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Lolita

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  375,784 ratings  ·  11,651 reviews
Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, written in English & published in 1955 in Paris, in 1958 in NY & in 1959 in London. It was later translated by its Russian-native author into Russian. The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist & unreliable narrator, a 37–38-year-old literature professor, Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with the 12-ye...more
Paperback, 50th Anniversary Edition, 317 pages
Published March 13th 1989 by Vintage International (first published 1955)
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Susan Gernhardt This book is more than disturbing in bits...it is entirely disturbing. Maybe I should have read it when I was a teenager...instead of a grandmother!
Alexandra As a sixteen year old reading this for the second time round, I would say it depends on the precocity of the adolescent in question. I personally…moreAs a sixteen year old reading this for the second time round, I would say it depends on the precocity of the adolescent in question. I personally enjoyed the book very much and have only put off re-reading it because of not being able to get my hands on a copy of my own (the first was from a library).(less)
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Tatiana
Jan 04, 2012 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who will not fall for Humbert's lies
I wasn't even going to write a review of Lolita after finishing it, because, honestly, how many reviews does this classic need? That is, until I started pocking around and reading what others have to say about it. Many reactions to this book are puzzling to me. In this world of Jerry Sanduskys and such, there are still people who find this "erotic," who in the end feel compassionate towards the narrator, who think that Lolita was the one who seduced and manipulated poor Humbert? Well, I beg to d...more
Emily May
Now, this is going to be embarrassing to admit.

As we all should know, reading and enjoying a book is largely about interpretation. People are not the same and we all view things differently, one individual might see a relationship in a book as "passionate" while another could see it as "damaging". When characters make bad decisions, some will view it as stupidity and others will view it as an accurate representation of humanity's imperfections. Not only that, but time often changes the way one p...more
Rolls
Mar 13, 2007 Rolls rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pervs
An old friend used to say that "Ulysses" was a good book to read but not a good book to "read". After reading "Lolita" I understand what he meant.

Nabokov was a man obsessed with word games and this book is crammed cover to cover with many brilliant examples. Language delighted the man and that certainly comes across. What makes this acheivement even more amazing was that English was his third or fourth language. It is mind blowing that he or anyone could write so fluidly in a "foreign" tongue. I...more
Jason
Nymph. Nymphet. Nymphetiquette. Nymphology. Nymphism. I will never think of 12 year old girls the same way. There’s a stain on my brain. The power of this book is that it’s creepy and taboo, but the pedophilia and incest is so damn plausible. There’s a criminal, upsetting proclivity of the subject matter, but the whole thing is oiled with reason--SAY IT AINT SO. It’s deviant, queer, puerile, and yet ever so human, darkly human, perverted in the corner.

Lolita lingers in my mind, like an accidenta...more
David
LUST AND LEPIDOPTERY
(Legend of a Licentious Logophile)

1. Libidinous linguist lusts after landlady's lass.
2. Lecherous lodger weds lovelorn landlady.
3. Landlady loses life.
4. Lascivious lewd looks after little Lolita.
5. Lubricious Lolita loves licking lollipops lambitively.
6. Licentious lecturer loves Lolita louchely.
7. Lechery lands lusty lamister in legal limbo.
8. Lachrymose libertine languishes in lockup.
N
This book was disappointing and over-hyped.

When people talk about this book, they say things like it will "change the way you think" or that it's disquieting because it makes the reader sympathize with a pedophile. I thought wow, that much be worth reading.

Now I wonder if I read the same book as everyone else, or if *that* many people have misinterpreted it. It started out great: Humbert Humbert, the narrator, discusses different societies in the past that found it acceptable for very young wome...more
Chris
May 04, 2008 Chris rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any literate fans of Casey Parker
*Ranked as one of the Top 100 Fiction of the 20th Century*
I’m not quite sure how to put this in words. Hell, I’m not sure what I intend to say, so this is going to be ugly. If you want to sit in on this exercise be my guest, you’ve probably got more important things to do, such as organizing your cassette tapes and LPs before shoving them in a box destined for the attic, believe me, your time will be better spent, especially when you take that stroll down memory lane and consider how killer it w...more
Garima
The word/name Lolita always had a negative connotation for me. I became familiar with it at a relatively young age, when a famous villain in Bollywood used to say this name in a movie whenever he used to get horny on seeing a damsel (Aauu...Lalita *Lolita as I used to thought*), my Indian friends should know. And then I had an aunt I was not much fond of, whose name was Lalita and I used to call her Lolita. *unlovingly*

When I was in 6th or 7th standard, we had a Physical Education teacher (Pun f...more
Mary Ellen
Aug 15, 2012 Mary Ellen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
I recently got into an argument with a friend about Lolita. I contend that it's one of the most beautiful books ever written, and that it's twice as amazing because Nabakov wrote it in English (which is his second or third language).

She contended that it was about a child molestor and was inexcusable.

