A 999 line poem in heroic couplets, divided into 4 cantos, was composed--according to Nabokov's fiction--by John Francis Shade, an obsessively methodical man, during the last 20 days of his life.
©1962 Vera Nabokov and Dmitri Nabokov (P)2010 Audible, Inc
"This centaur-work, half poem, half prose . . . is a creation of perfect beauty, symmetry, strangeness, originality and moral truth. Pretending to be a curio, it cannot disguise the fact that it is one of the great works of art of this century." (Mary McCarthy, The New Republic)
"Of all [Nabokov's] inventions, Pale Fire is the wildest, the funniest and the most earnest. It is like nothing on God's earth." (New York Herald Tribune)
"A monstrous, witty, intricately entertaining work . . . done with dazzling skill." (Time)
The further I get away from this the more I appreciate it. I had heard repeatedly that this was a comic novel, which is not the first word I'd choose to describe a tale of murder, madness and a child's suicide. Yes, it has some funny parts but so does Lolita, which is not generally classified as humor. With these expectations I was sorely disappointed.
But Pale Fire is a tour de force of structure whose place in the canon I'd agree to. And the story and characters are compelling -- I couldn't stop listening. And the narration is as good as it gets, two gifted performances of extremely challenging roles.Just don't expect a light hearted romp.
During my years designing ladies apparel and traveling world wide I discovered a great joy in meeting many cultures and grew to love them.
With all certainty, T am sure it will lead to greater things by Nabokov.
The reading of the Cantos Poem and the reader,s display of his great voice, all of Audible's telling of this great book is wonderful, for sure magic.
There is not a particular scene of merit, Nabokov goes on and on and each momemt if studied is a thrill in each novel he creates.
I read this book very much younger, like with Lolita I could not find the pace of the information, now as my experience in the library increased, I love his writing. One must understand Nabokov, he teases one for reaction only, which he knows a studied reader will enjoy, I always laugh, hand over mouth not to insult him, but the whole experience is fully an act by both me and the writer, a very personal thing, he being the genius, of course. I love Nabokov for years, my confession to all, he never fails me!
Nabokov asks me to spend every molecule, of many, of my restless mind with a net gathering frail butterflies, as his example, in this he teaches the ways of life which are simple for complicated wanderers, like me and you.
The reader does a great job showing the humor in this book. I like Nabokov and think his prose is intricately surprising, but I was not a huge fan of this book because of the 3rd section: the mock literary criticism of the canto.
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