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Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

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Author: Vladimir Nabokov / Format: Hardback / Date of publication: 17 December 1992 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Everyman / Title: Lolita / ISBN 13: 9781857151336 / ISBN 10: 1857151336 / Alternative EAN: 9780141182537

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      16.07.2012 17:29
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      A masterful work of fiction

      There's a reason why Lolita appears in so many writers' list of the greatest novels ever written and that's because it's great. Obviously. But what's so great about it?

      Lolita is one of those books that polarises the mind. In Lolita you follow the thoughts and actions of Humbert Humbert (not his real name) as he delivers his confession, eulogy, love letter (it is variously all of these things) from his prison cell, telling you his story. This story starts with his first, breathless, teenage love, follows through his obsession, kidnap and sexual abuse of the child Lolita, and ends with him killing a man. Yes, Humbert Humbert certainly is a despicable and repulsive character.

      Or is he? He is educated, charming, a European gentlemen in America, intelligent, handsome and appealing. He is both knowing and, seemingly, helpless in the face of his obsession - the darling 'nymphets' he desires so much, none more so than Lolita.

      And this is where the story is so great and so engaging. It truly messes with your mind. You are torn between the appeal of Humbert as a character, his charm and somewhat wild desperation, and the replusiveness of how he behaves and what he does.

      Humbert Humbert is, perhaps, the best example of an unreliable narrator in literature. He draws you in and spins you a yarn and only on close reading can you see through his fake justifications, his offloading of responsibility for his actions, his deplorable behaviour, his pathetic spirit and foolish longings. And yet in the end he is vulnerable and willing, if not able, to atone for his sins.

      Add to that the fact that it a beautifully written (the prose is astonishingly lyrical), Lolita is truly a masterful, if incredibly disturbing, book.

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      03.05.2012 11:14
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      An Amazing Read

      Like alot of people out there my first knowledge of Lolita was the Stanley Kubrick film loosely based on this Nabokov novel. I say loosely as after reading it becomes apparent very quickly the adaptions made to make a more palatable film for the masses to consume.

      The Novel was written & published originally in the 1950's and originally written in Nabokov's native Russian. This is a translation of the text into English, although does also contain many passages written in French as well, and was translated by Nabokov himself so there isn't the usual mistranslations that I have become so used to in transated text.

      We read the book from the perspective of Humbert Humbert, a noted scholar and expert of literary world. The Story begin with Humbert's failed marriage and his move to New England, It is here that he meets Charlotte Haze when seeking accomodation for his stay. During the tour of the house we are introduced to Dolores Haze, the infatuation felt by Humbert begins in the first moment of meeting.

      As Humbert narrates the story we are taken through of his time in the Haze household, and begin to understand the disfunctional relationship between mother and daughter. Charlotte begins to fall in love with Humbert due to his intelligence and kindness, she uses a period when Dolores is away at camp to confront Humber offer an ultimatum, either he marries her or moves out.

      The marriage is agreed upon but soon comes to problems, Charlotte finds a diary written by Humbert detailing his lust for her young daughter. Upon confronting Humbert she rushes out in a fit of rage and is tragically killed in a collision with a car while Dolores is at camp. Humbert takes this an oppurtunity to collect the child from camp and they're journey begins.

      Humbert informs Dolores of her Mother's death, explaining that without him she would end up in the foster system. It is during this time that Humbert begins to openly call Dolores "Lolita" and we spend the next year travelling from motel to motel, from state to state.

      The narrative is extremely written and compells the reader to continue, wanting to further understand the scenes that are unfolding in front of us. Many consider this an erotic novel and the films that have been released have only compounded this, however, I totally disagree and in the words of Nabokov himself;

      "Nabokov himself observes in the novel's afterword that a few readers were "misled. [by the opening of the book]...into assuming this was going to be a lewd book...[expecting] the rising succession of erotic scenes; when these stopped, the readers stopped, too, and felt bored."

      This a book filled with sarcasm & irony, the narrative almost mocking popular american culture whilst influencing the reader's perception of Humbert.