I argued that it was more about chronicling a slightly off-kilter man's descent into wretched madness and total loathsomeness. A portrait of a child molestor, not necessarily a sanctioning of one.

S...more
Manny
Warning: contains spoilers for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, L'âge de raison and this book

I remember seeing an interview with Nabokov, where he was asked what long-term effect he thought Lolita had had. I suppose the interviewer was looking for some comment on the liberalization of censorship laws, or something like that. Nabokov didn't want to play - as you can see in Look at the Harlequins, he was pretty tired of these questions. So he said well, as far as he could make out, there had only been...more
Eli
This book scared the living daylights out of me.

As everyone says - its gorgeously written. The language is so rich that it somehow spills over the sentences - there's more to them than you can easily ingest. The writing makes the whole thing a pleasure to read, and in a lot of ways puts Nabakov in control from the start - there isn't a lot of room to imagine motives since Nabakov explains so much. I should point out that were a lesser writer spend any time at all writing in a language I can't r...more
Traveller
LOLITA


This review contains SPOILERS, but if you've been living on this planet, you probably knew about them already...

Daddy, are we there yet? Are we there YET? Daddy, how much longer still? I want to go home!
Hush little one, now
Say your prayers
Don't forget my little nymph
To include everyone
I tuck you in
Warm within
Keep you free from sin
'Til the sandman he comes

Sleep with one eye open
Gripping your pillow tight

Exit light
Enter night
Take my hand
We're off to never never-land

Something's
...more
Paul
Other formerly shocking novels of previous centuries have lost their power, batteries quite flat (Madame Bovary, Ulysses, Lady Chatterly’s Lover) – we love them still but we wince no more, we may be quite amused at the idea that this word or that idea was not allowed in polite society – we may, indeed, be vastly amused at the very idea of polite society because society is just not very polite at all these days. But uniquely, Lolita, this great and appalling novel, only gets more shocking and mor...more
Huda Yahya
يوميات متحرش بالأطفال


:::::::::::::::::::::

س: عرف العمل الأدبي الكلاسيكي

ج هو عمل غالبًا لا تستطيع أن تفهم سبب شهرته وخلوده
مهما حاولت التمحيص والتفحيص
فلا شيء سوى لسان طويل طويل يخرج لك
مستهزءا باليوم اللي - اتهبلت فيه ف عقلك وقلت ياروايات

وقد يصاحب ذلك محاولات متكررة في شد شعرك مستميتا في المحاولة
لما هذا السفه قد يعتبر عملَا أدبيا خالدا؟؟

;;;;;;;;;;

الرواية تبرز إمكانات ناباكوف الضعيفة والمثيرة للشفقة
-مع مراعاة الزمن الذي كتبت فيه الرواية
فذلك السرد وتلك اللغة لا يتركان مجالا للشك

وكأن هذا الرجل قد أق
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Nabokov himself said that this novel was his best. I still have to read the others but I agree when critics say that this is one of the best English novels ever. For me, the reason is the irony of having a very sick theme - pedophilia - but told brilliantly that you would fall in love with the book and you don't readily really know why.

From the famous opening statement: "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta:..." up to his closing statements "I am thinking of au...more
Melissa
I feel like a mental midget in trying to explain my feelings about this book. I struggle to understand why it is considered such a classic piece of literature. Am I jaded by my own time? Have I heard too often the world "lolita" used in modern contexts to refer to young girls who are attractive to adult men who should know better? I had to delve into some literary criticism in order to help me understand, and I think what Lolita tries to do is tell a disguting story about a disgusting man using...more
Riku Sayuj
Jan 07, 2013 Riku Sayuj rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Riku by: Himanshu Rai
Another review has been put up here. That one is equally bad and confused, you might as well just skim this:

Still dazed by the stupor of melancholy and perversion that Humbert Humbert has exposed my poor brain to. Still trying to make sense of the monster/poet/victim and of Lolita, the symbol of our age. Who exploited whom, who were the villains and who were to be punished, these thoughts are still swirling in my head; desperately trying to ascribe meaning beyond the mere acts of the novel, to r...more
Riku Sayuj
Qualifier:

Here is the review I had planned in my earlier rambling. I had half-hoped that I would brood over it, and in due time, some blazingly original understanding of the book would shine through in a review (as it usually does!). Now enough time has passed and I have even given the book a second go-over. I am still lost. So here, for your reading pleasure, is the second-hand review, the old mish-mash of familiar thoughts, the dusty talk about beauty and about confused morality and vague hint...more
Renato Magalhães Rocha
This is a great book. I had heard of Lolita before as I admire Kubrick’s work - and I’ve seen most of his films - including, of course, the film version of Nabokov’s novel. Prior to that, the only knowledge I had of it was that the term “lolita” was coined in this book. As it happens with most films that are adapted from books, I felt Kubrick’s version wasn’t as heavy and, well, dirty as I imagined a book on this subject would be. So after some time I decided to finally read it. And I’m glad I d...more
Brad
Lolita isn't about murder. Lolita isn't about obsession. Lolita isn't about madness. Lolita isn't even about pedophilia or abuse.

