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Despair by Vladimir Nabokov
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In which a self-proclaimed mastermind decides that his discovery of his lookalike is his ticket to pulling off a great criminal enterprise. Hermann Karlovich is one of my favorites of Nabokov's unreliable narrators, and it's great fun sharing his elaborate schemes, dreams, and dismissals of the capacities of all and sundry individuals who might get in his way. Nabokov's language throughout is, no surprise, achingly beautiful. ( )
  Big_Bang_Gorilla | Oct 30, 2013 |
bookshelves: fraudio, published-1934, dodgy-narrator, autumn-2013, lit-richer
Read from August 14 to September 18, 2013


Read (brilliantly) by Christopher Lane

From wiki: originally published as a serial in the politicized literary journal Sovremennye zapiski during 1934. It was then published as a book in 1936, and translated to English by the author in 1937. Most copies of the 1937 English edition were destroyed by German bombs during World War II; only a few copies remain. Nabokov published a second English translation in 1965; this is now the only English translation in print.

narrator: Hermann Karlovich
his wife: Lydia
his business: chocolate
doppelgänger: Felix

setting: Prague
musical backdrop: Tango in Prague - Milonga Prague Castle

5* Pale Fire
4* Sebastian Knight
3* Lolita
3* The Eye
3* Despair
2* Transparent Things

1 like ( )
  mimal | Sep 18, 2013 |
One of Nabokov's first forays into English fiction. Many of his favorite tricks are here - literary allusions, intricate and dazzling prose, false identities, unreliable narrators. Pure Nabokov - nothing wrong with that at all. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
How far gone can one be?: This story is about a person who looks/acts relatively "normal", but who's inner desperation leads him to hallucinate--and act on these delusions--in order to see the things that he wants to see. Unfortunately, the world doesn't cooperate. I liked "Despair" because it enabled me to witness an experience from a deranged perspective, but again, it isn't one of my favorite Nabokov stories. It was kind of short, so that might have something to do w/ it.
  iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679723439, Paperback)

Extensively revised by Nabokov in 1965--thirty 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:54 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Extensively revised by Nabokov in 1965--thirty 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.

» see all 2 descriptions

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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014118454X, 0141196963

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