      In my opinion this novel should be read to be fully understood, at times it is hard read due to language and subtext (often re-reading gave a new insight to the text) but is definately a classic. This will not only challenge a readers mind but also their perception of their surroundings, a must for all

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      23.05.2011 11:30
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      A great and important piece of literature

      *OVERVIEW*

      There can't be many people who haven't heard of Lolita. Due to its main theme, an adult being in love with a child, it has garnered a lot of controversy and there are those who even accuse the author himself of harbouring paedophiliac tendencies or desires. Outside of the controversy though, Lolita is a beautifully written story with a gripping narrative and some lovely imagery.

      *THE AUTHOR*

      Nabokov was a Russian author who wrote in a variety of different languages. He wrote many of his books in English despite it not being his first language. When you read a book like Lolita this is a fact that can really amaze you as some of the writing is just so beautiful. Other famous works by Nabokov are Pale Fire and Bend Sinister, though none of his other books have received as much attention as Lolita.

      *THE PLOT*

      I won't give too much away, but the story concerns Humbert Humbert, the story's narrator, and his obsession with a little girl, Dolores Haze (the eponymous Lolita). The book charts his struggle to gain the affections of his young love and what happens once he has got them. The plot is strong and interesting and makes the book easy to read.

      *OVERVIEW*

      Despite the themes being perhaps a little dubious, Lolita is a beautiful piece of literature. Nabokov's use of language is highly impressive, especially considering his first language is not English. The imagery and style of the book are absolutely beautiful and I know many people who would count it amongst their favourite books. One of my personal favourites.

      9/10

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      17.12.2010 04:16
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      Vladmir Nabokov makes us enter into the mind of a troubled man and his obsession for his "lolita."

      ~The Author~

      Vladmir Nabokov (1899 - 1977) is a Russian-American writer who also wrote in English and French. A lot of people praised Nabokov for his descriptive and poetic style and his writing is often described as an intense joy to read. His most notable works include The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (1941), Pale Fire (1962) and Lolita which I am reviewing.
      ~The Novel~

      ISBN number: 978-0-14-026407
      My edition of the book is 315 pages, includes the film cover art of the 1997 film and includes the film cast at the back. It is described on he back as "The greatest novel of rapture in modern fiction."

      Lolita is one of Vladmir Nabokov's most known work. The book was published in 1955 and gained fame and controversy for pedophilia themes and gained a Classic status. The book has been adapted to musicals, operas, ballets and films.

      The novel is narrated by literacy scholar Humbert. We begin to see what's going on in his mind and his thoughts on women truly stand out. His mental illness seems to be triggered when he becomes widowed by losing his childhood sweetheart. He eventually moves in with a woman named Charlotte. While she is romantically interested in him, it's her twelve year old daughter Delores that catches his eye. He is dazzled by her youth, slender figure and innocent appearance.

      It is at this point when it is clear that there can be no happy ending. At least not for Humbert who quickly becomes obsessed with Delores and gives her the nickname, Lolita which is quite similar to the Phantom's obsession with Christine in The Phantom Of The Opera.

      Humbert does whatever it takes to keep Dolores close to him and even blackmails her with sexual favours which adds intriguing tension between the two characters. Humbert begs the reader for sympathy as his obsession turns him to a perverted monster.

      "Dismiss all our quarrels, forget all my masculine pride - and literally crawl on my knees to the chair my Lolita!" From page 190 - My favourite quote from the novel. It shows Humbert's madness going out of control creating black entertainment.

      ~Opinion~

      I like how the book has content that can be seen as obscene and yet it contains no obscene language at all. Nabokov writes in such crisp detail that I can picture everything. Even though I found some parts predictable, the ending left me at a surprise.

      Humbert is a very interesting character and I believe that he was a once intelligent man but wasted it on pursuing sexual pleasures in his Lolita. Nabokov convinced me to feel sorry for Humbert and for Delores. The raw emotion in the words make is a page turner for me.

      ~Price~

      The back of the book says £8.99. The edition I have is available on Amazon for £4.85 on Amazon. In Waterstones it's from £6.80. Though it's around at much cheaper prices. I received my copy at a local book shop for £3.00.

