Harrison's Reviews > The Luzhin Defense

The Luzhin Defense by Vladimir Nabokov
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's review
Sep 18, 2012

really liked it

Another awesome one by Vlad. This is my first read of one of his early translated novels and it did not disappoint because his distinct voice is there. The more I read by him the more I find myself getting in tune with his peculiarities like the inward themes (nothing is a statement on life; everything is directly aimed within the book itself.)

I only had a couple of problems with this novel: I found that luzhin's grandmaster chess career felt a little too brief and later his mental block of chess came across as forced. Also, I don't think Nabokov is a great writer of psychological breakdown. The freak outs of these characters, like in the ending of Bend Sinister, are too on-the-rails predictable. Everything else was masterful, elegant, wonderful and tragic.


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