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Lolita | [Vladimir Nabokov]

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

4.2 (2079 )
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4.6 (1223 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marc SOUTHINGTON, CT, United States 02-09-13
    Marc SOUTHINGTON, CT, United States 02-09-13 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
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    74
    38
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    "Time has changed drastically since its publishing"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No I wouldn't, I have seen and heard true life stories that were much more shocking and scandalous than this.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending was no surprise.


    Was Lolita worth the listening time?

    I didn't think so.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Inesa 01-29-13
    Inesa 01-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
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    9
    1
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    Story
    "Jeremy Irons Brings H.H. to Life"
    If you could sum up Lolita in three words, what would they be?

    intriguing, perverse, honest


    What did you like best about this story?

    The pure rawness of it.


    Which character – as performed by Jeremy Irons – was your favorite?

    Humbert Humbert of course. His American accents sound a bit odd but HH was always on point.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Sometimes it was disgusting, but that is kind of the point I suppose.


    Any additional comments?

    Jeremy Irons transforms the story of Lolita that any Nabokov fan would enjoy

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chimommy 01-09-13
    Chimommy 01-09-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not What I Expected"

    First, let me say that Jeremy Irons is an absolutely AMAZING narrator! The life and emotion he gave to the perfomance was outstanding. It was like he was talking to you, not reading a book. His speed varied, his inflection was perfect and, of course, his accent is perfect. Even though the subject matter is absolutely disgusting he brought a life to this classic that enthralled me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 02-02-12
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 02-02-12 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a good idea for a book but way too long winded"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    the real story got muddled in a lot of unnecessary details. the real story was not told at all. i felt i did not even know the main characters at the end of the book. more attention to the main characters and a more central plot is needed.

    i did not know what lolita was thinking. and the main character was shallow (a pun but i mean that he did not come across as real).


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    not at all. i would not read the book. i would watch the movie tho.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    no


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    the narrator was fine.


    Do you have any additional comments?

    if i could know more about what was in lolita's mind, and what happened to her before her mother remarried, i mite like it better. the

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Canada 11-11-08
    Teresa Canada 11-11-08 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
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    8
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    "I really did try."

    I struggled to stay awake most of the time. This book is like my Grandmother's livingroom. All flowery, overstuffed and full of useless bric-a-brac. With the air way too hot.
    I gave up in the end. Guess I can't return for exchange.
    I did enjoy the movie.

    7 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-15-09
    09-15-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    274
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    "Lolita"

    This book is well written, but the subject matter was more than I could deal with since I worked with children who had been abused for many years. He is sick but to listen to him tell of his sickness is details was not what I call good listening. Sorry I bought this book.

    2 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Nelson, British Columbia, Canada 04-08-07
    Terry Nelson, British Columbia, Canada 04-08-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "In praise of pedophela"

    Rationalization of why to go after young teens. Saw it more as porn that a work of art. Would not recommend it.

    2 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Atmosfera Chihuahua, Mexico 09-27-07
    Atmosfera Chihuahua, Mexico 09-27-07 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    8
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    "Listening is really painful"

    Even when the book itself is really good, the narrator's job is dissapointing.

    I didn't go beyond the first 20 minutes of the program because I was about to fall asleep.

    My recommendation: Go out there and buy the book. Do not spend your money on this audio.

    1 of 16 people found this review helpful
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