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3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,400 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
Glory, the author's fifth novel, was first published in Russian with the title Podvig. Until now American and English bibliographers have referred to it at The Exploit. It has been translated by the author's son in collaboration with the author, and was the last of his nine Russian novels to receive such treatment. This edition includes a foreword by the author, written 8 ...more
Hardcover, 205 pages
Published 1971 by McGraw-Hill Companies (first published 1931)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,733)
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Jeff Jackson
Jun 20, 2013 Jeff Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers already deep down the Nabokov rabbit hole
Recommended to Jeff by: The ghost of Martin's father
Shelves: nabokov
So right, this is a minor work. Transitional, you might even say. Young Nabokov is figuring out how to structure a novel from an entire life - rather than a heightened episode - without shorting his substantial gifts for compression, velocity, and patterning. The initial chapters have a herky-jerk momentum, but the novel eventually finds its footing and races toward an astonishing metaphysical climax that frames all the previous material in a new light.

This is definitely *not* for newcomers or
Adam Floridia
Feb 05, 2014 Adam Floridia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nabokov
3.5 stars. Review pending.

I left that whole "Review pending" thing up there for a reason, or, more accurately a sort of disclaimer. You see, as I'm reading I'm also generally putting together a very rough outline of my to-be-written review. Unfortunately, when I wait even a week to write said review and read even a single other book in that time, I completely forget what I would have written. So this is one of those: a review half-salvaged from the fog of a full week's passing.

What do I know? I
Oct 13, 2012 Manny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was reading Glory on the Heathrow to Cambridge bus sometime in 1999, and the guy sitting on the other side of the aisle introduced himself. He was in the middle of writing a PhD on Nabokov and had recently read it himself. We talked about Glory for a few minutes (as far as I can recall, we agreed that it was one of the least interesting of the Master's novels), and then we got into Nabokov in general. I said I often wished that I knew more than very basic Russian when I read him, since even th ...more
Oct 06, 2015 Mikimbizii rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
A long time ago Ivan, a dear stranger who has a lovely blog - Nabokolia, asked me to write a small piece on Nabokov. Being a master procrastinator it took me ages to finally finish this little piece of, let’s say, gentle lunacy. Job, life and other trivia interfered and then today, I paused between three deadlines and decided to finish what I had meant to do more than two years ago.
Where do I begin? “In Luga? Kaluga? Ladoga? Where, when?” I have devoured fiendishly, ravenously nearly all his wo
Erica Verrillo
Oct 19, 2012 Erica Verrillo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Glory is the comic/tragic tale of a young man whose fantasies of heroism come to replace reality and eventually lead to his downfall. The theme is simple, but because the novel is set between WWI and WWII, Glory might be best described as a somewhat cynical allegory about the plight of the "Lost Generation"--those ex-patriots who retreated to Paris during the 20s and 30s. Martin, our protagonist, while not an American in Paris, most certainly is lost. Having been forced into exile during the Rus ...more
Jul 11, 2012 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Glory is a tale of adventure and "coming of age" during pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg. We follow the life and development of Martin Edelweiss, a Swiss-Russian, from childhood to university graduate of Cambridge in England. As the years pass, Martin finds himself in situations, with increasing loftiness and grandiosity, where he feels the need to conquer in order to achieve, in his eyes, a sort of heroic status. Much akin to the “perfect throw” in football—whatever that is.

The crux of the prob
May 24, 2009 Misha marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
I read the Foreword and first chapter (which was only about 2 pages) early this morning. All I can manage to say through the fog of exhaustion today is that I find Nabokov's authorial voice delightful. I usually skip the Forewords, but I saw that this one was dated on my birthday -- three years before I was born, but my birthday nonetheless, so I felt compelled by the cosmic symmetry to read it. I'm glad I did, because the writing was delightful and insightful. It's an interesting experience to ...more
Young White Russian emigre Martin Edelweiss is the sensitive and self-righteous protagonist of one of Vladimir Nabokov's least known and least-read novels, but where Glory is most glorious is in its peerless writing and not so much in its meandering, trifling tale of confused youth.

