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Jeremy

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new york, NY, United States | Member Since 2010

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  • Despair

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    Extensively revised by Nabokov in 1965 - 30 years after its original publication - Despair is the wickedly inventive and richly derisive story of Hermann, a man who undertakes the perfect crime: his own murder. One of the 20th century’s master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg in 1899. He studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, where he launched a brilliant literary career. In 1940 he moved to the United States, and achieved renown as a novelist, poet, critic, and translator.

    Darwin8u says: "Russian emigre candy dandy murderers R my weakness"
    "Let's just say it's for the intellectual type!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This may sound bad, but the book makes me think about these modern paintings, black on black, little cubes on white font; in fact, the vaguely modern Rothko image in the front is a good indicator of who should like the book.

    Honestly, the book is entirely incomprehensible, something that the narrator does masterly convey (and contributes to). Everything that happens is completely absurd, to the point that it is difficult to say that something is actually supposed to be funny. It's hard to understand the character, what happens to him as if everything happened in a haze. The intrigue takes a long time to kick in and, when it does, the mind is so anesthetized that it took me a while to realize that some intrigue was beginning. I know this is a literary style, maybe it's closer to poetry than it is to a novel?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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