weird, surreal, symbolic and I feel underqualified to do a review. Reading the accompanied essays in the back helped immensely. I am an extremely logi...moreweird, surreal, symbolic and I feel underqualified to do a review. Reading the accompanied essays in the back helped immensely. I am an extremely logical person so I find it hard to spot hidden meanings sometimes. The story seems highly sexual but when you read the authors coincidences afterwards the story takes on more depth. I feel compelled to read more by this author. The main issues I had with this first novel was the sometimes too young way it was written, but even Bataille himself calls it juvenile, and the rushed pace of the story but after reading the essays I understand that it is not the characters or story that are the main focus but the journey of the symbolic objects.(less)
I had HIGH expectations of this. I thought I was going to love it as much as I loved The Virgin Suicides. I thought it would have that same old world...moreI had HIGH expectations of this. I thought I was going to love it as much as I loved The Virgin Suicides. I thought it would have that same old world feel about it.
Suffice it to say it did not deliver for me. I don't know whether its my fault for building it up in my head or if I am not intellectual enough to really understand the story but I hated Humbert. I absolutely got bored out of my skull reading his wittering, poncy language. And oh my god the French?!?! What a prize arse Humbert was. I mean what (other than infuriating the reader beyond repair) was the point in the ridiculous, arrogant fragments of French language? I for sure wasn't going to look up every one to see what the crap he was talking about. The whole thing for me just reeked of pretention and quite frankly he just seemed to think he was above everyone. (not the authors style but the character of Humbert which you cannot get away from as the narrator) I just did not care about him one bit. I don't think I have ever encountered a main character quite as loathsome as he was, and for that Nabokov deserves props. Lolita/Dolly was an interesting character and if the book had of been from her perspective I probably would have liked it.
So in summary, I don't quite get it. I don't get the hype. I don't understand how everyone wasn't raging inside like I was by the time they finished. I felt like I missed the point of it all because of Humbert's bumbling and babbling. I feel the need to read more by this author but not just yet. This book left me feeling inadequate, unintelligent and bored out of my wits. I was so utterly thankful when I finally finished, then I read Nabokov's interview at the back and I was totally dumbfounded that I could have missed all these points he made. It feels a bit like I don't really know what I have read. And I will not be in a hurry to read it again. (less)
It's pretty rare that any sort of horror or gore freaks me out, I have found more and more often I am only truly scared of certain types of horror. On...moreIt's pretty rare that any sort of horror or gore freaks me out, I have found more and more often I am only truly scared of certain types of horror. One of the things that does freak me out is a good ghost story. I started this having been told by a few people that it really scared them, I shrugged it off as I am such a massive horror fan. I started getting spooked quite quickly and found when I read in bed it took me much longer to settle down and fall asleep. This book is a perfect autumn/winter read. The whole mood and setting made me want to hide away from the awful weather and snuggle into my favourite blanket. The build up at the beginning of the story was great and really had me wondering about Eel Marsh House. This has everything a good ghost story needs and its also beautifully written. I would certainly recommend it to everyone.(less)
It is with great pleasure that I am finally able to review this marvel of a book. After having my reading it interrupted (someone reserved the librari...moreIt is with great pleasure that I am finally able to review this marvel of a book. After having my reading it interrupted (someone reserved the libraries only copy which I was very close to finishing) I have quickly got back into the swing of things and completed it. This authors words are sheer splendour to read. He weaves us into the lives of his characters. He creates characters with such emotional connection and with such amazing ability to understand their own emotions that I almost wished I could be written by him or created by him... A blurb on the back of my copy says "The nearest thing to sensual pleasure prose can offer" and this is so true on so many levels. Never have I read about what should be rather unlikeable people, yet Marquez manages to write them in such a manner that you as a reader forgive every misgiving or wrongdoing and just love these fictional friends for who they are through and through. I honestly think everybody should read this, it should be on your "to read before you die" book list if it isn't already! I have another of his novels waiting in my to read pile which I cannot wait to delve into but I shall allow myself some time before taking on another of what I am sure will be Gabriel Garcia Marquez masterpieces. (less)
I have loved this very strange book. I find it really odd that it is seen as such an accepted classic because the language is funny & bizarre but...moreI have loved this very strange book. I find it really odd that it is seen as such an accepted classic because the language is funny & bizarre but then the odd sentence will knock your socks off. The final part filled my eyes with tears. I hope the film does this book justice. Jack Kerouac sets the most perfect scenes in this novel, you feel like you are part of that culture, time period and friends with his friends. I adored the passion for living these characters had & being semi autobiographical, I feel he was lucky to meet these folks. Reading this made me want to jump in a car and just drive and drive and drive. To travel and take everything in, meet strangers and learn about their lives. The character of Dean is so crazy but relatable, its almost like the world is too much for him to grasp but he wants to hold it all. Wonderful characters & beautiful adventures. This book made me feel like most of us really are just missing the point, we don't live life, we plod through it. It makes me want to really live. (less)
This was a nice quick read and it was incredibly well written. I found it so much easier to get into than similar stories like Frankenstein as there w...moreThis was a nice quick read and it was incredibly well written. I found it so much easier to get into than similar stories like Frankenstein as there was less dithering language and it seemed more straight to the point. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this half as much as I did and I shall definitely look out for other works by this author. (less)
I really enjoyed this book. The story is one most people will probably already know to some extent, five sisters who live with over protective parents...moreI really enjoyed this book. The story is one most people will probably already know to some extent, five sisters who live with over protective parents and are kept hidden from the world until they can no longer bear it. The story is told from the perspective of the local neighbourhood boys who for one reason or another find the five girls across the street mesmerizing and beautiful. They are obsessed and enticed by these almost mystical creatures who they know almost nothing about. From the beginning we are aware of the final outcome which has been criticised by some and adored by others, I have to say I think this is the fact that makes this book stand out from every other book in the same genre/category. I think knowing what happens to these five sad girls is so integral to the feelings we get as an observer. Knowing the final outcome of the story creates such a haunting atmosphere throughout. As I said to another reviewer, Its almost as if the girls are already ghosts. For some reason we are still compelled to read as much about the creatures as possible in the short time we know we have. Having already lost the characters from the start and knowing you can do nothing to save them means that as a reader you are almost mourning for them. The parent/child relationship was a strange one, overly strict and claustraphobic to the point where you wanted to go to that house and get those girls the hell out. The fact that the surrounding community seem aware of the troubles but refuse to become part of the solution is creepy and frustrating. While reading this you are thoroughly aware that you lack the power to change the sad outcome but that somewhere someone could have. Its such a well written book. When I was about halfway through I thought maybe the book would've been interesting written from the girls perspective but then I realised that if it had been it would have been too easy, too cut and dry, it would have lacked the mystery that grips you to read about these girls you feel you knew and you would no longer feel like an observer, like one of the boys across the street watching the lisbon girls every move. Im so glad I eventually got round to reading this.