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Lolita Audiobook

Lolita

Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons portrayed this novel's nymphet-obsessed professor in a filmed adaptation, so it is not surprising he is able to negotiate Nabokov's dense, refined, and fiery prose with great facility. Irons' mastery reminds me of a conductor who studies a score for years and then knows inately how to communicate it to an audience, note-perfect from beginning to end. If you're looking for a fine example of great literature that comes across better in audio than it does on the printed page, you've found it. –Corey Thrasher

Publisher's Summary

When it was published in 1955, Lolita immediately became a cause celebre because of the freedom and sophistication with which it handled the unusual erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Vladimir Nabokov's wise, ironic, elegant masterpiece owes its stature as one of the 20th century's novels of record not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

Awe and exhilaration, along with heartbreak and mordant wit, abound in this account of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. But most of all, it is a meditation on love — as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

(P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Lolita is an authentic work of art which compels our immediate response and serious reflection, a revealing and indispensable comedy of horrors." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Language is essential to Lolita, and Mr. Irons captures Humbert's voice perfectly. In the Random House audiobook, he read the novel with a sensitivity to the language that conveys all of Nabokov's humor, passion, and lyricism." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3583 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Donna 07-09-15
    Donna 07-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A masterpiece for mature minds"

    A unique exploration of the dark and sometimes bright avenues compulsively traversed by one so human being. By turns repellant and heartbreaking, but always familiar, recognizable.
    Gotta mention--as compelling as the disturbing themes are, Jeremy Irons' perfect (yes, perfect) reading, his mere voice, are so entrancing that I found myself losing track of the story. I kept awakening from the enchanting melodic dream he weaves amid the lush evocative prose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ARS 07-09-15
    ARS 07-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    7
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    "I can't make it past the topic:("
    Would you try another book from Vladimir Nabokov and/or Jeremy Irons?

    No


    What was most disappointing about Vladimir Nabokov’s story?

    It was about Pedophilia:( Very disappointing... > The book was recommended by listeners and is seen, in some circles a literary masterpiece, so I thought I would give it a try. I'm not seeing the masterpiece in it at all. One reviewer stated "If you can get past the topic it's really a great love story" WHAT? Granted, I couldn't ready the entire book, but at no point did I envision a love story coming from this book. If anything, I envision the story of how a grown man abused and little girl to fulfill some past lust that was unfulfilled:(


    What does Jeremy Irons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Again, reader was fine, topic was not


    Any additional comments?

    I had a very hard time getting past the fact that the grown man was fantasizing over a little girls. I think I stopped a chapter 3 or 4.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BillieJo Shelbyville, Tunisia 07-07-15
    BillieJo Shelbyville, Tunisia 07-07-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Not worth reading!!!"

    I can't believe anyone would publish such garbage. I kept waiting for the story to get better but it actually got worse. It is simply crazy rambling! I am giving it one star for the performance. If I could give the story a negative rating it would be a negative 5!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon Young South Riding, VA United States 07-02-15
    Shannon Young South Riding, VA United States 07-02-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A horrifying story beautifully written"

    The well known story of a well-educated pedophile and the 12 yr old girl that becomes his life's obsession. Nabokov has the uncanny ability to write gorgeous prose about a vile subject. The reader will catch himself enjoying the narrator's wit and style only to be checked when another despicable act is casually mentioned. Acted superbly by Jeremy Irons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mildred Witte Tyler, Texas 07-01-15
    Mildred Witte Tyler, Texas 07-01-15 Member Since 2012
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    "A master reads a masterpiece."

    Superbly read masterpiece. Oh Nabokov! Oh Irons! Listen again and again to this one because it will continually astound.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy 06-03-15
    Timothy 06-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "Boring, slow,"
    What disappointed you about Lolita?

    The readers voice is drawling and difficult to listen to.


    What could Vladimir Nabokov have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Don't know


    How could the performance have been better?

    Less quiet and boring voice


    What character would you cut from Lolita?

    Na


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tandgn Apache Junctionaz, United States 06-03-15
    Tandgn Apache Junctionaz, United States 06-03-15 Member Since 2012

    My Opinion's for your review, Thank You!

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    "Lolita"

    I Liked it and hated it, didn't want to put it down or keep listening. It had the best narration I've heard in a while. On the whole the book was good, a piece of literary history with the Good, the bad, and the ugly, all wrapped up in to one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Green 05-15-15
    G. Green 05-15-15
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    "A masterpiece of literature and narration"

    I wish to make a comment to those reluctant to take up this great work of literature given that, as is well known, the protagonist engages in profoundly abhorrent behavior. You may marvel at Nabokov's literary genius with the knowledge that, near the end of the story, the protagonist reveals a subtle awareness of the depth of the harm he has done to his victim. Finally, the narration is, by far, the best I have ever heard of any book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Farmer Penne 05-12-15 Member Since 2012

    I love the word, written and read aloud. I listen to books nonstop. And Colin Firth should read more books for Audible. Just sayin'.

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    "Perhaps best audiobook performance EVER"
    What made the experience of listening to Lolita the most enjoyable?

    Jeremy Irons lives this book in this performance. Maybe it's because he acted in a film version of the movie or maybe it's because he's actually superhuman as a reader. The book comes alive in new ways, and I've read the book multiple times and seen all film versions of Nabokov's true masterpiece. Irons gets into Humbert's head and dwells there while we listen. Astounding.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Humbert Humbert--only one of the richest characters in all of 20th-century literature.


    What does Jeremy Irons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Irons IS Humbert but not only in the sense that's he's acting out Humbert's fantasies and life. Because the books is a first person narrative story, Irons is able to generate a unique energy in her performance.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not quite all in one sitting, no. But I couldn't turn it off and I had to actually pull my car over on the highway because some of Nabokov's sentences, and Irons' delivery of them, stopped my heart for a few minutes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sister Blue 05-06-15
    Sister Blue 05-06-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Very well done"

    The voice actor was perfect. I prefer the book over the movie 100 times over. I definitely recommend this audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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