HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Loading...

Lolita (1955)

by Vladimir Nabokov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,79339445 (4.12)1 / 968
  1. 40
    The Lover by Marguerite Duras (roby72)
  2. 41
    Memories of my Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (heidialice, browner56)
    heidialice: Possibly too obvious of a recommendation? Very different takes on this central theme....
    browner56: Two different views of obsession masquerading as love; both books are so well written that you almost forget the sordid nature of the theme they share.
  3. 20
    The Captive by Marcel Proust (caflores)
  4. 20
    The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler (zembla)
    zembla: Handler is a confessed 'Nabokov freak,' as he said when I saw him at a reading two years ago. He absorbs the influence beautifully.
  5. 10
    The Pornographer of Vienna by Lewis Crofts (heidijane)
  6. 10
    The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch (Queenofcups)
    Queenofcups: I heard many echoes of Lolita in reading The Black Prince. Anyone else find this to be the case?
  7. 21
    Taming the Beast by Emily Maguire (infiniteletters)
  8. 00
    The Death of David Debrizzi by Paul Micou (KayCliff)
  9. 00
    Eva by James Hadley Chase (caflores)
  10. 00
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (mcenroeucsb)
  11. 00
    The North China Lover by Marguerite Duras (edwinbcn)
    edwinbcn: Another story of a man with a passion for a young girl.
  12. 01
    The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker (suniru)
  13. 01
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (kara.shamy)
  14. 02
    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (kara.shamy)
  15. 03
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (kara.shamy)
  16. 04
    Hamlet by William Shakespeare (kara.shamy)
  17. 06
    Belinda by Anne Rice (rcc)
    rcc: IF you're "shocked" by Nabokov's Lolita, you surely should read Belinda. It takes off where Lolita ends. What I mean to say is that Anne Rice showed herself to be much more adpet - and daring - at writing about this "taboo" concerning the sexual adventures of a very young girl. Also, Belinda is so much more her "own woman" than Lolita.… (more)
1950s (23)
Read (142)
Read (13)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (370)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (7)  Italian (3)  French (2)  All (1)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  All (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (396)
Showing 1-5 of 370 (next | show all)
What is it with Russian authors? Why three page paragraphs? Paragraphs that drone on and on. Paragraphs are supposed to contain one main concept, a single point or thought. Well, guess what - the Russians do in fact follow this convention, they just keep repeating and repeating that single thought, twisting words and stirring in other idealets; it's all part of an insidious plot to put readers asleep. And they are succeeding. I had just put down Dostoevsky's "Brothers Karamozov" after drowsing through a mere 300 of its 777 pages. I expected something quite different from Nabokov, but NO! Don't believe it? Peruse the book before purchase - note a smattering of dialogue in the first and last 50 pages. The bridge between the two is Humbert Humbert's musings on everything that has happened, is happening or will happen.

I can remember that I was still a teen when the first movie version (James Mason, Sue Lyons, Peter Sellers) came out in 1962. I may not have been aware there was a book that inspired the whole thing. Anyway I wasn't allowed to see the movie for years and by then I had lost interest. The book was first published in 1955 in Paris (American publishers declined until 1958; see Nabakov's interesting comments in the Author's note). Word amongst my teen friends was that it was dirty (snicker).

The story is about a pedophile in late 1940's America. While searching for a room in a rather small town, Humbert Humbert comes across a young widow and her 12 year old daughter. There are 50 things wrong with the living accommodations, including the widow, but nothing wrong with the daughter, a nymphet of immaculate beauty. He stays, and secures his position not only via monthly rent, but with an affirmative response to the widow's invitation to marry. The seduction begins, although it's not clear who is seducing whom. Conveniently, the widow dies in a rather funny way and the seducing continues on a lengthy USA road trip. As you might expect, the story does not have a happy ending.

I got through it. It had its ups and downs. As if long long paragraphs weren't bad enough, apparently Russian Nabokov decided he would teach his readers some English vocabulary and French along the way. Open the book to page 162 or so and you will espy "coeval", "pavonine" and "oculate". How's your French? Better be good, there's a lot of it here. Translation? Obvious context? Non. "Ce qui me rend folle, c'est que je ne sais a quoi tu penses quand tu es comme ca." I apologize if that's naughty- I really don't know. I suppose the justification for all the French is that it serves as a reminder to us that HH is European, and a hint that maybe Europeans look upon some behaviors a bit differently than those of us in the colonies.