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      17.08.2010 09:02
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      An intriguing classic for the adult audience

      Lolita was banned for a while in the UK and France due to it's sexual descriptions, however the novel is now accepted as a disturbing but fascinating classic, the book is narrated by Humbert Humbert, a well educated rich pedophile who is obsessed with young girls whom he refers to as nymphets.

      At the beginning the fictional narrator Humbert Humbert considers his obsession with "nymphets" and in an alarming way the reader is made to understand (in part) his obsession and feel some pity for Humbert, the real story begins when Humbert spots Dolores Haze when he is looking for a place to stay in Ramsdale (America) he then tries to get closer to her. There is a twist in the story that will challenge the readers image of young girls as innocent.

      I found the book easy to read until the last few chapters where I was completely lost, the story is engaging and it is definitely a good read for the older audience (18+)

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      12.07.2010 21:43
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      You should read it; even if just to say you've read it

      I read this because it's a classic, and you know, you just have to read classics. It's quite a quick read (about 300 pages) but, if like me, you're no fan of lengthy dream sequences in books, you may find the travel sequences in Lolita a little tiresome. The book does take a while to get off the ground, but when it does, it's a treat. If you don't know the story - we follow the curiously named Humbert Humbert's view of his awkward love for what he calls 'nymphets'; pre-teen beauties. It's essentially a tale of a troubled, yet attractive and highly intelligent, paedophile.

      Oddly enough, the book is actually quite humorous, a strange but very skilful technique employed by Nabokov. Personally, I wasn't all that disgusted - there's no grotty details and what is essentially rape is handled very smoothly (which debatably makes it more disgusting for some).

      I found Lolita's mature character hard to believe at times, but the build up of tension between her an Humbert was incredibly well done. Their characters are developed just the right amount and I quickly warmed to Humbert's character; he seemed to be genuinely suffering in this tension and love... and then you suddenly remember he's actually a paedophile. It's quite an awkward feeling when you realise you're sympathising with a paedophile.

      I personally found the middle section of the book a bit of a drag compared to the rest. (SPOILER) The details of Humbert and Lolita travelling around America together seemed to become somewhat repetitive to me - but that's only for a short while, it redeems it's pace shortly after.

      I would very much advise reading this book - take it as a book and appreciate the beauty of what Nabokov has done; it's not written to disgust people.

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        16.02.2010 11:41
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        The love between a middle aged man and a pre-teen

        We have to study this book for our History of Sexuality class and I have to say that Lolita quite easily ranks among the most disturbing, albeit fascinating reads ever. This is the book where the term "Lolita" was coined and it is also considered as one of the most erotic novel in the history of English literature- despite the fact that there is not a single erotic scene in the whole book. The sheer mastery of the novel lies in the fact that the author played with imageries and emotions in an extremely subtle and indirect manner. Lolita has caused numerous controversies- especially around the time that it was first published (1955). The sensuality associated with the main male protagonist who develops a sexual obsession with a twelve year old girl was really at the very centre of debates about pedophiles.


        Plot:
        Humbert is a middle aged man. His neighbor is a widow who has a twelve year old daughter named Dolores, also known as Lolita. The widow falls in love with Humbert and they get married. Humbert soons develops an extreme sexual attraction towards his stepdaughter and when the girl's mother dies, he coaxes Lolita into taking a road trip across the United States with him. Lolita notices his attraction and starts experimenting with her sexual powers. The two of them start having sex, spending nights in motels. Humbert becomes extremely possessive of Lolita and even starts bribing her for his sexual favors...


        The first thing that I liked about the novel despite the rather shocking language of it all was the style employed by the author. He maintains quite a conversional tone through the whole novel and I would say that it draws the reader in. His interactive sense is very precise- he never makes the book sounds like a conversation but uses a conversional tone in a very discreet manner. I particularly liked that in the foreword where he addresses the readers directly.


