Posted by Divya at Saturday, May 09, 2009

By Vladimir Nabokov

Reading Lolita is like learning to fish, or so it is said. But, the one who said this forgot to mention how the experience of fishing is for a person who does not eat fish or enjoy its stench. My experience reading the book was somewhat similar; I was understanding its undertone and depth without getting involved.

For starters this book is a treasure of words that somehow transcend to constitute a new language in itself very much unlike English we have been taught. To be honest I couldn't get past a few pages without flipping the dictionary. Nabokov plays with words and complicates sentences, which if made simple might run the risk of sounding like porn. Hence, one has to keep the mind open to understand a simple noun in terms of three different adjectives all compacted in the same sentence.

That said, the story is clearly despicable and that is no surprise, since nobody who reads or wishes to read the book expects to come out of it feeling good. But then, I was definitely not ready for the depressive tone and morbid humour it carried. The story itself does not need a review and is only too well known. Though, the protagonist's turmoil comes across as visceral through the course of his narration, end of the book, I had no involvement in the story what-so-ever. 

I suppose the book is not for everyone; Even if one picks it up for the raunchy matter suffused through the pages to get a good dose of porn, it doesn't work, for if to get through one sentence after looking up three different words to form that steamy hidden meaning, in itself is a turn off!

A thoroughly disappointing read. Unless you are stuck on an island with nothing else to do but read or you wish to learn as many words in one sitting for GRE this book isn't worth your time!


Pratima on May 30, 2009 at 9:19 AM said...

I read this book as part of last years Orbis Terrarum Challenge (2008) and I share the same view as yours. It was hard for me to get past the pages and finally finish it. The story disgusted me as well and I didnt enjoy Nabokov's writing!

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Pratima on July 10, 2009 at 10:22 AM said...

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