Well, is it......hot? No. Titallating? No. Graphic? No. Actually, it feels a bit creepy. I don't think the years (60+) have been kind to "Lolita". Maybe I'll go back to Tolstoy..... ( )
  maneekuhi | May 14, 2017 |
I was uncertain about reading this book...concerned about prurient interests and such, but I wanted to both see what the fuss was about, and to decide for myself what I felt about Nabokov. As it turns out, in my opinion, this book deserves its status as seminal literature, and not just pulp pornography.

Nabokov's use of language is exquisite...just read a few passages...he puts most modern writers to shame as he uses just the right words to paint his very delicate and dangerous picture. He paints neither Humbert nor Lola as saints...nor should he. He develops the characters, shows their growth and their diminuition. In the end we are left with tragic figures whose lives were cast by the journey they took.

This is classic literature that should be read by more.
( )
2 vote 1greenprof | May 9, 2017 |
Humbert Humbert is man who obsesses on young girls because he is still caught by the ghost of his past; his first love Annabel died as a young girl. He fell in love with Lolita, a nymphet, and produces all the means to get her.

“Publisher X, whose advisers got so bored with Humbert that they never got beyond page 188, had the naïveté to write me that Part Two was too long. Publisher Y, on the other hand, regretted there were no good people in the book. Publisher Z said if he printed Lolita, he and I would go to jail.” -Nabokov

Well, thank God for the next publisher after Publisher Z.
I am guilty, however, of thinking like those people in Publisher X & Publisher Y. I think that the prose style is exceedingly good but I can't help myself to be lulled more often and think that the characters are horrible.

My problem now is how to rate the book. I like the way he wrote the story, the controversial plot, the different perspective, and the characters full of flaws. On the other hand, I don't like people like Humbert and I don't like the story.

It's sensual and beautifully written but I still get disgusted. It also makes me uncomfortable to read such proses of a twisted perverted mind. It is not because I don't like this genre, it's just that I am afraid to tolerate this inappropriate apathy for criminals (which will be dangerous for my chosen path lol jk or not). I always think that the people who gets violated are the unfortunate victims. The criminal's acts of Humbert can not be justified legally, but here in the story it was shown how unfortunate the character struggled.

Reading it is like saying "Oh, poor pathetic Humbert", and then when snapped out of consciousness, "What?! Such a sick bastard Humbert is! Poor Lolita".

Like what I always feel on victims, especially children, I pity Lolita for a wasted childhood she can not revisit and experience. ( )
  phoibee | Apr 23, 2017 |
provocative, But not my cup of tea. ( )
  Dohakoma | Apr 6, 2017 |
This is probably my favourite book of all time. Horrifying, creepy and utterly, utterly wonderful. ( )
  Lidbud | Mar 27, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 370 (next | show all)
Brilliantly written ... a disquietingly sombre exposure of a pervert's mind, and finally dreadfully moral in its almost melodramatic summing up pf the wages of this particular sin.
added by Sylak | editDaily Mail, Kenneth Allsop
 
Massive, unflagging, moral, exqusitely shaped, enormously vital, enormously funny - Lolita iscertain of a permanent place on the very highest shelf of the world's didactic literature.
added by Sylak | editThe Spectator, Bernard Levin
 
A scarifying indictment of the kind of perversion with which it deals.
added by Sylak | editSunday Dispatch, Lord Boothby
 
I am sure that the future will exonerate Lolita from the charge of pornography as compleately as we have exonerated Ulysses.
added by Sylak | editSaturday Review, Granville Hicks
 
Some readers may find Lolita offensive. It is a strange combination of roman noir and hot-potato. But more accurately it is an authentic work of art which compels our immediate response and serious reflection _ a revealing and indispensable comedy of horrors.
added by Sylak | editSan Francisco Chronicle, Lewis Vogler
 

