One of the most controversial novels of the twentieth century, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is a strange, troubling love story told by the one of the most unreliable narrators in literature. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an afterword by Craig Raine. Poet and pervert, Humbert Humbert becomes obsessed by twelve-year-old Lolita and seeks to possess her, first carnally and then artistically, out of love, 'to fix once for all the perilous magic of nymphets'. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all of these? Humbert Humbert's seduction is one of many dimensions in Nabokov's dizzying masterpiece, which is suffused with a savage humour and rich, elaborate verbal textures. Filmed by Stanley Kubrick in 1962 starring James Mason and Peter Sellers, and again in 1997 by Adrian Lyne starring Jeremy Irons and Melanie Griffith, Lolita has lost none of its power to shock and awe. 'Lolita is comedy, subversive yet divine ...You read Lolita sprawling limply in your chair, ravished, overcome, nodding scandalized assent' Martin Amis, Observer
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(198mm x 129mm x 15mm)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
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UK Kirkus Review »
The subject matter, of a middle-aged man desiring a young girl, a nymphet of 12 at the beginning of their affair, was so outrageous that the sheer delicacy and also the wit of the writing was hardly commented on. Lolita was not, in fact, about sex - it was about love and it was about erotic emotion, not any kind of pornography. Humbert is one of the most self-aware narrators in contemporary fiction, and mocks, and derides, and lashes himself with wonderful energy. He sees himself as others see him and is merciless in attacking what he is doing to Lolita, quite clear-eyed about what she is doing to herself. None of Nabokov's other work has the vitality and beauty of this extraordinary novel. (Kirkus UK)
US Kirkus Review » Ten years out of the typewriter, the master's own script, "not in pettish refutation of a munificent film but purely as a vivacious variant of an old novel" - a minor curiosity but undoubtedly a must have for Nabokovians. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov was born in 1899 in St Petersburg. He wrote his first literary works in Russian, but rose to international prominence as a masterly prose stylist for the novels he composed in English, most famously, Lolita. Between 1923 and 1940 he published novels, short stories, plays, poems and translations in the Russian language and established himself as one of the most outstanding Russian emigre writers. He died in 1977.