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Vladimir Nabokov

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  • Lolita | Vladimir Nabokov

    Lolita

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5914)
    Performance
    (4769)
    Story
    (4741)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature 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.

    Jim says: "An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
  • Pale Fire | Vladimir Nabokov

    Pale Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (276)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (230)

    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.

    Roger says: "An amazing feat for such a unique novel"
  • Speak Memory: An Autobiography Revisited | Vladimir Nabokov

    Speak Memory: An Autobiography Revisited

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (250)

    Speak, Memory, first published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, is an elegant and rich evocation of Nabokov’s life and times, even as it offers incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Luhzin Defense.

    meredith says: "this inspired me to read Nabokov's novels"
  • Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle | Vladimir Nabokov

    Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (72)

    Published two weeks after Vladimir Nabokov’s seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of his greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist. It tells a love story troubled by incest, but it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of the history of the novel, and erotic catalogue. Ada, or Ardor is no less than the supreme work of an imagination at white heat. This is the first American edition to include the extensive and ingeniously sardonic appendix by the author, written under the anagrammatic pseudonym Vivian Darkbloom.

    Darwin8u says: "Incest, a game the Whole Family Can Play"
  • The Gift | Vladimir Nabokov

    The Gift

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (29)

    The Gift is the last of the novels Nabokov wrote in his native language and the crowning achievement of that period in his literary career. It is also his ode to Russian literature, evoking the works of Pushkin, Gogol, and others in the course of its narrative: the story of Fyodor Godunov-Cherdyntsev, an impoverished émigré poet living in Berlin, who dreams of the book he will someday write - a book very much like The Gift itself.

    One of the twentieth century’s master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg in 1899.

    Darwin8u says: "A complex and rich Künstlerroman"
  • Invitation to a Beheading | Vladimir Nabokov

    Invitation to a Beheading

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (81)

    Like Kafka's The Castle, Invitation to a Beheading embodies a vision of a bizarre and irrational world. In an unnamed dream country, the young man Cincinnatus C. is condemned to death by beheading for "gnostical turpitude", an imaginary crime that defies definition.

    Darwin8u says: "Nabokov's Strange Violin Playing in the Void"
  • Lolita | Vladimir Nabokov

    Lolita

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (108)

    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.

    Jefferson says: "Disturbingly Wonderful"
  • Mary | Vladimir Nabokov

    Mary

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    In a Berlin rooming house filled with an assortment of serio-comic Russian émigrés, Lev Ganin, a vigorous young officer poised between his past and his future, relives his first love affair. His memories of Mary are suffused with the freshness of youth and the idyllic ambience of pre-revolutionary Russia. In stark contrast is the decidedly unappealing boarder living in the room next to Ganin’s, who, he discovers, is Mary’s husband....

    Darwin8u says: "There IS something about Mary!"
  • The Luzhin Defense | Vladimir Nabokov

    The Luzhin Defense

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    Nabokov’s third novel, The Luzhin Defense, is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive, distracted, withdrawn, sullen — an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday life. His talent is prodigious and he rises to the rank of grandmaster — but at a cost: in Luzhin’s obsessive mind, the game of chess gradually supplants reality.

    Darwin8u says: "Life and chess are such lonely battles"
  • Laughter in the Dark | Vladimir Nabokov

    Laughter in the Dark

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (42)

    Albinus, a respectable, middle-aged man and aspiring filmmaker, abandons his wife for a lover half his age: Margot, who wants to become a movie star. When Albinus introduces her to Rex, an American movie producer, disaster ensues. What emerges is an elegantly sardonic and irresistibly ironic novel of desire, deceit, and deception, a curious romance set in the film world of Berlin in the 1930s.

    Darwin8u says: "Death is often the point of life's joke"
  • The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov | Vladimir Nabokov

    The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (49)

    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.

    Madelaine says: "No discernable beginning or end to the stories."
  • Despair | Vladimir Nabokov

    Despair

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (48)

    Extensively revised by Nabokov in 1965 - 30 years after its original publication - Despair is the wickedly inventive and richly derisive story of Hermann, a man who undertakes the perfect crime: his own murder. One of the 20th century’s master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg in 1899. He studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, where he launched a brilliant literary career. In 1940 he moved to the United States, and achieved renown as a novelist, poet, critic, and translator.