        The characters are not extremely well-developed and to me, it seemed like a deliberate move to enhance a sense of mystery over Lolita and Humbert. Not much is said about their pasts and the writer instead focuses on their respective emotions and sexual feelings. As mentioned above, there isn't a single erotic scene in the book but his language and words, combined with sentence structure helped into coating each Lolita-Humbert scene with extreme sensuality and an almost tangible atmosphere. I believe that despite the controversial pedophilia issues raised by the book, the talent with which the author mastered the words still served into turning it into one of the greatest classics ever.

        In fact, I myself am not overly fond of such a depiction of sexuality between a middle age man and a pre-teen girl- and still, I cannot help but admire the smoothness of the plot. There are other elements that add to the already complex plot later on; elements that I cannot elaborate over without giving some major spoilers away but I can say that the author managed to juggle some pretty serious and dark themes into a single novel. It is certainly a heavy read- but not a boring one.


        I will highly recommend this book to anyone who can handle the disturbing topics explored. This is most definitely a genuine piece of literary mastery that you might want to have a look into- just to witness an amazing play with words and emotions.


        Thanks for reading!

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          14.09.2009 01:12
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          Not for the faint hearted

          Humbert Humbert, never was there a more pitiful man.

          You can't help but be revolted by- and feel sorry for the protagonist in this difficult tale of unrequited and indeed quite illegal love.

          The lead character Humbert Humbert who, after a traumatic childhood consisting of losing his mother and his first love all by the age of 14 develops an unseemly obsession with young girls aged 8-13 (his 'nymphets').

          This book is extremely hard to read, especially I imagine if you have children, in one sense you hate Humbert because he is, in the worst sense of the word, a pedophile.

          However, while hating him, you also pity him, and it's an odd take on pedophilia, because it is from his point of view which means you can see the method behind his madness, his reasoning, his attempts to avert his horrific obsession, his substitutions and finally, when he eventually gives in to it, his futile attempts to marry his underage lover.

          This book is an extremely interesting read, it is dark humor, but it also extremely difficult to read as it is translated from Russian.

          All in all I would recommend anyone read this book who will not be offended by the content mentioned.
          It does have graphic sexual references, although usually covered by metaphors.

