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.
I expect that the industrial setting puts off many people who compare the book to Austen's books, but it is well-done and a welcome break from the Victorian fantasy land of great houses and women's frocks. A good halfway station between Austen and Dickens.
The accents and women's voices are unconvincing, to the point where I got another version.
I love how Kushner never lets her readers get complacent. She writes such whole, satisfying characters in part because they never quite behave like characters in a book, more like real, and unpredictable, people. Lovely, and so finely wrought. I could be content to read nothing else.
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