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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.

Critic Reviews

"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)
"Jeremy Irons...commands the text with the grand sense of character and palpable eroticism it requires.... The combination of Nabokov’s prose and Irons’s performance carries listeners out of a seat of judgment into Humbert’s pure admiration for and desire to possess that archetypical fire-energy of a young girl. This horrifyingly beautiful story of wild obsession truly comes alive in this audiobook production." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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brilliant

Would you consider the audio edition of Lolita to be better than the print version?

i not sure, i have not read the print version

Who was your favorite character and why?

lolita of course, she had to go through some tough stuff and still survived

Any additional comments?

i was hesitant to listen to this book but it was brilliant, i hung on to every word and really enjoyed this book, the person that read the book did a fantastic job and i highly recommend this book

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Worth the listen

Beautifully wrutten, disturbing story. Well performed, I finished it more quickly than I thought I would.

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Excellent book and Irons performance is great

Irons was probably the perfect choice for Humbert. He's able to pull off the haughty attitude Humbert had toward the majority of people and things while occasionally drawing the reader far enough into his inner romantic fantasy to engender, for short periods, a sympathy of sorts. Humbert, directly referencing the reader and breaking the 4th wall, is indicative of Nabokov's intention and I think Irons pulls it off admirably.

I haven't seen the movie adaptation with Irons, but I plan to now and sincerely hope that it lives up to this performance.

The book itself is beautifully and wickedly written. The last few years, I've been working through classic works and this is one that I'm happy that I included. Humbert is an absorbing protagonist and his personal journey is engrossing. It's difficult to encapsulate succinctly how masterfully this story is told.

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Hard to review

This was a hard book to get through although I think this works makes a great piece to study. It's the first time I've read a piece with no real good guys (or at least bad guys that you love to hate and almost root for you know). The book is well written however and HH is very poetic is his ramblings. And his crime was not what I had expected throughout the journey of the read. I'd be interested to research this story further.

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  • Ellen
  • LOS ANGELES, CA, United States
  • 11-07-16

So wonderful and touching. Jeremy Irons was superlative.

I loved every thing. The language was exquisite; the story heartbreaking and blackly funny; Jeremy Irons could not have been outdone.

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it draws you in and captivates

as someone who loves knowing how the mind works and why people do the things they do this book is a treasure
a very serious subject held in such an artistic way
the words and voice are like a siren song to the ears

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A surprise indeed

Well to put it simply, I had no idea what this book was about and had mistaken it for a book on polio that I had opened in another tab amongts tabs of books I was debating to buy (I blame the black and white picture of a child's legs on the cover).

Let me tell you this potential reader, this book is not about polio and should not be read while taking your little brother to the playground. this book is ment for a large chair and velvetv robe while you pour a glass of french champagne and stare at your many books of philosophy and the human mind.

the first chapter or so will weird you out and it takes some time to get used to the seemingly random french dialogue that you don't understand but somehow do. I won't lie when I say I stopped listening for about a week before curiosity rose within me and I plugged in my headphones and picked up where I left off.

performance is amazing. writing is brilliant. indeed a suprise.

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Absolutely amazing

Encapsulating story, sad and tender, and very good performance of Jeremy Irons. All in all - highly recommended.

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Captivating performance

Jeremy Irons was perfectly cast as HH. His voice was like candy, and I could not get enough of it. The final few sentences were perfection

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beautiful, belletristic

beautiful, belletristic account of love, humanity, inhumanity, monstrosity, morality, immorality, circumstance, metaphysics, and inner conflict