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          16.03.2002 19:02
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          Vladimir Nabokov Lolita is the most amazing love story I have ever encountered. Like James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov demonstrates an acute understanding and precise execution of the English language. A large vocabulary and the talent to develop characters and their characteristics is the main benefactors behind Vladimir Nabokov' literature. Lolita is an extensively complex book, but in retrospect this is an advantage rather than a hindrance as I viewed it at the time. Compact with humour, intelligence and formation, Vladimir Nabokov has attempted to absolve so much into the pages of Lolita. Masterfully, I found myself in awe at the manner in which Vladimir Nabokov has managed to do this, crafting every last word to create certain emotions within the reader. 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. And so the wonderful painting begins. Lolita is the inner journey of Humbert Humbert, a man lacking in satisfaction. He needs and desires more from life; his quest for Lolita is one that brings about the arisen of harboured feelings and thoughts. Humbert Humbert is reliant on his obsession of nymphet (A young girl with certain qualities) Lolita. He is enthusiastic in his interpretation that Lolita is the centre of his existence. With this contemplation in mind, Humbert resides, obsessed by the presence of Lolita. Lolita reminds Humbert of Annabel, a young girl from his days of innocence, this striking resemblance persuades Humbert to embody Lolita in the scenario of a perfect nymphet. The narrator Humbert at first glance appears unrespectable and immoral but throughout the novel it becomes apparent he is a deeply disturbed average human being. This I believe is the most infatuating thing about Lolita. It had me pondering on how someone can change so dramatically because of the environment
          to which they are exposed, after all; nobody is born evil. Nabokov makes you, the reader empathise rather than sympathise with Humbert. Nabokov does this using descriptive and intriguing literature. Lolita gives the reader an insight into the complicated mind of someone distressed by his or her compulsive obsession. Trapped and subtended by this understanding of a man's mind, witness the devastating climax of Lolita (excuse the pun) as the complex mind of Humbert crumbles with the escape of his soul; Lolita. Although Lolita has now become a rare novel because of its basis, the ideals of paedophilia and obsession, I must elevate the fact that this is not the thinking or meaning of the book. Nabokov does not contaminate the beautiful literature with explicit details but instead simply invites you into the thoughts of a man obsessed and distressed. As a parent, reading this you may be developing ideas of despair, but I plead with you to bear with me. Lolita is not a parade of paedophilia (when Humbert is first infatuated with Lolita she is twelve years old) or sordid affairs but rather a novel that tempts you into trying to understand why these characters do the atrocities they do. In examining Lolita and the text it is apparent that Nabokov does not try to provide pornographic details or horrendous images of children adult relationships but instead tries to create a profile for narrator Humbert. Humbert is pleading his case with you the reader. Throughout the novel, Humbert may burst into teenage slang and twist the truth slightly to elevate his ideals; whatever he does it is clear that a lot of thought on behalf of Nabokov went into the development of Humbert. Although situate in the 1940's, during a time when sex was quite taboo, Lolita sees the intriguing evolution of Humbert in this society. Rather than being a sex craved, child paedophile, Humbert is cunning, he overlooks everything that Lolita does, instead of trying to love
          her sexually, Humbert attempts to aid her and protect her from the rat race abound. Considering Nabokov was a Russian, he has truly mastered the English language. When reading Lolita it felt like every word, phrase was not just chosen for a specific effect but the novels structure is paramount to any other I have ever read by a modern author. Lolita is a modern classic, which tackles issues swept under the table of society. Finished with a stunning climax, Lolita has won a place in my book of classics. Yes okay, there are some sections of the novel in which you shall have to open the dusty dictionary but after doing this you will certainly be better for it. Nothing is done without effect or consideration. Even the implementation of the French language throughout the novel is critical. It basically adds to the realism that Nabokov has already created, a world in which you follow the obsessive behaviour of a confused one Humbert. So what did I find so fantastic about Lolita? It's hard to seclude sections of a novel that you found to be completely breathtaking and Nabokov makes this no easier in Lolita. If I were to describe the most appealing aspect of Lolita, it would have to be the amazing, psychological insight into Humbert. When you just read that statement, you may have felt this was a slight anti-climax; I assure you otherwise, quite the contrary in fact. Nabokov does not monotonously describe the state of mind that Humbert is in; rather Nabokov induces words, literature that outstands the reader. Use of allusions will have you on your knees and the development and understanding of Humbert is remarkable. By the conclusion of the novel I felt Humbert was a distant friend of mine. Someone desperately crying out for help, in a world that has betrayed his hopes and dreams. If this powerful imagery doesn't compel you, then I have failed to do Lolita justice, not vice versa.

