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Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle MP3 CD – Audiobook, Dec 2013

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Corporation; MP3 Una edition (Dec 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 148054132X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480541320
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,463,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a young man, he studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri. Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. Yet Nabokov's American period saw the creation of what are arguably his greatest works, Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.

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About the Author

Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) was born in St Petersburg. He wrote his first literary works in Russian, but rose to international prominence as a masterly prose stylist for the novels he composed in English, most famously, Lolita. Between 1923 and 1940 he published novels, short stories, plays, poems and translations in the Russian language and established himself as one of the most outstanding Russian émigré writers. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
'All happy families are more or less dissimilar; all unhappy ones are more or less alike,' says a great Russian writer in the beginning of a famous novel (Anna Arkadievitch Karenina, transfigured into English by R. G. Stonelower, Mount Tabor Ltd., 1880). Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Jehangir on 13 Dec 2004
Format: Paperback
To write a review of Ada is almost impossible except to say that it is the book in which Nabokov, the greatest prose stylist in English, uses his mastery of the language and his great knowledge of European literary history to his greatest extent and evidently enjoys himself! The whole book is choc-a-bloc with word-play, literary puzzles, allusions to other works, hidden quotations, alliteration, streams of consciousness, history, science fiction, dollops of French, helpings of Russian, laces of Latin, poetry, catalogues of erotica, and many many other things..this is a literature lover's delight but requires great concentration; however, even more so than Lolita, the dedicated reader will be delighted and rewarded like he or she has never been before. This is Nabokov at his literary peak. Rarely can any writer of English have written prose of this calibre. Awe-inspiring is the only word I can think of to describe it.
The plot, as it is, deals with the love story between Ada and Van Veen who happen to be first cousins from their first meeting as young teenagers to their old age and eventual death and is set in a parallel world to Earth called Antiterra which is similar to--yet different in some geographical and historical aspects-- to our own Earth (or Terra)...
It is quite a long book too (500 odd pages of dense text) but eminently worth the effort and time. The only problem is once you have read Nabokov, and especially Ada, no other novel gives as much pleasure afterwards so every other fictional book afterwards pales in comparison (so far...)! I would give my left arm to be able to write prose like this!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Room for a View VINE VOICE on 17 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
The key to understanding this novel and it's inevitable enjoyment is revealed by Nabokov's insight into the illusory nature of time and space. The story is set in a fantastical Eden like world of aristocratic privilege, incest, botanical and zoological manifestations and subverted morality. The essence of this historical memoir is seen through the recollections of Van and his one and only 'true' love Ada. Their memories are relics of a distant past (spanning ninety years), contorted by their childhood passion, shaped and manipulated by subsequent events, and deformed by the nature of time itself. The present, or 'nowness' being the only tangible impression that can ever have any meaning for conscious thought. Indeed it is this aspect of the novel that controls the parallel universe in which the story unfolds. Memories that are dependent on the recollections of the moment and not based on an exact sequence of past events. These events are to be seen as shadows of human existance, lengthening and shortening over time, nourishing thought with emotional intensities and altering perceptions of the past. Through this vista Nabokov offers a lush insight into the nature of love and decay.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Omnibus Biscuit on 29 July 2008
Format: Paperback
Honestly, there is more in this book than can be taken in upon first reading, it is staggeringly good. Nabokov rated it his best and, of course, it is. Yes, Lolita is subversive and brilliant, Pale fire is hilarious and genius and original, but this is MESMERISINGLY complex and beautiful, a rich tapestry of love and philosophy and sex and family turmoil and it is BETTER. It is a better book judging by any criteria that Nabokov would have deemed worthwhile and unlike the established classics listed above, I don't think people read this one which is essentially the culmination of Nabokovs writing career, his great work.

It's not for everyone, I mean, I struggled with it and I REALLY REALLY wanted to read it - I barely broke the surface. If you want a romp look elsewhere, you have to work for this, it's rich and deep and subtle but ultimately rewarding. It's also hugely pretentious, but that's Nabokov. He knew he was the man, he knew he was smart and he filled this novel, as he did his others, with arrogant wordplay, quips, literary jigsaws and a world of other things. Also, it takes place on another earth, another dimension and the....I can't even describe it.

Just read it, take your time and don't worry if you don't get it because you will, eventually, after you realise that Nabokov is better than you and that it's ok to admit that.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Osborne on 25 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A work of genius, and possibly Nabokov's most Joycean, intertextual work.
A perverse family saga set in an imaginary world, tantalisingly close to but strangely different to ours. Moving and provocative.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Manley on 13 May 2003
Format: Paperback
I'll say straight away that this is one of my favourite books, and one that I often come back to. However, no one who does not like a challenge should bother to attempt it. Like 'Moby Dick' or 'Ulysses' it takes time and patience. And, like these two classics, it is very much worth it.
The world it creates is mid-atlantic and trans-european, like Gorbachev's idea of a Common European Home from the atlantic to the urals, with north america thrown in. It is, in fact, the personal world which Nabokov inhabited, modern america founded in Russia.
There are countless references to other classics and much fun is to be had spotting them. In a delicious twist he references his own previous work too. The writing is awe-inspring, the central characters perfectly drawn. Will they / won't they? It is pure anticipation. No one writes like this any more.
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