by Vladimir Nabokov | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0679723161 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingO-Jennywing of Temple, Texas USA on 2/13/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
9 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingO-Jennywing from Temple, Texas USA on Sunday, February 13, 2005
Well, I'm giving this one an 8 of 10. I think if my rating were based solely on the quality of the writing, this book would receive a solid 10. But, as I'm sure you know (whether you've read the book or not), Lolita is a disturbing story. Very disturbing. That said, I had a hard time putting it down. And I really, really wish I had an annotated edition of the book. Nabokov's writing is so full of wordplay that I'm sure I missed at least half of his references, asides, jokes, etc.

I'm glad I finally read Lolita. I'm in awe of Nabokov's talent. If he could write something like this in English (his third or fourth language, I think), I wonder how spectacular his Russian novels are. He's brilliant.

Journal Entry 2 by wingAntof9wing from Lakewood, Colorado USA on Monday, April 25, 2005
(Different cover than pictured)

JennyO! Thank you SOOOOOO much! I finally had to stop reading "Reading Lolita in Tehran" because there were just too many references to this book! I thought knowing the general storyline would be sufficient, but I kept feeling like I was left out, missing something, and your offer of this book was such a relief!

Thanks again -- I'm in the middle of a few (yes, a few!) other books, but hope to pick this up soon so I can read both of them.

Did you tell me if you wanted me to send this on to someone else when I'm done with it, or did I make that up? :)

Thanks again!

Journal Entry 3 by wingAntof9wing from Lakewood, Colorado USA on Thursday, May 26, 2005
And now comes the time I must write my journal entry :) I'm all over the board on this book, so I'm going to copy some of the comments I've made in the past few weeks on the Book Talk Forum about this book. Hopefully they make sense :)

My first real post on this book: Reading a book that makes you want to read another book, where I talk about having never read any Nabokov before, and finally connecting his name (that I'd heard many times) with this book.

And here is where I post 2 of my main points: 1. that I felt I was on the outside of a private joke (in RLIT) by not having read it, and 2. He is an amazing writer, but the subject matter is really disturbing me. In addition, the blurb on the cover from Vanity Fair "The only convincing love story of our century" makes me crazy. It's not a love story when it's one-sided pedophilia.

So then I got more into the book, and realized that the foreign dialogue (mostly French) was making me crazy! I'm usually so good at a variety of other languages when reading a book that I take pride in it! But I feel like I missed out on a lot of this one because so many things were more than just a phrase or two. So I started a thread on that.

And then someone else started a thread on not finishing Lolita, and I came out and said it: I thought it was awful. And used my strongest words yet: "It's not a love story. It's about a pedophile and the girl who can't get away from him. Sure there's more to it than that, but WTF? It's definitely not a love story.

I'm sorry. I'm not a prude, but it was almost trash. The fact that the writing is so good almost makes the reader sympathetic to Humbert. YEESH! I don't want to be sympathetic to him. He's a revolting ass!"

It's just fascinating to me that people think this book is so great. Or beyond that, that it's a love story! Sure, it's very, very well written. But that does not a great book make. I think.

So as not to be totally negative, I'll say one thing about the humor. At one point Humbert Humbert is talking about the Russian cab driver his first wife falls for. He snidely says Oh, he was quite a scholar, Mr. Taxovich. LOL! A russian taxi driver :) In the same opening chapters, he refers to something as "Mc___", also in jest, but I lost the bookmark to where it was and will NOT re-read till I find it. What it made me think of was on the television show "Friends", when they want to make fun of a characteristic of each other, say when Chandler smokes, Rachel might call him "Smokey McSmokerson". So are these funny names, used throughout the show's run, a literary nod to Nabokov? Could they be? I doubt it. But clearly this was written before that show!

Last, one of the saddest parts I read was near the end: But the awful point of the whole argument is this. It had become gradually clear to my conventional Lolita during our singular and bestial cohabitation that even the most miserable of family lives was better than the parody of incest, which, in the long run, was the best I could offer the waif. Heartbreaking.

JennyO -- please don't let my awfully negative review sound ungrateful to you for your sharing of this book! I really did want to read it :) And now I can read "Reading Lolita. . ." When I'm done with the next, I'll start a bookring for them to travel together. Thanks again :)

Journal Entry 4 by wingAntof9wing from Lakewood, Colorado USA on Saturday, March 31, 2007
I finally did it!

I set up a bookring with this book and Reading Lolita in Tehran, after many and long ago discussions. This book will begin its travels with its partner next Friday or Saturday.

Fifna/the Netherlands
brunton11/Salford (UK)
HINERANGI/South Australia
cat207/NSW Australia
LadyKnightNiko/Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
UnwrittenLibra/Baltimore, MD
nerdybookgirl/Knoxville, TN, USA
SKingList/South Nyack, NY, USA

Journal Entry 5 by JamsODonnellToo from Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Got it in the mail today! Thanks Antof9, it'll have to queue up a bit but I can't wait to read it. Cheers from Cologne!