    Darwin8u says: "Russian emigre candy dandy murderers R my weakness"
  • Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker | Woody Allen,John Cheever,E. B. White,Jeffrey Eugenides,Vladimir Nabokov,Dorothy Parker,Susan Sontag,Isaac Bashevis Singer,James Thurber,Jamaica Kincaid

    Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Woody Allen, John Cheever, E. B. White, and others
    • Narrated By Tyne Daly, Timothy Jerome, Joe Morton, and others
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (35)

    New York City is not only The New Yorker magazine's place of origin and its sensibility's life blood, it is the heart of American literary culture. Wonderful Town, an anthology of superb short fiction by many of the magazine's most accomplished contributors, celebrates the 75-year marriage between a preeminent publication and its preeminent context with this collection of 20 of its best stories from (so to speak) home.

    Alison says: "Great stories and readers, but technically sloppy"
  • Look at the Harlequins! | Vladimir Nabokov

    Look at the Harlequins!

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    As intricate as a house of mirrors, Nabokov’s last novel is an ironic play on the Janus-like relationship between fiction and reality. It is the autobiography of the eminent Russian-American author Vadim Vadimovich N. (b. 1899), whose life bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, though the two are not to be confused (?).

    Darwin8u says: "Peek, Memory!"
  • Transparent Things | Vladimir Nabokov

    Transparent Things

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (22)

    "Transparent Things revolves around the four visits of the hero - sullen, gawky Hugh Person - to Switzerland.... As a young publisher, Hugh is sent to interview R., falls in love with Armande on the way, wrests her, after multiple humiliations, from a grinning Scandinavian and returns to NY with his bride.... Eight years later - following a murder, a period of madness and a brief imprisonment - Hugh makes a lone sentimental journey to wheedle out his past...." (Martin Amis)

    Darwin8u says: "Moments of absolute and immortal genius"
  • The Enchanter | Vladimir Nabokov

    The Enchanter

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    The Enchanter is the Ur-Lolita, the precursor to Nabokov’s classic novel. At once hilarious and chilling, it tells the story of an outwardly respectable man and his fatal obsession with certain pubescent girls, whose coltish grace and subconscious coquetry reveal, to his mind, a special bud on the verge of bloom.

    Darwin8u says: "Nabokov's black salad devouring a green rabbit"
  • Bend Sinister | Vladimir Nabokov

    Bend Sinister

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Robert Blumenfeld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    The first novel Nabokov wrote while living in America, and the most overtly political novel he ever wrote, Bend Sinister is a modern classic. While it is filled with veiled puns and characteristically delightful wordplay, it is, first and foremost, a haunting and compelling narrative about a civilized man caught in the tyranny of a police state. Professor Adam Krug, the country's foremost philosopher, offers the only hope of resistance to Paduk, dictator and leader of the Party of the Average Man.

    Darwin8u says: "A fantastic fairytale of fascism"
  • King, Queen, Knave | Vladimir Nabokov

    King, Queen, Knave

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    This novel is the story of Dreyer, a wealthy and boisterous proprietor of a men’s clothing emporium. Ruddy, self-satisfied, and thoroughly masculine, he is perfectly repugnant to his exquisite but cold middle-class wife, Martha. Attracted to his money but repelled by his oblivious passion, she longs for their nephew instead, the thin, awkward, myopic Franz. Newly arrived in Berlin, Franz soon repays his uncle’s condescension in his aunt’s bed.

    Darwin8u says: "A non-Euclidean German love triangle."
  • The Real Life of Sebastian Knight | Vladimir Nabokov

    The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, the first novel Nabokov wrote in English, is a tantalizing literary mystery in which a writer’s half brother searches to unravel the enigma of the life of the famous author of Albinos in Black, The Back of the Moon, and Doubtful Asphodel. A characteristically cunning play on identity and deception, the novel concludes “ I am Sebastian, or Sebastian is I, or perhaps we both are someone whom neither of us knows.”

    Darwin8u says: "A dry run at big, complex themes"
  • Selected Poems | Vladimir Nabokov

    Selected Poems

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    These masterly poems span the whole of Nabokov's career from "Music", written in 1914, to the short, playful "To Vera", composed in 1974. The works are newly translated by Dmitiri Nabokov, and include "The University Poem", an extraordinary autobiographical poem in which Nabokov recalls his life in Cambridge, with its crooked alleys and age-old gates, teas at the vicar's and British girls. Included to are such poems as "To Russia" ("Will you leave me alone! I implore you!), the enchanting "Eve", and verse about America, sport, love, and poetry itself.

    Michael says: "Better than most poetry collections"
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