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Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
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Lolita (original 1955; edition 1989)

by Vladimir Nabokov (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
32,00155985 (4.07)1 / 1168
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)When it was published in 1955, "Lolita" immediately became a cause célèbre because of the freedom and sophistication with which it handled the unusual erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Vladimir Nabokov's wise, ironic, elegant masterpiece owes its stature as one of the twentieth century's novels of record not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story almost shocking in its beauty and tenderness. Awe and exhilaration-along with heartbreak and mordant wit-abound in this account 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, but most of all, it is a meditation on love-love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.With an Introduction by Martin Amis "From the Hardcover edition."… (more)
Member:MadelineClark
Title:Lolita
Authors:Vladimir Nabokov (Author)
Info:Vintage (1989), Edition: 2nd ed., 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)

  1. 40
    The Lover by Marguerite Duras (roby72)
  2. 51
    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. 30
    The Captive by Marcel Proust (caflores)
  4. 41
    The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Another villain made sympathetic by a talented author.
  5. 20
    My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: A contemporary retelling of Lolita, from the viewpoint of the schoolgirl.
  6. 10
    The North China Lover by Marguerite Duras (edwinbcn)
    edwinbcn: Another story of a man with a passion for a young girl.
  7. 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?
  8. 21
    Taming the Beast by Emily Maguire (infiniteletters)
  9. 10
    The Pornographer of Vienna by Lewis Crofts (heidijane)
  10. 00
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (mcenroeucsb)
  11. 00
    The Death of David Debrizzi by Paul Micou (KayCliff)
  12. 00
    His Monkey Wife by John Collier (SnootyBaronet)
    SnootyBaronet: Euphuistic narratives of forbidden love
  13. 00
    A Cruel God Reigns, Volume 1 by Moto Hagio (Anonymous user)
  14. 00
    The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara (pterodactling)
  15. 00
    My Heavenly Favourite by Lucas Rijneveld (tmrps)
    tmrps: Both stories about older men who fall in love with young girls.
  16. 11
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (kara.shamy)
  17. 01
    The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker (suniru)
  18. 01
    Eve by James Hadley Chase (caflores)
  19. 01
    The Devil in the Flesh by Raymond Radiguet (SnootyBaronet)
  20. 02
    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (kara.shamy)

(see all 23 recommendations)

1950s (16)
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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 2013 Category Challenge: **Lolita Group Read81 unread / 81SqueakyChu, February 2022

» See also 1168 mentions

English (515)  Spanish (15)  Dutch (7)  Italian (6)  Portuguese (Brazil) (4)  French (4)  Portuguese (Portugal) (3)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (561)
Showing 1-5 of 515 (next | show all)
I don't know how to express my thoughts about this book without being tiringly unoriginal: repellent narrator and story, but the -in my understanding- intentionally mannered and overwrought prose is so astoundingly executed, consistently multilayered, allusive, and punning, for the duration of the novel. The only problem with reading the book (other than the mild nausea that naturally accompanies you throughout the journey) is that I now find my inability to write correct, remotely non-repulsive sentences in English, insufferable. ( )
  Louisasbookclub | Jun 30, 2024 |
Lolita, luce della mia vita, fuoco dei miei lombi. Mio peccato, anima mia. ( )
  LLonaVahine | May 22, 2024 |
Most good reviews for this novel tend to say that it manages to make you like and support the pedophile protagonist. And indeed, it is a most well made trap, from beginning to end, one which I really wanted to fall into for the sake of drama, but I really didn't. It becomes really sad in the end, and I do feel pity for him, and I times I did find Lolita(the girl, not the book) really annoying, but the best parts of the book, for me at least, are those in which our pedophile suffers in one way or another, mostly in the two opposites parts of the narrative. That's my big grudge, that the point seems for me to like a character but instead I really like watching him suffer. In general, pretty good but not the high-caliber classic many say it is. ( )
1 vote antoni4040 | May 14, 2024 |
Wahrscheinlich liegt das an mir... falsches Buch zum falschen Zeitpunkt... Aber ich kann das wirklich nicht ertragen. Ich breche das (Hör-)Buch bei ca. 13% ab. ( )
  Katzenkindliest | Apr 23, 2024 |
I think what the scariest thing about this book is not what actually happens in it (which is thankfully fictional), but what it reveals about ourselves. We, the readers, are the real jury here, with the power of either condemning or acquitting Humbert ditto. But Humbty-Dumbty is so suave and such a smooth operator that he spellbinds us into his little game of sensational excuses and slippery lies. I'm ashamed to admit at times I actually found myself sympathizing with old wily Humblepie. Like a demon he tempts us with poisoned candy apples and Turkish delights and we gormandize them ravenously, and we only realize what we've done once it's too late. What a exceptional, ghastly book. ( )
  TheBooksofWrath | Apr 18, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 515 (next | show all)
Haven’t we been conditioned to feel that Lolita is sui generis, a black sheep, a bit of tasteful, indeed ‘beautiful’ erotica, and that Nabokov himself, with this particular novel, somehow got ‘carried away’? Great writers, however, never get carried away. Even pretty average writers never get carried away. People who write one novel and then go back to journalism or accountancy (‘Louder, bitch!’) – they get carried away. Lolita is more austere than rapturous, as all writing is; and I have come to see it, with increasing awe, as exactly the kind of novel that its predecessors are pointing towards...

