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Lolita Audiobook

Lolita

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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 innately 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 (4553 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Barbara Grinnell, IA, United States 12-24-12
    Barbara Grinnell, IA, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Repulsive Story; Dazzling Prose"

    This is the first Nabokov I have "read." He creates his protagonist in rich, elegant writing that almost makes you feel guilty for enjoying it in spite of the content. Irons' narration is excellent.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah New York, NY, USA 10-31-06
    Deborah New York, NY, USA 10-31-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "FANTASTIC"

    This was the best audible book I ever listened to. The narrator was the best. I enjoyed the story so much. I listened to it twice. Don't skip this one.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Seattle, WA, USA 02-26-09
    Jeffrey Seattle, WA, USA 02-26-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect - A must-read (or listen?)"

    The perfect narration for such a hauntingly beautiful book. With such rich description and so sensitive and intimate a psychology - reading Lolita is a must. My only regret was my inability to understand (or look up at the time, as I was on an airplane) the french phrases scattered throughout.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amie Seattle, WA, USA 10-16-05
    Amie Seattle, WA, USA 10-16-05
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    "H.H.'s Passion"

    Reader captures all of the feeling and wit of Nabokov's writing. A wonderful book, and a great listen. Captivating all the way through.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Long Valley, New Jersey, United States 05-11-12
    Robert Long Valley, New Jersey, United States 05-11-12 Member Since 2011
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    "One of the Great Ones"

    One of the greatest books I have read or to which I have listened. Many will criticize the the troubling nature of the narration and plot, but the ability to evoke such pity and revulsion at the same time is a credit to Nabokov's writing and Irons' performance. Rare is a work as engrossing and powerful as this while also troubling, thought provoking, and emotionally riveting. If you haven't yet read or listen to this book, do so today.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Courtney Washington, DC United States 04-05-11
    D. Courtney Washington, DC United States 04-05-11 Member Since 2016
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    "Brilliantly Read"

    I read this book years ago and liked it just fine, but didn't really see what all the fuss was about. This recording made me understand. Jeremy Irons is nasty, hilarious and (surprisingly) heartbreaking. I can not recommend this book highly enough.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clara Baltimore, Moldova, Republic of 11-22-09
    Clara Baltimore, Moldova, Republic of 11-22-09 Member Since 2008
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    "An extraordinary reading"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisa Kingston, NY, USA 10-08-07
    Elisa Kingston, NY, USA 10-08-07 Member Since 2012
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    "deeply deliciously disturbing"

    If anyone has ever read a novel better than Jeremy Irons has read Lolita, I'd surely like to know about it. Mr. Irons IS Humbert, shameful, deceitful, dreadful, tortured, overwhelmed by uncontrollable longing and guilt. The story, of course, is a classic. Now so is his reading of it. Nabakov himself would be astounded.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Maplewood, NJ, USA 04-26-06
    Catherine Maplewood, NJ, USA 04-26-06 Member Since 2016
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    "Amazing"

    Jeremy Irons is one of my favorite actors, and he delivers a stunning reading of this classic. Nothing short of amazing - I can't imagine reading this book silently or hearing anybody else read it. The musical use of language is what makes this book, and it just rolls of Irons' tongue like honey. I didn't so much listen as observed this performance in amazement.

    Wonderful. If I could give more stars, I would.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 02-23-06
    Laura 02-23-06

    Mynt

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    "Written like poetry, read like poetry"

    An engaging, beautiful scripted book. The reader sounds like a clasically trained actor and he speaks it as though he's thinking it up himself. The best audiobook yet!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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