Has anyone read Lolita?

(58 Posts)
dalek Wed 25-Jun-14 15:57:16

Has anyone read this? The narrator is really annoying me - finding it difficult to motivate myself to finish it.

Tell me it's worth persevering

Yes, I read it almost 20 yrs ago and I really enjoyed it. I always enjoy reading Nabakov, such a sublime and complex narrator. My fav novel is The real life of Sebastian Knight.

Not sure this helps though grin. If you don't like it, stop reading anyway!

showtunesgirl Wed 25-Jun-14 16:14:13

I loved Lolita but yes, if the "voice" of the book isn't speaking to you, then stop. It just isn't for you!

TheHoundsBitch Wed 25-Jun-14 16:15:52

I'm having trouble getting into it, I DL an excerpt to my Nook and enjoyed it but when I DL the whole book I couldn't find my spot and got v confused confused I haven't picked it up for weeks now.

dalek Wed 25-Jun-14 16:24:52

Thanks ladies - I will try for a bit longer but might have to bin it.

victrixludorem Wed 25-Jun-14 16:26:17

It is well worth it. Flesh creeping but beautifully written. You are not supposed to warm to the disgusting narrator! grin It gives an insight, 'tis all. Keep going, as it is a classic that was way ahead of its time.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 25-Jun-14 17:47:01

Yes, but as part of a university course many years ago. I remember finding it interesting, but haven't felt the urge to re-read it since, unlike many of my set texts.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 25-Jun-14 17:49:33

He wasn't even writing in his first language, was he? Amazing.

MorrisZapp Wed 25-Jun-14 17:50:40

I read it decades ago at university and thought it was vile crap.

I am beggared if I can see why it has classic status. I hated it and feel quite angry that we were required to read it. I was only 18, not old enough to say to a lecturer no thanks this is awful.

I can still remember some of the scenes now and I wishi I didn't. I can't unread it sad

Springing Wed 25-Jun-14 17:52:41

Yes, a few times, loved it. Beautifully written and of course you're not supposed to feel any sympathy towards the revolting Humbert.

unweavedrainbow Wed 25-Jun-14 18:00:53

I love Nabokov. My favourite is The Defence. Morris, why did you think it was crap? It's not supposed to be nice or enjoyable. Humbert is supposed to be vile and pathetic. It's the complex, but clear, writing style that makes it a classic. Not all stories have to be nice.

Love it - one of my top five novels ever! smile

Quangle Wed 25-Jun-14 22:03:35

Agree with Morris. Hated it. And although we are not supposed to collude with the narrator you end up seeing things through his eyes and of course Hollywood and the book publishers collude by illustrating it in a titilating fashion with lascivious pics of a desirous girl in provocative clothes when it really should just be pics of an awful man in a dirty mac.

The equivalent material about the rape of boys would not be so represented.

MorrisZapp Wed 25-Jun-14 22:28:22

Not all stories have to be nice, that's true. But life is short so I'll skip the 'love stories' about child abuse because they make me feel ill.

And I agree about the marketing and film makers. Most people assume Lolita to be about a sexy young teenager, using her charms on an older man. The book is actually about a pre pubescent child targeted by a paedophile.

I don't care if I lose literary cred or look uncultured, I genuinely thought it was awful. I don't remember noticing the writing style.

NadiaWadia Thu 26-Jun-14 03:01:29

I found it very well written and interesting. The character of Humbert is intelligent and self-aware, he knows his feelings and actions are monstrous, he admits it to the reader, but can't stop himself. Its done so well that you almost feel sorry for him! Not very true to life though, I don't think, as a rule, actual paedophiles would be self aware and remorseful in this way. They would try and justify themselves.

Brices Fri 27-Jun-14 15:15:30

Hate Humbert, like no other character. The power of the writing makes me feel like I gain an understanding of him as a human being. I would prefer it if I could view him "simply as evil". Read this novel several times and each time I see new horrors and new experiences of shared humanity.

MamaMary Fri 27-Jun-14 15:19:24

Not worth finishing. I didn't feel sorry for Humbert. I thought he was a vile, disgusting, evil pervert (and the author is too - have read other stuff he wrote).

I thought the writing was crap, too. And I have a first-class degree in English lit from a top uni, so I'm not judging it from a position of total ignorance

victrixludorem Sat 28-Jun-14 13:24:56

It is very similar to Death In Venice really.

BringMeTea Mon 30-Jun-14 14:21:16

Extremely well-written and thought provoking.

PeterParkerSays Mon 30-Jun-14 14:26:48

I've read it but found it really disturbing. I've read other, better, Nabokov so don't be put off the author by this novel.

olivespickledonions Sun 06-Jul-14 20:01:57

One of my favourite books. So cleverly written and I find it very funny too, especially the road trip stuff.

Footle Sun 06-Jul-14 20:13:06

The book of his that I really like is Pnin.

olivespickledonions Sun 06-Jul-14 20:20:08

I need to read some of his other books. Lolita is the only one I've read.

Southeastdweller Fri 11-Jul-14 08:11:11

Almost finished this. Regardless how you feel about Humbert, I don't understand how anyone who's read the book can say it isn't well-written.

Branleuse Fri 11-Jul-14 08:20:04

i didnt finish it, it made my skin crawl

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