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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

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  •  
    H. S. 10-25-16
    H. S. 10-25-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Horrible subject matter so beautifully told."

    "Lolita" is an established classic. It is not for those unable to step outside of themselves. Dark and disturbing but told with such painful beauty. H.H.s are the world's oldest predator. The damages they do to young people are extreme and sadly, not rare. Hearing the main character flow from obsession to self loathing gives an interesting look into the mind of a monster. Normally I hear my own thoughts narrated with the same cadence as what novel I had been listening to, but this not in the case when listening "Lolita". The thought processes of the teller are so foreign to most minds. This really is a difficult but engaging story being told to you. It gives the reader/listener a view through a disturbed mind and a hint at the thought processes and behaviors that negatively effect so many people the world over. The years have changed but the story stays exactly the same, perhaps being why this tale has stood solid in time. The author was absolutely a gifted writer. Jeremy Irons performance is stellar. If you feel that you can fall into the deep dirty rabbit hole and come out cleaner you will enjoy "Lolita".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Steven 10-25-16
    Steven 10-25-16 Member Since 2016
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    "well worth bearing with the subject matter"

    uncomfortable subject matter at best but very well written and interesting despite that. voice acting was excellent. had me both empathetic and disgusted simultaneously.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Warren Lanphear 10-21-16
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    "Not your father's 1955"

    I bet this book did shock the world. Fascinating fiction, distasteful but such wonderful language. Jeremiah Irons channels H.H. and his perverse love of his nymphet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Roger Morris 10-15-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing reading of a fantastic story"

    This might be the best-written story I've ever encountered. Nabokov is a literary genius and his mastery of the written word is even more remarkable with the realisation that English was not his native tongue. The word-pictures he creates throughout the story are just amazing.

    Yes, Humbert Humbert - the anti-hero protagonist and narrator of this tragic tale - is a hebephile (as opposed to a paedophile) and a sexual pervert. The way he takes advantage of Lolita and the manner in which his selfish decisions and actions set the lives of Lolita, her mother Charlotte and indeed Humbert himself on a certain tragic track is undoubtedly deplorable. And yet Nabokov develops Humbert into an authentic, complex and ultimately pathetic character. The author cleverly gives the reader insight into Humbert's mental processing and attempted justification of his actions and his genuine, if not inappropriate, romantic obsession with the young girl. Humbert understands by the end of the story how he has confused genuine caring and the desire to nurture and protect Lolita, with his own selfish and perverted sexual desires for the girl. The loathing for Humbert that the reader invariably develops is ironically eclipsed by Humbert's own self-loathing and self-reproach for his selfish obsessions.

    I listened to the 2005 Random House Audio audiobook version of the book, masterfully narrated by Jeremy Irons, who incidentally played Humbert Humbert in the 1997 film remake of the book alongside Melanie Griffith and Dominique Swain. Irons is brilliant and brings out the very best in the story through his narration.

    Because of its confronting and taboo themes this book, understandably, provokes strong reactions from readers (even those who have never actually read the book). This is understandable, but to avoid reading this book because of that taboo is a great shame because being confronted - even repulsed - never hurt anyone. And this story is a superlatively masterful piece of literature.

    Reading a war novel does not mean the one condones war. Reading a murder mystery does not mean one condones killing. In the same way, reading Lolita does not mean you condone hebephilia or paedophilia. It will undoubtedly challenge the reader and provoke strong emotional reactions. But this ability to provoke a genuine response in the reader, I think, is the sign of fantastic author and a compelling story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    William R. Toddmancillas Chico, California United States 10-11-16
    William R. Toddmancillas Chico, California United States 10-11-16 Member Since 2015

    Retired communication studies professor with many interests and particular fondness for histotorical fiction and drama.

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    "Naughty, Sizzling, and Perverted"
    What did you love best about Lolita?

    The narrator's rendition.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The man lusting after the young girl.


    What does Jeremy Irons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Fabulous, virtuoso narration: varied rhythm, interesting inflection, varied pace, arresting tonal quality.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Little and Spicey, But not Very Nicey


    Any additional comments?

    I do not know that I am going to be able to make it through this audio. The character is on the verge of seducing the girl and I am feeling squeamish about listening to more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Elizabeth 10-05-16
    Elizabeth 10-05-16
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    "Beautiful literature."

    I love the descriptive flow of this story. He uses many adjectives to convey his perspective on things. The story drags on for a while. But overall it was easy to listen to. Lots of interesting vocabulary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Blue Eyes 09-19-16
    Blue Eyes 09-19-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Extremely well written dark tale"

    Daniel Day-Lewis is the perfect narrator for Lolita. I always thought this novel was about her, so it was quite an intriguing book. I'm not going to give the story away, so enjoy one of the best books Ive ever listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    RRR 09-16-16
    RRR 09-16-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Jeremy Irons"

    This is a well written novel and the narration is phenomenal. Though the content is disturbing, the writing style is one of a kind. I am very glad I decided to "read" it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Melancholy 09-15-16
    Melancholy 09-15-16
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    "An absolute triumph!"

    I enjoyed reading this book some years ago, but listening to it gave me further pleasure. I've always loved Jeremy Irons voice and work, so when I saw it was available, I snatched it hurriedly! And boy, could I ask for a better delivery? No! Like mentioned above, an absolute triumph! Now I long for more works by the author. If they are half as eloquent as this work, I will adore them all!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    lil' old me Milwaukee 09-13-16
    lil' old me Milwaukee 09-13-16 Member Since 2014

    if you're happy and you know it....

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    "A classic for the ages"

    I had to read the story before watching the movie--and I'm glad I did. It's remarkably written, the adjectives are simply amazing. And Jeremy Irons was simply THE perfect narrator for it. HIGHLY recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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