Journal Entry 6 by JamsODonnellToo from Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Tuesday, June 12, 2007
"Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta."

Right from the start, this book is so wonderful I think I'm going to read it again, and again, and probably at some point I'm going to read it out loud (yes I now have my own copy). When I finished it 3 weeks ago I thought I would give it an 8. But as it settles in, I realize how powerfully Humbert, Dolores, and Nabokov's writing are staying with me.

Yes it is a very disturbing story. But then I guess it all boils down to the question Azar Nafisi (see "Reading Lolita in Tehran") asks her students: "What should fiction accomplish?". While reading the book, I never felt I should share anything with, or feel sympathy for, Humbert or, for that matter, Lolita (in fact, most of the time I kept thinking "HH, you idiot, you a$$hole, leave her alone, get a heart attack, remove yourself from the gene pool!!"). All characters are incredibly complex, and the beautifully precise description of this complexity, detail after shocking, disturbing, witty detail, makes "Lolita" one of the best novels I've ever read. Ah yes witty too, I found myself laughing out loud on a couple of occasions.

Thank you so much Antof9 for giving me the chance of joining this BookRing. You have turned me into a Nabokov fan - I'll certainly read more of his works, actually I want to read everything he wrote!

I have finished "Reading Lolita in Tehran" as well, and asked the next in line for her address, I'll update this Entry with the actual date of shipment as soon as I mail the books.

Journal Entry 7 by bluecat07 from Karben, Hessen Germany on Monday, June 25, 2007
Both books just arrived. Thanks for sending them, JamsODonnellToo! I have some other bookrings here which need to be read first but I hope I get to read these books here quite soon!.-)

Journal Entry 8 by bluecat07 from Karben, Hessen Germany on Saturday, August 18, 2007
I didn''t have so much time to read lately and I am a slow reader. So I listened to an abridged audiobook of "Lolita" from my library. When I have more time I will read the book. It is an interesting but quite disturbing story, I think.

The book is now on its way to Fifna.

Thanks for this double ring, Antof!

Journal Entry 9 by wingFifnawing from Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Thursday, August 30, 2007
Arrived safely, thanks bluecat07!

Journal Entry 10 by wingFifnawing from Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Saturday, October 13, 2007
The subject matter is terrible, but the book is beautifully written, so it really leaves you with mixed feelings. I'm glad I read it! Thanks for sharing, Antof9, I sent it to brunton11 today, along with Nafisi's book.

Journal Entry 11 by wingbrunton11wing from Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Arrived today - Thanks for sharing :)

Journal Entry 12 by wingbrunton11wing from Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to say about this book. From the first couple of pages I knew it was going to be a bit of a slog - I just didn't like the style of writing and found it very difficult to get into. It's one of those books I'd heard about by reputation so I'm glad I read it in that sense but I have to admit I was quite relieved to finally finish it.

Have moved on to 'Reading Lolita in Tehran' which feels like a breath of fresh air in comparison. Once I've finished it I'll get them both posted. Hinerangi has asked to be skipped so they'll be on their way to cat207.

Journal Entry 13 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Arrived with its travelling partner in today's mail. Thank you brunton11 - for the Christmas card, too - and Antof9 for sharing. X

Journal Entry 14 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Sunday, January 06, 2008
I finished this last night, but couldn't decide what to put in a journal entry.

It is definitely disturbing, thought provoking, and well written - but love story it is not. It's the story of an obsession!

Thank you for the opportunity to read this book, Antof9. I've started 'Reading Lolita in Tehran' - I hope it's a little lighter.

Journal Entry 15 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Friday, January 11, 2008
Off to LadyKnightNiko, with its travelling partner, in tomorrow's mail.

Journal Entry 16 by LadyKnightNiko from Liberty Township, Ohio USA on Wednesday, January 23, 2008
This was waiting for me in my mailbox today. I will go ahead and ask for the next reader's address, and pass on when I finish. I will start when I finish the book I am currently reading.

Thanks antof9 for sharing, and cat207 for sending this to me.

Journal Entry 17 by LadyKnightNiko from Liberty Township, Ohio USA on Friday, January 25, 2008
I don't really know what to say, to be honest.

First of all, I was highly disturbed by the story of Lolita, as I'm sure any of you who read it will understand. As for something good about it? I sort of liked Nobokov's writing style. It's certainly unique, if nothing else.

Will start Reading Lolita in Tehran tonight. Thanks for sharing!

Released 11 yrs ago (1/28/2008 UTC) at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



On to nerdybookgirl!

Journal Entry 19 by nerdybookgirl from Knoxville, Tennessee USA on Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I received this two days ago and hope to get started soon. :o)

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