At one point, comparing himself to Joyce, Nabokov said: ‘my English is patball to [his] champion game’. At another, he tabulated the rambling rumbles of Don Quixote as a tennis match (the Don taking it in four hard sets). And we all remember Lolita on the court, her form ‘excellent to superb’, according to her schoolmistress, but her grace ‘so sterile’, according to Humbert, ‘that she could not even win from panting me and my old fashioned lifting drive’. Now, although of course Joyce and Nabokov never met in competition, it seems to me that Nabokov was the more ‘complete’ player. Joyce appeared to be cruising about on all surfaces at once, and maddeningly indulged his trick shots on high-pressure points – his drop smash, his sidespun half-volley lob. Nabokov just went out there and did the business, all litheness, power and touch. Losing early in the French (say), Joyce would be off playing exhibitions in Casablanca with various arthritic legends, and working on his inside-out between-the-legs forehand dink; whereas Nabokov and his entourage would quit the rusty dust of Roland Garros for somewhere like Hull or Nailsea, to prepare for Wimbledon on our spurned and sodden grass.
added by SnootyBaronet | editThe Atlantic, Martin Amis
 
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
 
Above all Lolita seems to me an assertion of the power of the comic spirit to wrest delight and truth from the most outlandish materials. It is one of the funniest serious novels I have ever read.
added by Sylak | editHarper's Magazine, Charles Rolo
 
A masterpiece of narrative, an incredibly penetrating psychoanalytical study and brilliantly descriptive. It has been called the most depressing and most entertaining book ever written.
added by Sylak | editKuvalehti, Heikki Brotherus
 
Vladimir Nabokov is obviously influenced by James Joyce and T.S. Eliot - he can write a pastiche of T.S. Eliot as easily as scratching his back. . . . The novel is also a nightmare of cunning and persecution mania and strikes the strangest three-fold chord of passion, desperate humour and dramatic irony.
added by Sylak | editPolitiken, Tom Kristensen
 

» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nabokov, Vladimirprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amis, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arborio Mella, GiuliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
康雄, 大久保Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bang-Hansen, OddTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlsson, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coutinho, M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daurella, JosepTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dirda, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hessel, HelenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Irons, JeremyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kahane, ÉricTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kłobukowski, MichałTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mella, Giulia ArborioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raine, CraigAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ray, John J., Jr.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhoef, RienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimmer, Dieter E.Revisorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
正, 若島翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
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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
He did not use a fountain pen which fact, as any psycho-analyst will tell you, meant that the patient was a repressed undinist.
Then I pulled out my automatic - I mean, this is the kind of fool thing a reader might suppose I did. It never even occurred to me to do it.
My father was a gentle, easy-going person, a salad of racial genes: a Swiss citizen, of mixed French and Austrian descent, with a dash of the Danube in his veins.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please do not combine Lolita with The Annotated Lolita.
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Wikipedia in English (4)

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)When it was published in 1955, "Lolita" immediately became a cause célèbre because of the freedom and sophistication with which it handled the unusual erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Vladimir Nabokov's wise, ironic, elegant masterpiece owes its stature as one of the twentieth century's novels of record not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story almost shocking in its beauty and tenderness. Awe and exhilaration-along with heartbreak and mordant wit-abound in this account 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, but most of all, it is a meditation on love-love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.With an Introduction by Martin Amis "From the Hardcover edition."

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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?

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