I think it is reasonable to accept that this novel will have to endure repeated allusions to Kafka's early 20th century literature, particulaly the plight of Joseph K. But if we take Nabokov at his word (see the forward), then this work was written (in two weeks) in ignorance of any knowledge of Kafka and, as such, any comparisons are purely coincidental. That being said it is spooky that this novel (excluding the word play) has a very Kafkaesque feel. For instance the central character is condemened to death for offences that are never revealed, the date of the beheading is not known, the prison officals are bizarre as are the official rituals, family members pop up now and then, cause a stir and disappear for a chapter ot two, the list goes on. Like Ada and Adour I found this novel immersed me in a surreal dreamscape made up of ambiguous characters and supernatural events, with no real sense of chronology or, dare I say it, meaning. For me, however, the meditative power of the narrative (Nabokov praised his son's translation from the original Russian) and the interest I had for the fate of the hero compelled me to ride the moments I found hard work. Perhaps this work is principally a dream punctuated by moments of reflection from the character's "reality", such as, the arrogantly, unfaithful wife?