Martin Edelweiss is a cosmopolitan bastard child of sorts; someone Oscar Wilde might have pegged as "young enough to know everything," a sensitive but insufferable little prig, modeled autobiographically via Nabokov h
I love Nabokov's writing style. I have since the first book of his I read, which was (I'm pretty sure and cliché as it is) Lolita. Glory feels like a very young book. This makes sense, because it is one of his earlier novels, originally written in Russian and translated into English by Nabokov's son (with revisions by Nabokov himself). The book follows Martin, a Swiss-Russian emigre who has a nostalgic fascination with the Russia of his childhood. This is where I get Martin--his affection for th ...more
Jul 01, 2015 Adelina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Тази книга трябва да се чете бавно, за да може читателят да се потопи в очарованието на езика. Кратки фрази, живи описания. Изграждане на образа внимателно, щрих по щрих - главният герой Мартин е руски емигрант, животът му протича в Швейцария, Англия, Германия, преминава през Франция, но никъде той не се чувства чужд, нито пък се чувства у дома си. Няма я и носталгията по Русия /както може да се очаква в подобен роман, още повече като се има предвид животът на самия автор/, Мартин е възпитаван о ...more
Jun 29, 2010 J. rated it really liked it

Nabokov’s kaleidoscopic coming-of–age novel Glory was written in Russian in 1932, and later translated into English by son Dmitri in the seventies, under the supervision of father, author and observant reporter, Vladimir.

Basically two veins being explored here. One the familiar theme of first-love / love-lost & consequent melancholy that comprises the vocational aspirations of every Sensitive Youth.

And the other, the Mise-en-Scène-- itself a complex place-shifting and time-juggling looking g
Dec 20, 2009 Andreea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was starting to really like Nabokov and I guess that's why this book disappoints me more than it would if it came from an author I already didn't like. He [Nabokov:] seems to have the tendency to start things brilliantly, but then gradually lose his pathos. That's how I felt Ada or Adour was too, the first 200 pages truly brilliant the rest considerably more ...sloggy. The first half of this book, until Martin graduates from Cambridge was both interesting and funny. Things were happening and y ...more
Jan 17, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian, fiction
Calm, quiet, mystical, and with just "a touch of the fantastic," this is distinctly different Nabokov, yet still with the recognizable voice of the master. As usual, the language is perfection, this time picturesquely evocative of nature and its mysteries. The mood begins with ironic comedy then evolves toward a fulfilling melancholy, taking it's glorious time along the way. At the end, the story simply disappears with a quiet starkness you will not forget.

Glory does not suffer in comparison wit
Mar 31, 2010 Matthew rated it really liked it
Such languorous, simple, beautiful prose I have not had the grace to read since Remains of the Day or perhaps Left hand of Darkness. Martin never gave up his vigor of youth for the indolence, security, and artificiality of Adulthood. Much to the distress of his friends and family he doggedly pursues his adolescent dreams never succumbing to the siren's call of settling. Truly we can learn what Glory and sacrifice means from Martin's example, if only we have the courage to buck what society expec ...more
Kent Winward
Glory is a cautionary tale for me. Nabokov displays moments of greatness, like the fight scene in this book. His books cannot be faulted in construction, organization or language as motifs and themes weave in and out of themselves consistently. And that is the problem -- too consistent, too logical, too direct to make the story come alive -- the puppet show is ruined because the strings of the author are all too apparent. I see Nabokov more than I see the characters, yet he is interesting enough ...more
Mar 24, 2016 Dani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very under appreciated Nabokov work.
Alexander Van Leadam
This is a book I disliked from the very beginning. It felt like an ego trip of a main character who isn't very interesting and above all not likeable; one cannot sympathize with Martin Edelweiss (Sergeyevits) despite his plight (orphan and emigre) because he is not only too upper-class but also completely shallow, egocentric and hedonistic. By extension, the author doesn't come over as likeable either. There are some magnificent descriptions of situations, feelings and physical environments but ...more
Sep 13, 2010 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nabokov-project
Starts out wonderfully - very wry, witty and well cared for. Then Martin leaves college and I lost all interest. The jacket will tell you that he succeeds in crossing the border back to the USSR - but he doesn't actually succeed in doing so until the last few pages so it feels a little under-whelming when he simply disappears. Glad to be done with this one, not terrible but also not particularly great.
Jan 20, 2016 Lea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian
Glory was strange indeed: full of thick description, concise yet mellifluous, occasionally meandering and dull, and at points deeply insightful and reflective.
I'm still puzzling over the ending, trying to decide what it means and how we got there. I don't think I've ever come across a story that ends like that, 1o or so pages before the words stop. I'm not even saying that right, but you get what I mean, don't you? Or perhaps you read this book in Russian and understand some of the more oblique
James MacIntyre
Feb 11, 2012 James MacIntyre rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Probably the most autobiographical of Nabokov's earlier novels originally written in Russian, but generally not as good as his later works.