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            18.08.2001 05:44
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            40 years after its publication the book Lolita is still an object of scandal. Few consider this novel as an encouragement to paedophilia and it was actually refused in its time by the whole lot of American editors. Of course Nabokov knew what he was writing and by telling the love affair between a man of 40 years old and a girl of 12 he was aware he would drag much more than attention but also criticism. Lolita is a cheeky, vulgar and spoiled girl (who considers the sexual act belonging to the furtive world of youth, a world unknown to adults) but her arrogance doesn’t take away her sexual charms to Humbert’s eyes (a middle-aged guy completely hypnotized by the youth and genuine look alike of Lolita). The story is mainly set in miserable hotels where you can witness few caresses and strokes. You will follow the two characters through a succession of walk around, troubles and a beginning of a relation meant to be love because they both have a different conception about it. Nabokov put America under a crude day. Many critics described the book as pornographic and some even say it is a satyr of America and verbal game…because the book was published in the country in 1958 when the child is considered as king and who imposes a life style to his parents. People think Nabokov wanted to literally attack America and its conceptual notion of family and values. But I think it is a polite, sarcastic but honest way to describe America even if Humbert actually destroys all the values (western motels, food, love, musical plays, education…) Let’s talk about Nabokov and guide you through the book in the same time. He was born in 1899 in an aristocrat family from St-Petersburg. He studied in Cambridge and lived in Berlin. He started writing poems, critics, and novels. Hardly known in the circle of writers he quickly became famous in 1955 thanks to this book “Lolita”, judged as proliferic. It was at first
            refused by editors. However it is a novel full of human warmth and an unusual love story (Humbert tries to gain the sympathy of the Jury in his trial by accusing firmly paedophiles and their sick behaviour and assuring the court he is not one of those but only a man who fell in love for a 12 years old girl and defends himself by asserting that if he killed it is only because of the intoxicating feeling Lolita put in him). However despite his testimony coming from a good faith he still is guilty of raping Lolita… Nabokov went from an obscene level to an international classic level. He managed to make people speak about him. It might not be in a way that other authors would have wanted to hear from their work but he certainly exulted many comments. Lolita made him famous in the 50’s after decades of hardship. Vladimir provokes in a very subtle manner and is considered in Russia as a perverse. I used to work with a Russian girl before and as she came across the same book, we talked a bit. She first read it in Russian and then in the English version. It is amazing because she was saying it meant more to her in her native language. The language belongs to the real nature of the author and the book but it doesn’t spare the reader to interpret it in its own way. I totally understand that. I read versions of French books in English and vice-versa and I always find the book speaks more for itself in its original language of edition. It shows sometimes how hard it is to translate to the best and hard not to spoil the specific aim merging from a book, an author…so bear with me if from time to time I don’t use the proper words or if I misuse them. But it is good as well because it does set imagination free. The beauty of Nabokov’s style is just pure and the imagination is present in every line. The only negative habit (not really habit maybe, principle is more appropriate) I will say Nabokov has is he on
            ly stands the truth and tries as much as he can to take the path leading to it, something disturbing for the reader because it is not easy to solve his clues. I mean he can easily divert you by making allusions only and not giving proper indications. And as I was saying before you might not catch what he wanted to point out to you but go in another direction and through your reading you might open new horizons of interpretation. But who cares. I personally think that is what makes books so great. I hope you will appreciate this opinion and in the meantime, thanks for reading again and I look forward to your comments.

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              01.02.2001 17:58
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              This is a very difficult book both to read and to review, which is not a reflection on the writing (outstanding), but on the subject matter. The main character, Humbert, recounts the story of Lolita from his prison cell. He is a paedophile. It is a shame to give away the story so I will leave the details out! - but he marries a woman to get close to her beautiful (and precocious) 12 year-old daughter Lolita. The wife dies (did she fall or was she pushed?) and Humbert goes on the run with Lolita. They enter into what she naively sees as a kind of 'relationship', and he sees as...well, it's hard to say. His professions of love for her ring true but they are not the regular feelings of a man in his forties towards his step-daughter (to say the least). Although you have a constant slightly churning feeling in your stomach as you work your way through the book, you can't put it down until you know what becomes of the two of them. It is not a 'happy' ending, but it didn't turn out the way I expected either. Nabokov is one of the masters of twentieth century literature and writes with such grace (which sounds a pretentious description but really, it is the most accurate word) and feeling, but it is also a very darkly funny novel. The great shame about this book is that a large number of people would probably be put off reading it because of its theme (especially given recent events, for which The Sun has a lot to answer for). Of course I'm not advocating the crime but reading about the psychology of it is not the same thing - if this is your reason for staying away from Lolita please, please rethink. If you enjoy reading this book I (and it's very hard not to), Emily Prager wrote a modern-day version in the late 90s called Roger Fishbite, which - unusually - does a great deal of credit to the original and is wholly recommended.

