Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Lolita burns in your mind like Native Son, with a kindred repulsiveness. Lolita sears your conscience because it speaks like an apology for pedophilia. Jeremy Irons??? spoken interpretation of Lolita is breath taking. His voice captures the licentious nature of the main character, Humbert Humbert. He reads Nabokov???s lines with a beautiful alliteration that reveals the poetry in Nabokov???s prose. The subject is inherently repulsive. The rationalizations of a confessed pedophile, that admits his guilt, is difficult, if not impossible, to understand. So, what is the point of the book? The best face is that Nabokov reveals the depth of a pedophile???s sickness, some of its causes and consequences, and the utter futility of psychological examination; the worst face is that Nabokov justifies pedophilia based on human nature. For my own conscience, and for respect to a literary genius, I pick the first rather than the second reason for his decision to write this book.
The story is...Lolita. Who am I to review Nabokov? Excellent stuff, however over the edge. Jeremy Irons is perfection. One of those books that stays with you forever in a most troubling way.
Shiloh Bound Doc! University of Iowa graduate. Iowa Writer's Workshop fan. Hawkeye Fan! Believer. Husband. Father. Physician.
I believe that the interest in this book was long fueled by the tolerated idea of an adult male becoming interested in a young woman--an understandable (but not laudable) situation.
But in this "now world" of kidnapping, underage prostitution, sex trafficking, child slavery, and Internet child porn and pedophilia I believe there is no longer the ability to find this book "amusing."
And even if all the above awfulness did not exist--tell me what an adult male would find rewarding intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually in a relationship with a prepubescent/early pubescent girl? A mature relationship --even a predominantly sexual one -- is so influenced by the sensuality and intellectual "spice" two adults bring to that relationship that I do not understand what the intrigue would be to a relationship involving a 12 or 13 year old girl? Skip it. Look elsewhere for your next book.
I was painting a room and decided it was finally time to learn why people talk about this book. Now I feel that whole room is contaminated with the ickyness of this story but thankfully I moved to another house. I am glad to understand how pedophiles think (maybe) and I see now how the high writing style and the base plot combined to create something new and interesting when it was released.
I won't be seeking out any other pedophile stories but I do find this time period in literature very interesting.
The reader seems to savor the prose which chimes with the tone of the main character's traits and the writing style. It was a very nice match.
I'm glad my memories of this story are enmeshed in the paint of a house that I no longer live in but I took away what I needed from the story.
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!
I downloaded this book simply because Jeremy Irons was the author, without realising the controversial topic. I listened with trepidation for the first hour, and more than once felt uncomfortable enough to check to see how long until the end of the book, and to wonder if I'd make it through the whole thing. In the end I'm glad I did.
The story is one that happens all over the world in one shape or another, every single day. It's confronting and that makes people uncomfortable. My heart bled for Lola, and, one of the reasons the book was palatable in the end, I had no positive or sympathetic emotions for humbert at all.
The ending was a bit disappointing, but the novel was well written.
Worth reading, although some bits are hard to handle. I am very glad that there were no explicit scenes, and upon finishing the book it's clear that the only scene that came close to being explicit had to be included or the book would not have worked.
How do I start? If you've ever stayed away from this because of the subject matter, you're doing yourself a disservice. Nabokov's prose is simply masterful - unmatched by any I've ever read before in my life (in a sort of humorous way, he brags about it on the very first page of the book). His command of the English language has reminded me why I enjoy literature so much, and how amazing language can be - how it can evoke so much feeling within a reader.
In many ways this is a love story, though certainly not any that should give credit to H.H.'s actions. It serves to elucidate the differences in how men and women experience love. As a man it is painfully aware to you that no woman will ever feel for you the obsessive, physical adoration that you might feel for her. Men, in their poetry and literature, scan the female form top to toe and adore every feature. Men have made even mundane things like dimples, feet, and lower part of the neck into erotic objects. Even ugly little constellations of blackheads or other physical impurities are forgiven or loved by men in certain poems.
No woman has or ever will love and forgive with such intensity. Women expect to be placated and seduced. They expect men to disguise themselves and make exaggerated performances. The quality of the performance is what is judged, not the quality of the man. A failed performance arouses complete contempt in women.
They aren't like men, who see weakness and love or appreciate it - who see some token of themselves and of humanity in it. Women hate weakness because weakness is useless to them.
In the end, a man realizes that no woman will ever love him the way he loves her, a theme ever-present in this book, even given the misguided source from which H.H. derives this feeling.
Simply wonderful. This book, alone, has in it the ability to sustain my love of reading for a lifetime in the hopes that I might one day have even the slimmest of chances to be delighted with such wordsmithery again.
The writing is so poetic and descriptive. It turns a tragic story into a beautifully written and well versed experience. The excellent reader is the same as the actor in the film, so his voice brings the book to life.
Absolutely beautifully read, I still am in awe of how such a repulsive character can be the center of this fascinating work of art. This book is definitely what an audio book should be, where the prose is like poetry and the reader performs rather than reads.