Maria Elmvang's Reviews > Reading "Lolita" In Tehran

Reading "Lolita" In Tehran by Azar Nafisi
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's review
Dec 04, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: 2008, 2-stars, cultural, non-fiction
Read in December, 2008 , read count: 1

"A Memoir in Books" - the concept sounded fascinating. Especially for a book lover like me. Unfortunately, it didn't really work for me. It ended up taking me almost a month to read this book, because it just didn't capture me. Not that it was boring, and I enjoyed it while I was reading it, I just found it all too easy to put down, and found myself forgetting it for weeks on end because I had more interesting books to pick up in its stead.

Also, the "in books" part of the memoir seemed almost added on. I think I would have enjoyed it more had it just been a memoir in its own right instead of Azar trying to tie everything up with the books that she'd decided 'fit'. Because the parts about her life in Iran were absolutely fascinating, and there were some quotes that'll stay with me for a very long time, (eg. "Criminals should not be tried. The trial of a criminal is against human rights. Human rights demand that we should have killed them in the first place when it became known that they were criminals" - Ayatollah Khomeini - pretty representative of the revolution of 1979), as I really knew much too little of what happened there.

I hadn't read many of the books she mentioned (mainly "Lolita", "The Great Gatsby", something by Henry James (never did find out which book it was) and "Pride and Prejudice), but don't think that made too much of a difference in my opinion of the book, as the events referred to were pretty well described.

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Reading Progress

11/05/2008 page 79
12/01/2008 page 155
44.29% "Very, very slow-moving"
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