Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Title: Lolita
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
Narrator: Jeremy Irons
Series: N/A
Publisher: Random House Audio
Release Date: 4/26/2005
Length: 11 hours, 32 minutes
Format: Audio CDs
Genres: Fiction, Classics, Literary
Challenges: N/A
Source: Library
Purchase: Audio CD | Digital Audiobook

When it was published in 1955, Lolita immediately became a cause célèbre because of the freedom and sophistication with which it handled the unusual erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Vladimir Nabokov’s wise, ironic, elegant masterpiece owes its stature as one of the twentieth century’s novels of record not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author’s use of that material to tell a love story almost shocking in its beauty and tenderness. Awe and exhilaration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in this account of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America, but most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

I’ve wanted to read this for a while and when I saw the audiobook at the library and saw that Jeremy Irons was reading it, I had to get it. I’ve been listening for a while and I’ve had to take breaks from it. It’s kind of heavy. At this point, I’m just bored. I don’t think it has as much to do with the book itself as it has to do with the fact that I know what happens. I’ve seen the movie, and I know that’s not the same as the book. Still, I have a general idea of what’s going to happen and so I’ve become disinterested in listening to the last four discs of the audiobook. I will say that I understand why it’s such a classic. Nabokov’s writing is out of this world. I loved the opening chapter. It was so beautifully written. The rest of the book is, as well. It’s just that I’ve gotten to the point of seriously loathing Humbert Humbert (and bratty Lo, for that matter) and I’m not sure if I can stand to listen to his arrogant babbling anymore. I think I’ll just let this one go. Like I said, it’s not that it’s a bad book. I just ruined it for myself by watching the movie first.

Anyone loathe this book? Love it? Either way, did you have problems finishing it?

Leave a comment


  1. I really loved it! I wish I could say something to get you into it, but I guess it's just one of those things. Have you read anything else by Nabokov? If you're interested, Invistation to a Beheading is brilliant.Such a shame you didn't like Lolita. But, one of those things. I hate a lot of books everyone else seems to love.

  2. The same thing happened with me and The Help. I enjoyed the book, but I would have enjoyed it much more if I hadn't seen the movie beforehand.

  3. I never really understood the attraction to this book… It just disturbed me when I attempted to read it a few years ago.

  4. I seen both movies before I read (or listened to Jeremy Irons read it to me) the book. I think it's a book I'd like to read again before I decide about it once and for all.

  5. I've been wanting to read Pale Fire for a while. Perhaps I'll give that one a try.

  6. This book has been on my to-read list for awhile, and I do plan on picking it up…eventually. I haven’t seen the movie and actually know very little about the plot, so maybe that will help me keep interest in it? Sad to hear it didn’t quite work for you. Though I have to admit…Jeremy Irons narrating an audiobook? Awesome!


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