Mahesh Gopakumar's Reviews > King, Queen, Knave

King, Queen, Knave by Vladimir Nabokov
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's review
Aug 06, 2011

it was ok
Read from August 06 to September 19, 2011

Definitely not one of Nabokov's best. I do not know if it's the clunkiness imparted to it by the translation but this one just doesn't make the grade for me. I am a huge Nabokophile having read almost all his works (except for Ada, which is on my bookshelf).
The plot just seems to drag on and on and on and the conclusion is highly unsatisfactory. Coupled with that are the addition of a couple of gimmicky characters and plot asides which add nothing either to the story, or as Nabokov would have had it, the aesthetic quality of the book.
Personally, I think it is one of the major (and absolutely atypical) flops in Nabokov's stellar oeuvre. Among the translated books, for those wanting to read his pre-English translated works (from the Russian) I would recumbent they start with either Laughter in the Dark or Despair (both translated by Nabokov himself). LITD is especially good and a comparatively easy read (took me three days. King Queen Knave can be read purely for the sake of completion and even if it is skipped, I assure you, you're not missing much.
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