Lolita (The Penguin Vladimir Nabokov Hardback Collection)

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9780141023496: Lolita (The Penguin Vladimir Nabokov Hardback Collection)
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Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor. He also likes little girls. And none more so than Lolita, who he'll do anything to possess. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? ...Or is he all of these?

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Despite its lascivious reputation, the pleasures of Lolita are as much intellectual as erogenous. It is a love story with the power to raise both chuckles and eyebrows. Humbert Humbert is a European intellectual adrift in America, haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love. When he meets his ideal nymphet in the shape of 12-year-old Dolores Haze, he constructs an elaborate plot to seduce her, but first he must get rid of her mother. In spite of his diabolical wit, reality proves to be more slippery than Humbert's feverish fantasies, and Lolita refuses to conform to his image of the perfect lover.

Playfully perverse in form as well as content, riddled with puns and literary allusions, Nabokov's 1955 novel is a hymn to the Russian-born author's delight in his adopted language. Indeed, readers who want to probe all of its allusive nooks and crannies will need to consult the annotated edition. Lolita is undoubtedly, brazenly erotic, but the eroticism springs less from the "frail honey-hued shoulders ... the silky supple bare back" of little Lo than it does from the wantonly gorgeous prose that Humbert uses to recount his forbidden passion:

She was musical and apple-sweet ... Lola the bobby-soxer, devouring her immemorial fruit, singing through its juice ... and every movement she made, every shuffle and ripple, helped me to conceal and to improve the secret system of tactile correspondence between beast and beauty--between my gagged, bursting beast and the beauty of her dimpled body in its innocent cotton frock.
Much has been made of Lolita as metaphor, perhaps because the love affair at its heart is so troubling. Humbert represents the formal, educated Old World of Europe, while Lolita is America: ripening, beautiful, but not too bright and a little vulgar. Nabokov delights in exploring the intercourse between these cultures, and the passages where Humbert describes the suburbs and strip malls and motels of postwar America are filled with both attraction and repulsion, "those restaurants where the holy spirit of Huncan Dines had descended upon the cute paper napkins and cottage-cheese-crested salads." Yet however tempting the novel's symbolism may be, its chief delight--and power--lies in the character of Humbert Humbert. He, at least as he tells it, is no seedy skulker, no twisted destroyer of innocence. Instead, Nabokov's celebrated mouthpiece is erudite and witty, even at his most depraved. Humbert can't help it--linguistic jouissance is as important to him as the satisfaction of his arrested libido. --Simon Leake

From the Publisher:

Critics are just beginning to hail Jeremy Irons' performance for Random House AudioBooks...

"a road trip to hell in a luxury sedan."
--Salon Magazine

"In his reading Irons recreates the clarity, precision, and lilt of every glorious sentence."
--The Washington Post

"Nabokov said Lolita was the record of his love affair with the English language; Irons makes it a menage a trois."
-- Vogue

"[Irons's] efforts have placed this superb audio on my life list, to be saved for repeated listening."
--Boston Globe

" . . . most praiseworthy of all the audio efforts I've heard . . ."
-- Men's Journal

"Irons' inspired reading is not to be missed."
-- Chicago Tribune

"...a beautifully produced recording that pushes the boundaries of the audio medium.
. . . hands down the best audio production of the year."

-- Library Journal

"Irons reads with wickedly understated malevolence, preserving Humbert's foolish patrician airs. The artfulness of the telling is delightful, with all its stilted false humility. For those who have never read the book, or read it long ago, the subject matter of a man in love with a child will come across as a fresh shock indeed."
-- Publishers Weekly

"an extraordinary reading, almost haunting."
--The San Diego Union Tribune

" . . . extrordinary - more than extraordinary."
--BookPage

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679723165: Lolita

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0679723161 ISBN 13:  9780679723165
Publisher: Vintage, 1989
Softcover

9780679410430: Lolita (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics Series)

Everym..., 1993
Hardcover

9781857151336: Lolita (Everyman's Library Classics)

Everym..., 1992
Hardcover

9780241951644: Lolita (Penguin Essentials)

Viking, 2011
Softcover

9780241953242: Lolita

Penguin, 2011
Softcover

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor. He also likes little girls. And none more so than Lolita, who he ll do anything to possess. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? .Or is he all of these?. Seller Inventory # APG9780141023496

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