My Little Pocketbooks: Review: Lolita   

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review: Lolita

 
Lolita
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
Genre:  Literature
Publisher:  Random House Audio
Release Date:  September 26, 2005
Audiobook:  11 hours and 32 minutes
Narrator: Jeremy Irons
Source: Free from e-Library

http://amzn.to/1uQPpYX

Book Description

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.

Review

This book was selected as my Book Clubs Banned Book for September.  I've heard about it and I knew about the book's premise.  In fact, after living in Japan for a year I was introduced to the Lolita underground culture there.
If this was not selected as a Book of the Month I would have not picked it up.
HH is a grown man with a love for young women or more like young girls he calls Nymphets.  After a failed marriage HH moves into the guesthouse of a single mother whose daughter is the subject of his new found lust.  Just as HH begins to make his true feelings known to the young Dolores Haze fate falls into his lap and the real rouse begins.
This book is really hard for me to like and yet I love it.  The subject matter of a grown man in love (and sexually) aroused by the bodies mostly (not her mind) of a young child is GROSS! and not right at all.  But the author Vladimir Nabokov wrote this book so beautifully.  The subject matter was written so well that I honestly forgot a few times that Lolita was a kid and not a grown woman.  There was humor, drama, and a realism in this book that you have to put the label of "Good Literature" on it regardless.  Regardless Lolita was kidnapped.  Regardless he basically raped her.  Regardless he is on the run with her.  Besides all of that...I know, I know, I know this sounds crazy and I feel crazy typing this.  This book is for a mature reader only.  If you can read something and take it as a book and not put your personal experiences into it then you might enjoy this book.  But it's hard to tell. 
Jeremy Irons is the living, breathing HH.  He played HH in the movie so having him read the audiobook (not sure which one came first) was a no brainier.  Jeremy Irons proves my point about having actors read audiobooks.  They literately become the characters and you can hear it in every single word they say.  They do more than just read the words on the page to you, they give the words meaning and emotion.  He was the best and made the book come to life.  
BRAVO!

Reviews by Other Bloggers

Recommendations

I recommend this book to adults only!!  The subject matter is tooooo much for young readers.

Challenges

This book is number 4 in my Banned Book Reading Challenge
This book is number 48 in my Good Reads Reading Challenge 

 Mocha Girls Read Book of the Month

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