Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

I am left wondering, about how the world perceives this book. This was not an erotic or romantic read. I can’t think of any point a that I would describe as even slightly arousing. It is the story of a child rapist, who abducts and repeatedly assaults a child over the course of nearly three years.

How does this book have the reputation of being sexy? Of being erotic and romantic? The language is romantic, yes, and some may find the idea of being obsessed over in such a way romantic, but the slightest look beyond these surface details should clearly show the dark interior.

Regardless of the weird way people seem to perceive it, the story was amazing, and concluded perfectly–though not in a way I expected.

In another great case of show don’t tell, the ‘villain’ (from Humbert’s point of view) had me completely stumped, until the reveal–which wasn’t really a reveal at all, but more of a reminder of a couple of the hints and clues.

The ending –spoilers–is great because it is so easy for Clare to confuse and elude Humbert, despite how smart he seems to think he is, and in the end, fittingly, Humbert is reduced to violence–the last refuge of the incompetent.

Lyrical, dark, unsettling, beautiful. I wonder if Nabokov’s other works are this amazing, because if so I want to read all of them.

 

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