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Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
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Lolita (original 1955; edition 1997)

by Vladimir Nabokov

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
21,20532366 (4.15)1 / 832
Member:bucketyell
Title:Lolita
Authors:Vladimir Nabokov
Info:Vintage (1997), Paperback
Collections:Read in 2013, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:READ 2013

Work details

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)

1950s (42)
  1. 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.
  2. 30
    The Lover by Marguerite Duras (roby72)
  3. 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.
  4. 20
    The Captive by Marcel Proust (caflores)
  5. 10
    The Sea by John Banville (StevenTX)
    StevenTX: The Sea is also a story about a man's life twisted by his memories of a childhood romance by the sea. The outcome is quite different, but the language and themes of memory are similar.
  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. 10
    The Pornographer of Vienna by Lewis Crofts (heidijane)
  9. 00
    The North China Lover by Marguerite Duras (edwinbcn)
    edwinbcn: Another story of a man with a passion for a young girl.
  10. 00
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (kara.shamy)
  11. 00
    The Death of David Debrizzi by Paul Micou (KayCliff)
  12. 00
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (mcenroeucsb)
  13. 01
    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (kara.shamy)
  14. 02
    Hamlet by William Shakespeare (kara.shamy)
  15. 02
    Dismantle the Sun by Jim Snowden (Anonymous user)
  16. 03
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (kara.shamy)
  17. 04
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (Sylak)
    Sylak: Both books contain a sexually precocious young girl as a central character but treated very differently.
  18. 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)
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English (303)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (325)
Showing 1-5 of 303 (next | show all)
Lolita é uma menina americana de doze anos de idade, nada ingênua, que acaba nas mãos de Humbert Humbert, um pedófilo incurável.

Este livro foi recusado por quatro editoras americanas, sendo publicado inicialmente por uma editora francesa. Nele, o leitor é convidado a entrar na mente de Humbert Humbert e observar de perto os seus intrincados pensamentos: a ansiedade da busca, o remorso e o ódio da traição, o desespero e a confusão mental da perda, a felicidade da conquista e até o inesperado amor platônico.

O autor, Nabokov, utiliza várias vezes o recurso de "comentar" a obra no meio da narrativa. Mas ele faz isso de maneira indireta e nada econômica, bem diferente das sutis e agradáveis interrupções de Machado de Assis. Ainda assim, uma obra imperdível pela sua importância e principalmente pelo seu estilo belíssimo. ( )
  Binderman | Aug 16, 2014 |
Watch my review here! ( )
  nikkiplusbooks | Aug 1, 2014 |
With Lolita, as with many classics, I’m definitely glad I read this just for the experience of reading it. Nabokov has a very unique writing style and Lolita is certainly a unique book. It’s also a book I’m happy to be able to discuss from experience. It was well written and I’m not at all surprised at it’s continued popularity. That said, I don’t know that I enjoyed reading it. The main sensation I experienced while reading this book was a desire to go take a bath, it was just that disturbing. I think it’s worth giving it a try to see if you love Nabokov’s one-of-kind writing style, but it’s (obviously) not a book to pick up if you’re just looking for something fun.

This review first published at Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Jul 20, 2014 |
I must begin this review with the warning that I have been waiting to read this book for months. I kept looking for a cheap copy on Amazon or Half Price Books, but to no avail. I finally decided to shell out the full price.

And it was worth every penny.

Lolita's opening lines are, without a doubt, some of the greatest opening lines of any book I have read in quite some time. "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 palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta."

An opening like that, you (or at least I was) hooked.

A basic overview of the plot: a man is in love with his 12 year old stepdaughter...and takes it too far.

But what is most interesting to me about this book is how deranged Humbert Humbert, the narrator, is. Everything that he tells us comes from his point of view, so it is impossible for one to know what truly happened in any of the events of the book. Humbert was under the impression that Lolita seduced him...at only 12 years old, despite her repeated verbal accusations of rape. He was also quite full of himself, and how handsome he was.

I felt that the book tapered off at the end, and I lost my interest...the last 20-30 pages were difficult to get through.

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about the book is the author's afterword, which explicitly tells the reader to forget about finding meaning in the book, or any author's purpose--his only purpose was to keep the book from haunting him by being trapped inside his head. And that, to me, gives the book more meaning, ironically (purposefully). It brings me to think about the book in simple terms of "here is an excerpt from the life of a man who did terrible things...." That's it's purpose...

A completely worthy read. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
I must begin this review with the warning that I have been waiting to read this book for months. I kept looking for a cheap copy on Amazon or Half Price Books, but to no avail. I finally decided to shell out the full price.

And it was worth every penny.

Lolita's opening lines are, without a doubt, some of the greatest opening lines of any book I have read in quite some time. "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 palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta."

An opening like that, you (or at least I was) hooked.

A basic overview of the plot: a man is in love with his 12 year old stepdaughter...and takes it too far.

But what is most interesting to me about this book is how deranged Humbert Humbert, the narrator, is. Everything that he tells us comes from his point of view, so it is impossible for one to know what truly happened in any of the events of the book. Humbert was under the impression that Lolita seduced him...at only 12 years old, despite her repeated verbal accusations of rape. He was also quite full of himself, and how handsome he was.

I felt that the book tapered off at the end, and I lost my interest...the last 20-30 pages were difficult to get through.

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about the book is the author's afterword, which explicitly tells the reader to forget about finding meaning in the book, or any author's purpose--his only purpose was to keep the book from haunting him by being trapped inside his head. And that, to me, gives the book more meaning, ironically (purposefully). It brings me to think about the book in simple terms of "here is an excerpt from the life of a man who did terrible things...." That's it's purpose...

A completely worthy read. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 303 (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 (52 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nabokov, Vladimirprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amis, MartinIntroductionsecondary 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
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine Lolita with The Annotated Lolita.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:12 -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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 16 descriptions

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Seven editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014102349X, 014118504X, 0141037431, 0141193670, 024195164X, 0241953243, 0141197013

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