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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
306
4.1 out of 5 stars
Lolita (Read Red)
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 7 October 2017
This was on my list of classics to read or reread, in the autumn of my years, and I bought it when I saw it on offer.
I feel that it is beyond doubt that Nabokov is an extremely gifted writer (albeit, at times his writing is overblown and turgid), with an amazing command of the English language (I was rated with a vocabulary of between 50,000 and 60,000 words when I was tested but still found myself reaching for the dictionary on many occasions - praise to the Kindle dictionary facility), especially when one recognises that English was his second language.
However, I felt very uncomfortable with the content and felt sullied and furtive when reading it and I wonder about Nabokov's motivation in writing it.
It is a tale about obsession, mental illness, domination, exploitation, manipulation, grooming, self gratification at the expense of another and, above all, paedophilia, with a bit of twist in the tail.
Nabokov mitigates it by pointing out in the story that, technically it is Lolita who first seduces HH, what happens would, at the time, have been completely legal and, maybe, even normal in some parts of the US and Lolita is also manipulating and exploiting HH.
From the post Doncaster, Rochdale, Newcastle et al perspective it is abhorrent and extremely discomforting.
Am I glad I read it? - don't know.
So, I will rate it just as a piece of writing but I do not recommend it to anyone.
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on 27 September 2017
Superior writing but I could not go beyond the fourth chapter given the ghastly content. Might suit some but made me feel very uncomfortable. Sad because this man is a talented writer but paedophilia is not my idea of an enjoyable read and I dumped the book feeling soiled.
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on 16 March 2014
The subject is a No no, but Nabokov's dark and brilliant word mongering somehow transcends the subject. Any one who has deep and hidden passions, not related to this subject but for any complex feeling, can relate to Humbert humbert and his emotion driven mania, totally out of his own control, leading him to despair and finally total personal destruction. English was his 3rd or 4th Language, a true genius. If you love words rather than a base story line and have never read Nabokov, then pick up any of his books, maybe starting with the Nabokov's Dozen of short stories.
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on 13 May 2017
An old classic, but out of period can promote a stronger reaction than it should. I feel the reader should keep the period in context and enjoy an interesting examination of human emotions.
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on 24 August 2013
As an open-minded person there are several strong reasons as to why I consider this book one of my favourites and would recommend it to any other open-minded person interested in humanity, psychology, morality, society etc:
- It is uncomfortable; for me personally, anything that can push boundaries successfully deserves credit.
- It's thought provoking and offers a completely different perspective, one which many I doubt will have previously considered.
- It has the potential to change the way a reader views the subjects involved in the book.
It's one of those books I couldn't put down until I'd finished it yet it was so good I didn't want it to end! I would recommend this book to any open-minded, mature reader.
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on 26 June 2016
Enchanting, amazing use of the written word, if you don't speak French you may struggle as it is peppered with French Phases.Can't add more to what has been said in my top 3 classic books of all time.
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on 21 August 2017
A fascinating work I'd read a long time ago.
Puzzling in parts especially in today's 'climate'.
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on 18 June 2014
It's an interesting book to say the least. It does a good job of capturing Humbert's love and total devotion to Lolita without too heavily obscuring the wrongness of it. The subtleties of his abuse bleed through the pages and make this a very disturbing yet beautifully composed read.
The language Nabokov uses is a bit complex at times. Thank goodness for Kindle, which has a built in dictionary for all the words I'd never heard before.
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on 21 February 2012
I think the story is still quite shocking even by today's standards, but once you get past that and just agree with yourself to stop being appalled and enjoy the book, you realise how amazingly well written it is and what an intriguing story this is. This was the general consensus of everyone in my bookclub so despite the subject matter everyone really enjoyed it.
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on 17 December 2015
I saw the movies (the 1962 and 1997 adaptations) and I bought this book. A very odd, sinister book as it makes you look at it from Humbert's point of view. Very well written.
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