» Add other authors (50 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nabokov, Vladimirprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amis, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Amis, MartinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
康雄, 大久保Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bang-Hansen, OddTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coutinho, M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daurella, JosepTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Irons, JeremyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kahane, ÉricTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ray, John J., Jr.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhoef, RienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
正, 若島翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To Véra
First words
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palette to tap, at three, on the teeth.
Quotations
Lolita, mitt livs lys, mine lenders flamme. Min synd, min sjel. Lo-li-ta: tungespissen tripper tre trinn nedover ganen for til slutt på det tredje å tromme mot fortennene. Lo. Li. Ta.
Hun var Lo, rett og slett Lo om morgenen når hun stod der 1,54 på sokkelesten. Hun var Lola i slacks, hun var Dolly på skolen. Hun var Dolores når hun signerte på den prikkete linjen. Men i mine armer var hun alltid Lolita.
Noen fortalt meg senere at hun hadde vært forelsket i far og at han tankeløst hadde benyttet seg av det en dag tilværelsen var riktig grå og hadde glemt det igjen da solen atter begynte å skinne.
Nå satt jeg og tenkte på om Valechka (som obersten kalte henne) egentlig var verdt skyting, kvelning eller drukning. Hun hadde svært ømfintlige ben, så jeg bestemte meg til å nøye meg med å klype henne kraftig når vi ble alene.
Fra forfatterens etterord: Om de fant det pornografisk eller ikke, interesserer meg ikke. Når de ikke ville anta boken, skyldtes det ikke min behandling av emnet, men emnet selv; for det er minst tre emner som er absolutt tabu hva flertallet av amerikanske forleggere angår. De to andre er: et neger-hvit-ekteskap som er en fullstendig og strålende suksess med tallrike barn og barnebarn, samt den absolutte ateist som lever et lykkelig og nyttig liv og sover seg inn i døden hunde og seks år gammel.
He did not use a fountain pen which fact, as any psycho-analyst will tell you, meant that the patient was a repressed undinist.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine Lolita with The Annotated Lolita.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Awe and exhilaration - along with heartbreak and mordant wit - abound in Lotlita, Vladimir Nabokov’s most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hyper civilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love-love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.
Haiku summary
Not a love story
Road trip for slick pedophiles
Genius writing, though.
(citygirl)
Pedophile's urge in
Sexist culture of U.S.
Each kills the spirit!
(Sinetrig)
Lubricious nymphets
And exuberant wordplay.
Now who's this Quilty?

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679723161, Paperback)

Despite its lascivious reputation, the pleasures of Lolita are as much intellectual as erogenous. It is a love story with the power to raise both chuckles and eyebrows. Humbert Humbert is a European intellectual adrift in America, haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love. When he meets his ideal nymphet in the shape of 12-year-old Dolores Haze, he constructs an elaborate plot to seduce her, but first he must get rid of her mother. In spite of his diabolical wit, reality proves to be more slippery than Humbert's feverish fantasies, and Lolita refuses to conform to his image of the perfect lover.

Playfully perverse in form as well as content, riddled with puns and literary allusions, Nabokov's 1955 novel is a hymn to the Russian-born author's delight in his adopted language. Indeed, readers who want to probe all of its allusive nooks and crannies will need to consult the annotated edition. Lolita is undoubtedly, brazenly erotic, but the eroticism springs less from the "frail honey-hued shoulders ... the silky supple bare back" of little Lo than it does from the wantonly gorgeous prose that Humbert uses to recount his forbidden passion:

She was musical and apple-sweet ... Lola the bobby-soxer, devouring her immemorial fruit, singing through its juice ... and every movement she made, every shuffle and ripple, helped me to conceal and to improve the secret system of tactile correspondence between beast and beauty--between my gagged, bursting beast and the beauty of her dimpled body in its innocent cotton frock.
Much has been made of Lolita as metaphor, perhaps because the love affair at its heart is so troubling. Humbert represents the formal, educated Old World of Europe, while Lolita is America: ripening, beautiful, but not too bright and a little vulgar. Nabokov delights in exploring the intercourse between these cultures, and the passages where Humbert describes the suburbs and strip malls and motels of postwar America are filled with both attraction and repulsion, "those restaurants where the holy spirit of Huncan Dines had descended upon the cute paper napkins and cottage-cheese-crested salads." Yet however tempting the novel's symbolism may be, its chief delight--and power--lies in the character of Humbert Humbert. He, at least as he tells it, is no seedy skulker, no twisted destroyer of innocence. Instead, Nabokov's celebrated mouthpiece is erudite and witty, even at his most depraved. Humbert can't help it--linguistic jouissance is as important to him as the satisfaction of his arrested libido. --Simon Leake

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:34 -0400)

(see all 12 descriptions)

The most controversial classic novel of the 20th century, Lolita tells the story of Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged man who is aroused to erotic desire only by a young girl. Awe and exhilaration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story 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. Most of all, it is a meditation on love--love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.… (more)

» see all 15 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.12)
0.5 12
1 130
1.5 19
2 273
2.5 56
3 872
3.5 215
4 1848
4.5 321
5 2680

Penguin Australia

6 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014102349X, 0141037431, 0141193670, 024195164X, 0241953243, 0141197013

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,426,070 books! | Top bar: Always visible