Savagely funny and hauntingly sad, Lolita is Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel. It is the story of tortured college professor Humbert Humbert and his dangerous obsession with honey-skinned schoolgirl Dolores Haze.
Determined to possess his "Lolita", Humbert embarks on a disastrous journey across an American landscape littered with fast-food diners, gas stations and lonely motels. Brilliantly evocative and bitingly satirical in its depiction of postwar America, Lolita still has the power to shock and beguile.
©1955 Vladimir Nabokov; (P)2005 Random House Audio
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"Voice like silken sin"
This is possibly the best marriage of voice and story in an audiobook. Jeremy Irons can slip from florid praise to exasperated irritation and back again without over-egging either.
As book is written as a first-person narrative by the protagonist, you need a more expressive voice than most stories and this is amply provided here.
"You can really hear the character"
Very good narration and excellent story, highly recommend for those who can bear the strong themes
Poetic touching rendition. I enjoyed every minute and kept replaying some parts. Rich and vivid descriptions.
Over half a century on from its initial publication, this book still remains disturbing and shocking!
Universally accepted as a modern classic, it is described as a tragic comedy. However, don't expect any laughs. The author creates a truly detestable anti hero who's relationship with the eponymous Lolita should leave no place for any emotion except revulsion. That you do feel empathy for him, towards the end of the book, is something that you may not thank the author for.
The book is written in a self-consciously literary style. There is subtle word play and considerable use of French phrases and language which are impossible to fully appreciate in a rapid audio format. The plot is easily followed but feels contrived; with a final conclusion that I found unrealistic and a slight afterthought.
Narration in this work is simply mesmerizing. Jeremy Irons gives a performance which is both urbane, educated and monstrous all at the same time. Igore his portrayal of peripheral characters, it is in his depiction of the central protagonist that his liquid voice resonates love, desolation and madness.
This is not an easy audiobook to listen to. The subject matter is revolting. Linguistically, the book is knowingly high brow. There are sections of it written in French, which receive no translation!
This is a clsssic though. It comes alive through Iron's haunting voice and will stay with the listener many weeks after.
"Irons is amazing"
A classic - disturbing yet compelling listening. The choice of Irons as the narrator is perfect. I loved every minute of it.
"No, it's not just about a paedophile"
Scintillating, dark, lasting
The opening lines are masterful. Nabokov writing style is precise and evocative. His description of the building obsession is the most intense part of the novel.
Jeremy Iron's voice fits perfectly with the character Humbert Humbert. I can't extract the two from each other.
There may be a moment in the book when you find yourself sympathising with the main character, there will be a moment shortly after when you realise it and feel shocked that you did.
The characterisation is very good as is the pacing.
There should not be a film of this book. It is a wonderful book, it explores emotions and obsessions that are rarely dealt with, but, it is better left as a book.
Probably the most disturbing, thought provoking novel I have ever encountered.
"An absolute delight, much better than the film"
His reading is so good, I will now put books he reads at the top of my list
"Disturbing and chilling"
It's hard to 'enjoy' the manipulative and affected narrative voice, but Jeremy Irons does a fantastic job with Nabokov's chilling tale of a man's sexual and total obsession for his young 'daughter.'
"Beautiful prose, unpleasant subject"
Fantastic prose, story telling, character realisation and beautifully narrated. The book is a work of art, I will remember it long after stories I actually enjoyed have faded from my memory.
The subject matter makes this quite a dark and heavy read, where you cannot wish any of the characters well. I can't, with any honesty, say that listening to this was a pleasant experience, but I am glad I endured it.
I have probably enjoyed discussing the book with friends much more than the actual listening.
A thought provoking book which will stay with you, but not something I would want to re-read,
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