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              22.01.2001 16:12
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              There is a fine line which separates poetry and prose – most authors sit on one side sometimes with short forays into the opposite. “Lolita”, from beginning to end, straddles the line, a foot in each camp: making this one of the most enjoyable reads in modern literature despite the somewhat controversial subject matter. The story is about the paedophiliac emotions and activities of a fifty-year-old man; and whilst this alone might disgruntle many potential readers to the point of avoiding the novel, it is actually a misrepresentation of a wonderful work of fiction. My advice to anyone even vaguely interested in “Lolita” is to discard any preconceived notions and societal philosophy which concern the horrendous subject of paedophilia. This story is not cheap porn! It is of lust and passion, flirting and (non-explicit) fornication, of wanting and yearning, of love - albeit twisted and sick. A story of how one man’s desire is fulfilled and then taken from him, of how he brings about his own fall and inevitably suffers the consequences of his own undertaking. From the first sentence the reader is exposed to a new form of writing: a style in which poetry and prose are interlinked and where the narrative moves in playful jaunts, skipping and tumbling along. In final analysis, the reader will raise an eyebrow on many an occasion, will laugh and perhaps shed a tear. And in the end, there can only be sorrow for the blundering hero who has lost everything. An extraordinarily enjoyable read.

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                06.11.2000 08:31
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                Probably the most distressing of all crimes is that commited by the paedophile, right? They are sick, twisted individuals whose actions are beyond all condemnation and help, right? This is my opinion, and even after reading Lolita, those opinions stay the same. The novel, however, is a masterpiece. Seen as high art by the critics, and cheap porn by some, it is a must read novel. I'm sure that all of you know the plot, whether you have read it or not, but the plot alone does not even begin to cover the enormity of this novel. I have sttod on my little soap-box and said how I feel about paedophiles, how they and their actions disgust me and chill me to the bone, so how do I justify it to myself that Nabokov arrouses the (male) reader when describing young girls. He makes the age irrelevant and their beauty, and sexuality, prominent. He makes the reader into a paedophile, if only momentarily, through his descriptions as the reader no longer thinks about the age, only the sexuality of the target. Further to this, he clouds the issue by making Lolita a target for another paedophile, and making one 'good' and one 'bad'. No matter how one feels about these people, Nabokov takes your mind off of the ages involved, and plants other diversions in the path of the reader's imagination. I defy anyone to read this novel and be aware, at all points, of Lolita's age and Humbert's paedophillia. To try this you will have to concentrate very hard, and probably have to write "Lolita is a schoolgirl" at the top of each page, and even then, I doubt that it could be done. This is an excellent novel, and I would recomend it to anyone, both because of, and in spite of, its basic story line.

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                11.09.2000 19:01
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                I felt I was in the presence of great genius while reading "Lolita". Nabokov's prose style is reason alone to read this stunning work of art; it was to me the closest thing to "singing" I have ever come upon. The Dolores 'Lolita' Haze character was so tragic and compelling that I cannot understand why anyone who actually read the book would think of it as pornography; and ditto to the masterfully realized Humbert and Quilty. My only complaints were the need to consult a dictionary so often and the sometimes rambling narrative.

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                  31.08.2000 17:49
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                  The story of a Humbert Humbert. He begins with his life as a young boy growing up in the countryside of France. He tells of his first love,of his first sexual experience. Throughout his adult life Humbert had tried relationships with other grown woman, but he had always been drawn to the young, unmatured body of preadolesenced girls. He struggles with his feelings, and his younger lost love. I felt bad in a way for Humbert Humbert. Even though it was obivous that this man had mental problems, (because no grown man should be attracted to young girls) he still loved and cared for his "Lolita" in ways that a grown woman could only dream of being loved like. When he first moved to the United States, he was lucky anough to move in with a young girl and her mother. He married the mother to ensure his placement with the young girl. When the supject aroused that Mrs. Haze (the mother) was going to send her daughter away to boarding school, (so that her and Humbert could spend more time alone) Humbert was sickened by the idea. Soon Humbert had it in his head that he would kill his wife so that he and Lolita could be alone. The day came when luck was on his side. Mrs. Haze was hit and killed by a car. This left Humbert Humbert and his little Lolita with a whole lifetime to themselves. In return for his guardianship, and financial support, Lolita repaid him by pleasuring him sexually. After a handful of shocking and twisting events Humbert Humbert's dream did not turn out the way that he wanted. His bood was wonderful, and I would suggest that anyone read it. I truely enjoyed it and thought that it gave you a great insight into the mind of an nymphomanic.

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