John Pappas's Reviews > Pale Fire

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
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Jul 29, 12

Read from July 15 to 29, 2012

Utterly mind-blowing. This, rather than Lolita, may be Nabokov's tour-de-force. Consisting of a forward written by fictional professor Charles Kinbote (neighbor to celebrated poet John Shade) to Shade's last poem (a 999 line work presented in its entirety) and explanatory notes, in which three plot lines (which may or may not be delusional in nature, or rather, may or may not be of varying levels of delusion) skitter back and forth across time and space like leaves in a suburban street. As Kinbote delves deeper into Shade's poem, he reveals much more about himself than he does about Shade's poem.

Wildly funny, smart and intense, as well as inventive in form and theme, Pale Fire is at once a murder mystery, a political thriller, a discourse on the limits of the human mind and human knowledge and a metafictional comment on the nature of criticism. Absolutely Nabokov's best book, of the ones I have read.
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Reading Progress

07/15/2012 page 10
07/25/2012 page 210
67.0% "Zembla!"
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