Sure those elements are there, but there's skin on the outside of my body, and I can tell you that my largest organ is not what I am about. The same is true for Lolita.

Lolita is a game. It's a chess match by a Russian master. It's an intellectual exercise by a genius. It's an experiment in reader manipulation that's hypothesis is born out. It's references upon refere...more
Matt
My favorite book in all of literature. When I first encountered this title at the age of nineteen I finally realized that great writers were "doing stuff" besides just telling stories. Sure, in high school there was plenty of dry discussion about symbolism and foreshadowing and even dryer in-class readings of poets like Emily Dickinson and Anne Bradstreet(Ugh!), but at that point it all sounded like "The Yellow Rose of Texas" to me.

As I cannot even begin to give this book a straight (or even ob...more
Cecily
Impossible to rate as it's an awful subject, but very well written. The skill of the book (and what makes it most disturbing for me), is that it isn't a clear-cut story of innocent child and predatory adult (which is not to excuse Humbert's actions), and it's only told from one - very biased - point of view.

Since writing this review, I've discovered that Nabokov was a synaesthete. If I (re)read him, I'll have to bear that in mind. See: http://blogs.plos.org/neurotribes/201... .

This book raises...more
Mariel
Jun 19, 2011 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Humbert, dressed in cobras
Recommended to Mariel by: This is the dream of Humbert and Humbert
Lolita is my wallowing in the recesses of another's mind. This book is a snake mind pit.

It also broke my heart for the realization that knowing other people can be completely and totally foriegn. It is incredibly depressing to me how many people I've known (all female) who took Humbert's word about anything Lolita felt. Nabokov's genius was also in the telling between the lines. Those beats in spaces, the silences. How could they miss that? How could anyone get so lost in the wallowing that the...more
Jason
WAIT A SECOND. Doesn’t Sting refer to Humbert Humbert as the “old man in that book by Nabokov”? If so, then maybe he ought to have reread Lolita before opening his big fat mouth. Because that “old man,” Mr. Fields of Gold, happens to be only in his 30s.

How fucking offensive.
Rakhi Dalal
Dear Mr. Nobokov,

Kindly accept my apologies for not accomplishing the mission of studying your work in the most literary sense (as I assume perhaps may be your purpose). Do consider that I had not had the slightest idea of the subject of the work beforehand, so I did not start reading it with any prejudice in my mind. No, I did not.

The beginning of the book was quite effortless. The words flowed exactly as you had designed them to flow, with the desired rhythm of course. You were quite good whe...more
Ian Paganus de Fish
A Review of Lolita from a Cellphone

Though it's true that Nabokov
Has gone and killed her off,
She still lives in my mind and
I'd really like to meet her.

She features in my ev'ry dream
And so, in all humility,
I'm sure I'd be better for her
Than Humbert, who was too haughty.

She'd be a few years older
And I a little bolder.
Especially now that we are grown,
It wouldn't be that naughty.

In my long and loving arms
It would be so much sweeter,
Though there's no telling in a book
How it is that I would treat her....more
Joe
Sep 29, 2007 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: oprah
Nabokov, light of the page, fire of my brain. My sin, my soul. Na-bo-kov: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Na. Bo. Kov.
Mohit Parikh
Published at Open Road Review. So. Can be read there too :)
http://www.openroadreview.in/nabokov-...

-*-

Pompously I babbled. I will kick it to the ground and stomp on it, spit on it, tear it asunder and burn it, but never will I read it. Nabokov corrupts. I knew my words were hollow, as hollow as my core was, hollow and enveloped in pain, but I uttered them with a vehemence, a temerity that only a young aspiring writer can display.
My friend offered it to me as I was boarding my train. That book,...more
April
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
Lolita is a road novel, but its kind of the anti-On The Road (it was published in 1955, two years before Kerouac’s breakout book). Humbert Humbert and Sal Paradise travel some of the same roads, around the same time, but rather than some holy quest through sanctified towns in search of enlightenment and kicks, Humbert’s is a furtive, illicit journey through a bland, tacky, ephemeral, clumsily commercialized landscape. On the other hand, both Sal and Humbert are bohemians of sorts, and both cast...more
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Club de Lectura d...: Comentarios sobre Lolita, de Nabokov 5 4 Oct 18, 2014 06:29AM  
2014 Reading Chal...: Lolita: Part 2, Chapters 1 - 17 (Contains Spoilers) 5 27 Oct 14, 2014 06:16PM  
I'm having a really difficult time reading this book 51 635 Oct 10, 2014 05:57AM  
Lolita's riddle 6 169 Oct 09, 2014 12:00PM  
Lolita 5 142 Oct 07, 2014 06:50PM  
Humbert is a paedophile. He abuses Lolita. 479 2178 Oct 07, 2014 05:54AM  
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5152
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
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