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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal introduction to Nabokov's canon., 23 Mar 2003
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This definitive collection of Nabokov's short stories, compiled & introduced by his son Dmitri, provides the ideal introduction to Nabokov's brilliant canon. The sixty-five stories generally stem from several seperate collections of Nabokov's shorts- A Russian Beauty (1973), Tyrants Destroyed (1975) & Details of a Sunset (1976). There are also short stories that stem from other sources, such as 'Nabokov's Dozen', an example being 'Cloud, Castle, Lake'. In addition to the covenient collection of the short stories in a good value package, there is also a brief preface by Dmitri Nabokov & notes on the various stories included.
There are too many stories to detail here- though it is interesting to note the many that were written as a Russian emigre in Berlin & Paris, prior to Nabokov's later destinations: the USA and Switzerland. Highlights include fantastic/SF-style story 'Terra Incognita', the tricky relations between art and life found in 'Lips to Lips' , the amusing 'An Affair of Honour' & the title story to Tyrants Destroyed. Along with the novella The Enchanter (a tryout for Lolita, sadly not included but referred to here) this book provides the ideal introduction to Nabokov, before reading his great books such as Despair, Bend Sinister, Pale Fire, Speak Memory, Pnin & Laughter in the Dark.
Nabokov's Collected Stories also rank alongside the great writers in this mode, such as James Joyce, Flannery O'Connor, JG Ballard, Philip K Dick, Raymond Carver, Richard Yates, DH Lawrence, Borges etc.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing Riches, 12 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This is a very valuable book for any Nabokov reader. Indeed, a newcomer to the author would also find great pleasure in any one of this vast collection. As one reads further, one begins to see the emergence of the themes dealt with in Nabokov's later novels. In particular, the early stories, written in Berlin in the 1920s, reveal the beginnings of the fascination with memories and the meaning of nostalgia dealt with in 'Lolita' and 'Ada'. These are the types of stories that enter the mind to become memories independent of their source - memories of the imaginative experience. My favourites were 'The Aurelian' and 'Sounds'.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, 10 Jan 2013
By 
L. MONKS (Hadfield) - See all my reviews
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Probably the greatest single volume of an author's collected stories, in a tremendous Penguin edition. Indispensable to say the least.
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