Jennifer Tatroe's Reviews > Lolita

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
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's review
Dec 30, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009, classics, literary
Read in January, 2009

"For me," Nabokov writes, in the afterword to Lolita, "a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss..."

That is Lolita in a nutshell. Everyone even passingly familiar with the name knows what it's about--the relationship between a pedophile and the child of his obsession. What a passing knowledge of Lolita doesn't include is how, sprinkled amidst the disgust and the horror and the farce... no, not sprinkled, interwoven with it in such a way as to be inextricable... is moment after moment of the most perfect, crystalline beauty.

I've noticed that with many books acknowledged to be masterworks of the English language, it takes me quite a while to warm up to them, as if for the first hundred pages or so, I'm reserving judgement, unwilling to sign my contract with the author and fully enter into their literary world. Lolita was definitely like that for me and I suspect if I were to turn right back to the first page now, I'd find myself transported immediately into the story and not have to endure the long slog I felt the first time through. Nevertheless, I'm giving it four stars for making me wait so long to fully engage. It probably deserves five.
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Reading Progress

01/16 page 26
7.76% "I am still waiting to be swept away."
01/17 page 94
28.06% "...and now it's riveting."
01/19 page 189
56.42% "I wonder if I would have reacted less viscerally to this book if I'd read it before I became a parent... or more viscerally if I had a girl."
02/18 marked as: read

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