At times the prose has the sparkling flair of his later works, but the overall narrative is unbalanced, meandering and ultimately unfulfilling.
very unexpected - lovely to read however.

reread: quite brilliant but with the subject... it's just inherently not all that compelling. so i've got to disagree with nabokov's assessment of it being his 3rd best novel, but still worth reading and worth reading carefully.
Aug 18, 2009 Monique rated it liked it
For me, nowhere near as good as Lolita, but still interesting. Martin's fascination with Russia seems somewhat impersonal -- it's a "product of his time" (Nabokov alludes to this in the forward), and I think that's part of where it lost me.
Nov 13, 2011 Riley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vladimir Nabokov has, unfortunately, always disappointed me, though I've returned to him many times hoping it wouldn't be so. This book was an exception, and I enjoyed it a lot. Nabokov's descriptive powers are really on display here.
James Klagge
Apr 10, 2015 James Klagge rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I happened to choose this to read now b/c I had it in an old paperback edition and I didn't have to worry about taking it on a trip. In fact the binding (and hence the book) broke in half, and I just disposed of the pages as I finished them!
But I had the book to start with b/c it is Nabokov, and you can always count on him for fine writing. I didn't think to keep track from the start, but there were probably half a dozen words I didn't know. Unfortunately, since I was traveling, I didn't have an
Nov 18, 2010 DoctorM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very early and rather romantic Nabokov. A young man's novel, but surprisingly powerful, and full of Russian romanticism and melancholy.
Kim Loughran
I can't ever read Nabokov and not be inspired by his craft. But it was a revelation to realise that he is actually not good at characters. The flimsy figures in this book seem embarrassingly dated and it appears to me that perhaps the only character Nabokov created that rings true is Humbert Humbert, which is disquieting because it may indicate a dark, personal authenticity. Nabokov has an unsurpassed eye for detail and a unmatchable memory, but they are far better served in his dispassionately ...more
Perry Whitford
Jul 29, 2013 Perry Whitford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- a young man's romantic coming of age, Nabokov style.
- Martin has a budding artist's temperament, his imagination is full of flighty notions of courage and romance, which Nabokov both indulges and mocks. He has what he considers to be 'prophetic daydreams' but their success depends considerably upon the malleability of memory. Yet he has no artistic outlet.
- 'Martin, who had learned early to control his tears and conceal his emotions, astonished his schoolteachers with his insensitivity'.
- Mar
Anavie Alegre
As always I have been captivated by his prose but the transitions really confused me. >.< I call this piece 'feel good novel'. I was able to construct a vivid imagery of the novel, it’s like I was traveling to those places, although as someone who’s from the tropics I’m not familiar with the trees and others. But still there was no stopping me from imagining it all, and at some parts I could even hear sounds accompanying the image on my mind, it’s like a movie. That’s what I like about thi ...more
Jun 17, 2008 Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
Not one of Nabokov's heaviest books, to be sure, and not so full of those verbal acrobatics that so enhance his later work; in fact Glory is almost universally considered his least remarkable novel, but I quite enjoy it. Some memorable, well drawn characters: the witty and languorously charming Darwin, who is given one of my favorite descriptions in the book when we are familiarized with the soles of his shoes as he always has them listlessly propped up on some piece of furniture. Equally striki ...more
Nov 04, 2007 milkrobot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, if you get the Vintage edition, don't read the book description! It's terrible, it must have been written for another book.

That being said, the book itself is wonderful. Martin Edelweiss is a helplessly romantic mama's boy whose main ambition is to gallop through life with loud enough virility to make ladies swoon. Year after year of his life (or chapter after chapter), Nabokov poses grander situations in which Martin feels challenged to make his life more picturesque, or himself more ma
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Nabokov in Three ...: Initial Impressions 1 4 Dec 13, 2011 12:02AM  
  • Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years
  • The Man Without Qualities: Vol 3
  • Pylon: The Corrected Text
  • The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness
  • Vera (Mrs.Vladimir Nabokov)
  • Envy
  • Novel with Cocaine
  • Red Cavalry
  • Lunar Caustic
  • Notes on the Cuff and Other Stories
  • Petersburg
  • Contos do Nascer da Terra
  • Poor Folk and Other Stories
  • The Selected Poems
  • The Steppe and Other Stories, 1887-91
  • Donna di Porto Pim
  • E do Meio do Mundo Prostituto Só Amores Guardei Ao Meu Charuto
  • Maigret And The Loner
Russian: Владимир Владимирович Набоков

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, also known by the pen name Vladimir Sirin, was a Russian-American novelist. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist. He also made significant contributions to lepidoptery and had an interest in chess problems.

Nabokov's Lolita (1955) is frequently cit
More about Vladimir Nabokov...

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“Human thought, flying on the trapezes of the star-filled universe, with mathematics stretched beneath, was like an acrobat working with a net but suddenly noticing that in reality there is no net.” 9 likes
“The crickets kept crepitating; from time to time there came a sweet whiff of burning juniper; and above the black alpestrine steppe, above the silken sea, the enormous, all-engulfing sky, dove-gray with stars, made one's head spin, and suddenly Martin again experienced a feeling he had known on more than one occasion as a child: an unbearable intensification of all his senses, a magical and demanding impulse, the presence of something for which alone it was worth living.” 3 likes
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