. Via the Kubrick movie I came back to it and discovered this version on Audible. I can't say how much of a difference Jeremy Irons' reading makes. He brings out the best in the book's hypnotic language, and brings the basic conflicts of the book to the reader in the most direct way - HH's smugness and perversity, but also his appeal, his sweetness. Irons portrays the shifts of emotion with perfect accuracy. While the book itself will always be an uncomfortable and to some extent unpleasant read, it is a masterpiece, and this reading is quite possibly the best of any audiobook I have read.
Irons is impressive here, reprising his role in the movie version of this classic.
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.
Jeremy Irons is one of my favorite actors, and he delivers a stunning reading of this classic. Nothing short of amazing - I can't imagine reading this book silently or hearing anybody else read it. The musical use of language is what makes this book, and it just rolls of Irons' tongue like honey. I didn't so much listen as observed this performance in amazement.
Wonderful. If I could give more stars, I would.
A fellow listener inclined to share my opinion on these productions. Maybe even inspire someone toward a powerful, or educational audiobook!
The reading, and now the listening of this most grandiloquent piece of literary perfection brings me to a level of ebullience that Elisabeth Browning must have been feeling when she wrote How Do I Love Thee? This is the only book I have ever read that captures the ache, nay malaise that is caused by loving someone with a deepness expressed with all parts of one's soul and being, without the reciprocation by the one loved. This book accomplishes this feat with such belletristic guile, it leaves those who have had the pleasure of completing this book dumbfounded upon acknowledgement of this being Mr. Nabokov's second language! If the human heart was a combustion engine, this would be a fuel capable of running it through and on all cylinders. If H.H. can be considered the antagonist of this book, it leaves us feeling at least understanding of his situation, and at most and from a more demoniacal end of the spectrum, sympathetic. He has filled the book with foreshadowing that is really indecipherable until it is too late or upon rereading. It makes this a perfect book to read more than once. Anyone here on audible.com that hesitates to listen to this is making a grave mistake. This is quite possibly the best production on this website from a literary viewpoint. Have at it fellow audible fans!
Jeremy Irons' narration really brought the story to life.
I can't think of a comparison, this book is well written and so disturbing.
Jeremy Irons makes Humbert Humbert human, but doesn't stop him from being culpable.
If you start this book and can't imagine why it is a "classic" and are tempted to quit listening, don't. Get through to the end you'll be glad you did.
Cranky elderly writer/copy editor
"Lolita" is about so much more than a middle-aged man's inappropriate obsession with the daughter of his landlady -- about pretense, about ego, about cultural differences -- all bound together by one of the most self-serving, unreliable narrators around. Jeremy Irons caresses each syllable of Nabokov's wonderful wordplay and makes Humbert Humbert as human and fascinating as he is appalling.
This is the first Nabokov I have "read." He creates his protagonist in rich, elegant writing that almost makes you feel guilty for enjoying it in spite of the content. Irons' narration is excellent.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
Humbert Humbert knows exactly how bad he is, but he also knows exactly what everyone else is like too. It is the narrator's ability to be completely frank and honest about everything that happens that gives this book its eerie attractiveness. Does he understand why he is bad in the way that he is? That is another question, and one that he simply isn't interested in exploring. But reams of paper have been spent exploring this book, so nothing I say here will add much to the discussion. I'll only say that I can't imagine anyone better than Jeremy Irons to convey the cold, urbane tone of Humbert Humbert.