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.
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(211mm x 135mm x 26mm)
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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. This reviewer has never been able to find in any of Nabokov's other work quite the vitality, and beauty there is in 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
One of the twentieth century's master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977) was born in St Petersburg, but left Russia when the Bolsheviks seized power. 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. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. In 1961 he moved to Montreux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977. His first novel in English was The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, published in 1941. His other books include Ada or Ardor (1969), Laughter in the Dark (1933), Pale Fire (1962), the short story collection Details of a Sunset (1976) and Lolita (1955), his best-known novel.