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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,241 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Glory is the wryly ironic story of Martin Edelweiss, a twenty-two-year-old Russian emigre of no account, who is in love with a girl who refuses to marry him. Convinced that his life is about to be wasted and hoping to impress his love, he embarks on a "perilous, daredevil project"--an illegal attempt to re-enter the Soviet Union, from which he and his mother had fled in 19 ...more
Paperback, 205 pages
Published November 5th 1991 by Vintage Books (first published 1931)
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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Best Russian Literature
154th out of 380 books — 1,535 voters
Lolita by Vladimir NabokovPale Fire by Vladimir NabokovSpeak, Memory by Vladimir NabokovPnin by Vladimir NabokovDespair by Vladimir Nabokov
Best Works of Vladimir Nabokov
18th out of 21 books — 5 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,384)
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Jeff Jackson
Jun 20, 2013 Jeff Jackson rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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

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
Erica Verrillo
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
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

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
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
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
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
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.
James MacIntyre
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.
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.
James Klagge
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
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
- 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
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
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
Mark Sacha
Disclaimer: this is the first Nabokov novel I've read.

Fairly conventional coming of age story with pretty descriptions. One of the author's Russian novels, later translated into English by his son, it's about a boy from a well-off Russian expatriate family who 1. Goes to college and 2. Has sex with every girl he wants, except for the sort of sickly daughter of family friends, whom he obviously becomes infatuated with, the frustration of which evidently leading him to 3. make really bad vaguely-m
Unlike The Gift, the narrating intelligence is, as usual, looking down his nose at his slightly dopey protagonist; also unlike The Gift, the sentences are not so densely allusive, and so exist as mere marvels of Nabokov's nonpareil sentencecraft. This was, I believe I read someplace*, John Updike's favorite of Nabokov's books, or at least his Russian books, and it may be my favorite of the Russian books, too: just enough pathos to avoid the cruel cartoony feeling in King Queen Knave or Laughter ...more
very quiet book. son escapes russia with mother during bolshevik revolution (which always lurks behind the curtain here). typical nabokovian fare follows: child grows up, becomes obsessed with girl, goes to university, etc. the plot is not really the draw here but rather the method by which nabokov transforms the.banal into the sublime via his pen. there's enough to marvel at in this one to warrant 4 stars.
Douglas Cosby
It's hard to give Nabokov less than a 3 because his writing itself is always such a delight, and this book might even deserve higher, but every time I picked it up I forgot what was going on, none of the scenes or events really stuck with me, and I didn't really want to read it. I think it might be because Iris Murdoch out-Nabokoved Nabokov in the last book I read by her (The Good Apprentice), and I kept getting them mixed up. Nabokov did a good job with the confusing nature of the desire that m ...more
Apr 30, 2014 Don rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
There's some really good parts of this novel, but it kinda ended short for me. Nabokov ended it the way he wanted to, but it's hard not to want a resolution.
Alright so I seem to be the only person who didn't like this novel. Didn't like would be too strong actually. More than anything else, I am unable to muster any emotions for the book. Hence, the 'it was okay' rating.
Nothing seems to happen in the novel. The book is filled with fantasies and day-dreams which I assume is it's charm . However, not for me. I would've preferred something more substantial. Especially in the way of the ending. Maybe his point was to leave us wondering. But I am not si
Nabokov is unmatched at his ability to capture the pang of unrequited love, but this is not among his great works by my lights.
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Nabokov in Three ...: Initial Impressions 1 4 Dec 13, 2011 12:02AM  
  • Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years
  • Eugene Onegin, Vol. I (Text)
  • The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness
  • Envy
  • Vera (Mrs.Vladimir Nabokov)
  • Petersburg
  • Pylon: The Corrected Text
  • The Selected Poems
  • Novel with Cocaine
  • The Foundation Pit
  • Summer in Baden-Baden
  • Black Snow
  • The Voices of Marrakesh: A Record of a Visit
  • Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings
  • First Love and Other Novellas
  • Red Cavalry
  • The Shooting Party
  • The Dragon: Fifteen Stories
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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