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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm, hilarious, poignant
Nabokov's writing can make me grin in the same way as when I watch Lionel Messi or Johan Cruijf play football - the exhilaration of seeing a master in action, in complete control of his medium.

Pnin is endearing and lovable, while at the same time being consistently cringeworthy or absurd. He exploits are painted vividly on a meticulously realised backdrop of...
Published on 12 May 2008 by Amazon Customer

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but confusing
The story of Timofey Pnin is a fairly enjoyable, if rather melancholic story. Many people have described this as a comic masterpiece however this mostly derives from Pnin's inability to use English idioms and to be honest the hilarity soon wears off. However Nabokove is able with great beauty and passion recreate the feelings of isolation, frustration and pity that...
Published on 11 Sep 2008 by Camus in Airdire


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5.0 out of 5 stars The pleasure of being deceived, 10 Jun 2014
By 
Andrew Robinson (Dublin 4, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Nabokov plays with his readers as a fisherman plays with a salmon on a line. And you thank him for it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining character study, 30 April 2013
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Whilst the language used by Nabokov in 'Pnin' didn't live up to the sensuality of 'Lolita', this novel was a highly entertaining character study and enjoyable read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Original, funny, baffling, 28 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Pnin (Audio CD)
Nabokov's comic novel from 1957 centres on Timofey Pavlovich Pnin, a Russian exile teaching at the fictional Waindell College in the United States. Pnin is single, lives in rented accommodation, and his teaching position is untenured and insecure.

I listened to the reading by Stefan Rudnicki for Brilliance Audio, which is on 5 CDs. It was my first encounter with Nabokov.

The book left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, the language is startlingly original, packed with memorable images and phrases. The skyline of New York, for example, is compared to a bar chart; Pnin is said to have discarded a football by means of 'defenestration'. It is also very funny: Pnin's unusual English proves a consistent pleasure.

Yet there is something tricksy about it. Some parts of the story are told by an omniscient narrator; later, an unidentified first person narrator takes up the story. It is all rather confusing, and in the end I wasn't quite sure what happened to Pnin. Perhaps all would become clear on a second listen.

Despite this reservation, it is clearly a work of quality. I would recommend it to others new to Nabokov.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Constant Smile About Nothing, 2 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Pnin is a lovely book, and it reminded me of Seinfeld in ways more than one.
Don't look for a George, a Jerry or an Elaine; maybe you can find some Kramer in Mr Eccentricity - Timofey Pnin himself. But the absence of a plot and the constant, guilty smirk I had on my face (with the occasional laugh sprinkled in) reminded me of the times I spent in front of the TV watching my favorite TV Show Seinfeld.
The story is of Pnin, a Russian emigre in Paris, and later Eastern US in the 50s struggling to teach in a mid-sized liberal arts college. He certainly does not fit in anywhere except his research and the reader's heart, and the dissapointments he faces with his guardian angel in his department do not really cancel each other out.
Nabokov is a terribly funny guy, and the way he makes fun of 50s acedemia is quite applicable to anyone who has spent some time with research fellows in any US college. His play on words, and his play on a foreigner struggling in America is nicely crafted so that no bitter taste is left in your mouth afterwards.
Highly recommended, but please do not look for Lolita...
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly amusing but not brilliant in any real sense, 19 Aug 2008
Pleasantly amusing but not brilliant in any real sense. Written with panache, wit and richness (what else could be expected from Mr Nabokov?), this is also a little self-indulgent and caricature-ish. But treat it as a charming short novella and you won't be disappointed.
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Pnin (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics)
Pnin (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) by Vladimir Nabokov (Hardcover - 18 Mar 2004)
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