From Vladimir Nabokov, the writer who shocked and delighted the world with his novels Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada, or Ardor, comes a magnificent collection of stories. Written between the 1920s and the 1950s, these 68 tales — 14 of which have been translated into English for the first time - display all the shades of Nabokov’s imagination. They range from sprightly fables to bittersweet tales of loss, from claustrophobic exercises in horror to a connoisseur’s samplings of the table of human folly. Read as a whole, The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov offers an intoxicating draft of the master’s genius, his devious wit, and his ability to turn language into an instrument of ecstasy.
This edition includes the newly discovered story “Natasha.”
Public Domain ©2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“Sumptuous . . . glorious.” (The New York Times)
"Some of the most nape-tingling prose and devilish inventions in twentieth-century letters. . . . An authentic literary event.” (Time)
I love Nabokov, especially his short stories, but this production stinks. You can't tell when one story ends and another begins, and I kept on finding myself zoning out while I was listening. For me, a very bad sign with an audiobook. I would happily try this again with another narrator and another production company.
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
In someways reading/listening to Nabokov's stories is like swimming in a turbulent river of all his great themes (doppelgängers, the creative process, loss, nostalgia for Russia, the individual, obsession, dreams/reality, etc).
While there were some stories that were masterpieces, the strength of this book really is the ability it gives the Nabokov enthusiast to easily see the development of a great writer from the early 20s to the late 50s.
One only needs to read 'Terra Incognita' to see the seeds of his novel 'Ada: or Ardor'. This collection is a must for those who adore Nabokov, but also an interesting introduction to Nabokov for those whose only exposure may be "Lolita'.
Here are the stories as they appear in this collection:
"Russian Spoken Here"
"A Matter of Chance"
"Details of a Sunset"
"A Letter That Never Reached Russia"
"The Return of Chorb"
"A Guide to Berlin"
"A Nursery Tale"
"An Affair of Honor"
"The Christmas Story"
"The Potato Elf"
"A Dashing Fellow"
"A Bad Day"
"The Visit to the Museum"
"A Busy Man"
"Lips to Lips"
"The Admiralty Spire"
"In Memory of L. I. Shigaev"
"A Russian Beauty"
"Breaking the News"
"A Slice of Life"
"Spring in Fialta"
"Cloud, Castle, Lake"
"The Assistant Producer"
"That in Aleppo Once…"
"A Forgotten Poet"
"Time and Ebb"
"Conversation Piece, 1945"
"Signs and Symbols"
"Scenes from the Life of a Double Monster"
"The Vane Sisters"
I usually read nonfiction, but I also like some fiction. I read Lolita and loved it.
At first I did not like this for some of the reasons other reviewers stated: the narrator does not pause very much between stories; he just ends one story, announces the next title, and starts reading again. (But see my comments on the narrator below.)
But I stayed with it; and I'm very glad I did. There really is not so much time or reason to pause very long between stories. And soon it is not too difficult to notice when a story ends. Try to keep an open mind when reading this. Some of the stories are very short and often end abruptly. But once you get into it, you start to open your mind to the idea that many of the stories are just brilliant snippets of events, emotions, feeling, and deep and perceptive observations. They range from events which could have possibly happened to outright fantasy involving dragons and she-devils. But the characters are never conventional, and nothing in his stories is ever predictable.
This is some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read or heard. Nabakov has a deep and keen understanding of the human condition, and his mastery of the English language feels like great art. His observations of people, environment, place, and human fears, wishes, doubts, dreams, and fantasies are profound.
But I would not have enjoyed this as much, if at all, had not the narrator been up to the task of reading Nabakov. I discovered this narrator, Author Morey, from Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct (which I also highly recommend). Author Morey is one of the best narrators on Audible.
I highly recommend this download.
There are about forty stories filled with sounds, colors, wit, and enchantment in this audiobook. I love Nabokov's style of writing and had already read all his stories. Now I enjoy them in audible form and Arthur Morey's narration. It suffices to listen one story and the whole day will turn up brighter. This stories bring beauty and charm in everyday life.
It's hard to find particular titles in the numbered sections which can be whole stories or parts. The narrator has a pleasant voice. I'm happy to see all of these Nabokov stories in an audible form.
I'm not sure. I'm taking a class where we need to find particular titles. It's a hassle.
I'd rate him as good.
Not yet. I may be forced to buy the book. Not every story in this unabridged work is interesting to me, although some are wonderful.
Whilst Nabokov is brilliant, the greatness of these writings is undermined by the narration. Very bland and uninspired. Narration of dialogue is particularly weak, and with a series as long as this one, it made me lose interest very quickly. I doubt if I'll even both to finish listening to it because of this.
"Outstanding stories let down by reader performance"
I was looking forward to listening to these stories from the Master of English prose - unfortunately the reader has a mid Atlantic style which is a tad robotic and emotionless. After 10 mins this becomes irritating - after 20 it becomes unlistenable. Big shame!
I intend to return this purchase.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.