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Lolita

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  473,567 Ratings  ·  15,909 Reviews
Humbert humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor he also likes little girls and none more so than lolita, who he'll do anything to possess is he in love or insane? a silver-tongued poet or a pervert? a tortured soul or a monster? ...or is he all of these?
Paperback, 361 pages
Published 2008 by Penguin (first published 1955)
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Rachel I'm 16 and I have read it a lot of times. You can read whatever you want and nobody can tells you 'you can't read this'.
Cam Hoff What's disturbing is how Nabokov is able to write a disturbed pedophile main character as one that isn't entirely revolting...but rather someone with…moreWhat's disturbing is how Nabokov is able to write a disturbed pedophile main character as one that isn't entirely revolting...but rather someone with charm and wit that you can almost relate to. Fantastically creepy.(less)
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Popular Penguins
6th out of 200 books — 78 voters
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Classics of Bad Behaviour
10th out of 21 books — 14 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tatiana
Jan 04, 2012 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  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
Ian Vinogradus
Between the Covers

Having just re-read "Lolita", I asked my local bookseller if she had ever read it.
She replied firmly, “No…and I’m not going to either. He’s a paedophile.”
A bit taken aback, I enquired further, “Who? The author or the character?”
Fortunately, she replied, “The character.”
For me, this exchange showed how much “Lolita” can still sharply divide opinion, even within lovers of fiction.
This wasn’t the conversation I had been hoping for.
I had read “Lolita” in a couple of days, less time
...more
Emily May
Sep 27, 2015 Emily May rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, favourites
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 liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 20, 2016 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
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
Stepheny
Once, a long time ago I was an 11 year old girl. I did not always appear my age, nor act it. I was long and lean and blonde and full of the confidence that only a young child can exude.



Me, circa 1998. A ripe 11 years old thinking I was to be America’s Next Top Model. Ha!

It was around this time that my body began raging with hormones and ideas about boys and love. I was introduced to sex at a young age. My sister being 4 years my elder thought she should show me the ways of the world. And boy di
...more
David
Jan 16, 2009 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5q
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.
Namrirru
Dec 04, 2013 Namrirru rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian, e
Nabokov often writes his novels in the perspective of detestable villains. You never like them, you're never supposed to like them, and Nabokov doesn't like them either. He slaps them around and humiliates them. And in the end, they pay the price for their sins. Readers never seem to realize this. They become immersed in the psychology of the book and feel defiled by it all. Instead, they should sit back and watch the bastards suffer. The stories are written in their own view so that makes the p ...more
Chris
May 04, 2008 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Huda Yahya
Apr 22, 2016 Huda Yahya rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels_novellas, shit
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
s.penkevich
Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece.

Opening a book is a unique conversation with another, the chance to enter and occupy the headspace of a writer, a character, a voice screaming out into the void. We see life—our own world or fantastic realities that function as elaborate metaphors for our own—through another’s eyes, walk a mile in another’s skin as Atticus Finch would say, and learn that despite the differences between individuals, we are all part o
...more
Lyn
Aug 24, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I once represented a man who had been accused of statutory rape and sexual exploitation of a minor. I did it because it is my job and I fundamentally believe that everyone, no matter how heinous the crime alleged, deserves a fair trial.

That said, it was the single most unpleasant experience of my legal career and high in the running for most unpleasant all time.

In popular culture we are inundated with scenes of crime and violence, we live in a morally relative landscape where “to each his own” i
...more
Garima
Oct 24, 2012 Garima rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who LOVE to read
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 it was amazing  ·  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
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 Bryant
Dec 04, 2013 Paul Bryant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Eli
Jun 30, 2007 Eli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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
Franco  Santos
Oct 28, 2015 Franco Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ay, Humbert Humbert, qué raro me hace sentir. Qué desagrado me causó leer sus más profundos pensamientos y sus aún más execrables acciones. Qué incómodo estuve al contemplar su obsceno y quimérico deseo hecho realidad.

Ay, Humbert Humbert, en qué disyuntiva me ha dejado. Porque, si tanto asco me dio, ¿qué es lo que siento en el pecho? ¿Dolor? ¿Rechazo? ¿Pena? ¿Felicidad? ¿Enfado? ¿Simpatía?

Ay, Humbert Humbert, qué extraño era usted, con ese amor tan vehemente, ese paroxismo fluyente en cada rinc
...more
Melissa
Oct 03, 2008 Melissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Delee
4.5

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee.

Edgar Allan Poe


*******

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta. The tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. Bu
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jun 15, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-core, favorites
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
Fionnuala
This is the fourth Nabokov work I've read in as many weeks, and what I’d really like to do now is have some fun comparing the narrators, the literary references, the mirror effects, the word games, and so fifth - and avoid entirely commenting on the issue of underage sex slaves.

But I can't do that. Not when the core of the book concerns the main character's obsession with girl children of around twelve years of age. Nor when he is so particular in his categorising of those girl children that he
...more
Henry Avila
Nov 09, 2015 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Humbert Humbert ( his parents had little imagination), was thirteen, he fell in love with Annabel, a girl of the same age. Living in a posh hotel on the French Riviera, owned by his widowed father, during the 1920's, idyllic, but life is not. After some smooching, not enough for the boy, she moves away with her family, and soon expires, on a Greek isle, trouble is Humbert never forgets, or recovers from this. The clock ticks forward, yet still remembering, the dreams, nightmares in fact, co ...more
Jason Koivu
Apr 10, 2015 Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought I was going to be sick a time or two while reading this...so, well done by you Nabokov, well done indeed!

When the reader gets so wrapped up in the story and believes so strongly in the characters and their actions that it moves the reader to illness, that is good writing. Almost too good. I had to remind myself that it wasn't real, that Nabokov wasn't writing a memoir in which he seduces and rapes an adolescent. His style, the language he uses and the way he employs it are all of the h
...more
Riku Sayuj
Jan 07, 2013 Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing
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
Diane
Apr 13, 2015 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, audiobooks
This novel is bleak and disturbing. The only way I got through it is because I was listening to Jeremy Irons perform it, and he was amazing as Humbert. Yes, the book is clever and well-written, but the story is so sad I never want to read it again.

Update
I got so depressed reading this book (I was thinking about how damaged the poor girl would be, about what a monster Humbert was, and even the sadness of his acknowledgement that his attraction to the nymphets was so fleeting that he dreaded the g
...more
Evgeny
Jan 26, 2016 Evgeny rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic
In this classic novel a middle-aged guy who calls himself Humbert Humbert is a pedophile. He falls in love with a young girl and is determined to get her, no matter the price. The general idea of the novel is so well-known I will not spend much time on it.

The modern Western society programmed to have a pedophile as bogeyman for grown-ups. We can listen on the news about mass shootings involving kids and completely forget about it five minutes later, but I saw otherwise normal rational adult hum
...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
JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust
****4" Lo Lee Ta " Stars****





Lolita has over 13,000 reviews, so I'm going to make this brief.

I finished the book a few days ago, & I still do not understand how the hell Vladimir Nabokov managed to make feel such deep compassion for a obsessive, pervert, pedophile, rapist, murderer, narcissistic, human being, named Humbert Humbert. Indeed in the end, I do believe HH truly loved Dolores in his own maddening way. Feel free to shake your head at me. I don't mind.



Nor does this reader compre
...more
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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
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