Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lolita” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  407,647 ratings  ·  12,939 reviews
Humbert Humbert - scholar, aesthete and romantic - has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady's gum-snapping, silky skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her ...more
Paperback, New Edition, 378 pages
Published February 3rd 2000 by Penguin Classics (first published 1955)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lolita, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Rachel I'm 16 and I have read it a lot of times. You can read whatever you want and nobody can tells you 'you can't read this'.
Kamui JJang Very. In the first 100 pages I had to take at least 3 breaks to restrain myself from breaking something. I guess I can look at the sinful emotions and…moreVery. In the first 100 pages I had to take at least 3 breaks to restrain myself from breaking something. I guess I can look at the sinful emotions and desires the same way any taboo love, but this psycho has a way of talking about his dark corners like a bad religion and that creeps me the hell out.(less)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeTwilight by Stephenie MeyerPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Best Books Ever
52nd out of 36,799 books — 144,833 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee1984 by George OrwellThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Best Books of the 20th Century
22nd out of 6,102 books — 41,006 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jan 04, 2012 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who will not fall for Humbert's lies
I wasn't even going to write a review of Lolita after finishing it, because, honestly, how many reviews does this classic need? That is, until I started pocking around and reading what others have to say about it. Many reactions to this book are puzzling to me. In this world of Jerry Sanduskys and such, there are still people who find this "erotic," who in the end feel compassionate towards the narrator, who think that Lolita was the one who seduced and manipulated poor Humbert? Well, I beg to d ...more
Ian Pagan-Gladfly
Between the Covers

This afternoon, having just re-read "Lolita", I asked my local bookseller (a lovely lady in her late 50's) if she had ever read it.
She replied firmly, “No…and I’m not going to either. He’s a paedophile.”
A bit taken aback, I enquired further, “Who? The author or the character?”
Fortunately, she replied, “The character.”
For me, this exchange showed how much “Lolita” can still sharply divide opinion, even within lovers of fiction.
This wasn’t the conversation I had been hoping for.
Emily May
Now, this is going to be embarrassing to admit.

As we all should know, reading and enjoying a book is largely about interpretation. People are not the same and we all view things differently, one individual might see a relationship in a book as "passionate" while another could see it as "damaging". When characters make bad decisions, some will view it as stupidity and others will view it as an accurate representation of humanity's imperfections. Not only that, but time often changes the way one p
Mar 13, 2007 Rolls rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pervs
An old friend used to say that "Ulysses" was a good book to read but not a good book to "read". After reading "Lolita" I understand what he meant.

Nabokov was a man obsessed with word games and this book is crammed cover to cover with many brilliant examples. Language delighted the man and that certainly comes across. What makes this acheivement even more amazing was that English was his third or fourth language. It is mind blowing that he or anyone could write so fluidly in a "foreign" tongue. I
Nymph. Nymphet. Nymphetiquette. Nymphology. Nymphism. I will never think of 12 year old girls the same way. There’s a stain on my brain. The power of this book is that it’s creepy and taboo, but the pedophilia and incest is so damn plausible. There’s a criminal, upsetting proclivity of the subject matter, but the whole thing is oiled with reason--SAY IT AINT SO. It’s deviant, queer, puerile, and yet ever so human, darkly human, perverted in the corner.

Lolita lingers in my mind, like an accidenta
This book was disappointing and over-hyped.

When people talk about this book, they say things like it will "change the way you think" or that it's disquieting because it makes the reader sympathize with a pedophile. I thought wow, that much be worth reading.

Now I wonder if I read the same book as everyone else, or if *that* many people have misinterpreted it. It started out great: Humbert Humbert, the narrator, discusses different societies in the past that found it acceptable for very young wome
(Legend of a Licentious Logophile)

1. Libidinous linguist lusts after landlady's lass.
2. Lecherous lodger weds lovelorn landlady.
3. Landlady loses life.
4. Lascivious lewd looks after little Lolita.
5. Lubricious Lolita loves licking lollipops lambitively.
6. Licentious lecturer loves Lolita louchely.
7. Lechery lands lusty lamister in legal limbo.
8. Lachrymose libertine languishes in lockup.
Nabokov often writes his novels in the perspective of detestable villains. You never like them, you're never supposed to like them, and Nabokov doesn't like them either. He slaps them around and humiliates them. And in the end, they pay the price for their sins. Readers never seem to realize this. They become immersed in the psychology of the book and feel defiled by it all. Instead, they should sit back and watch the bastards suffer. The stories are written in their own view so that makes the p ...more
May 04, 2008 Chris rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any literate fans of Casey Parker
*Ranked as one of the Top 100 Fiction of the 20th Century*
I’m not quite sure how to put this in words. Hell, I’m not sure what I intend to say, so this is going to be ugly. If you want to sit in on this exercise be my guest, you’ve probably got more important things to do, such as organizing your cassette tapes and LPs before shoving them in a box destined for the attic, believe me, your time will be better spent, especially when you take that stroll down memory lane and consider how killer it w
The word/name Lolita always had a negative connotation for me. I became familiar with it at a relatively young age, when a famous villain in Bollywood used to say this name in a movie whenever he used to get horny on seeing a damsel (Aauu...Lalita *Lolita as I used to thought*), my Indian friends should know. And then I had an aunt I was not much fond of, whose name was Lalita and I used to call her Lolita. *unlovingly*

When I was in 6th or 7th standard, we had a Physical Education teacher (Pun f
Warning: contains spoilers for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, L'âge de raison and this book

I remember seeing an interview with Nabokov, where he was asked what long-term effect he thought Lolita had had. I suppose the interviewer was looking for some comment on the liberalization of censorship laws, or something like that. Nabokov didn't want to play - as you can see in Look at the Harlequins, he was pretty tired of these questions. So he said well, as far as he could make out, there had only been
Mary Ellen
Aug 15, 2012 Mary Ellen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
I recently got into an argument with a friend about Lolita. I contend that it's one of the most beautiful books ever written, and that it's twice as amazing because Nabakov wrote it in English (which is his second or third language).

She contended that it was about a child molestor and was inexcusable.

I argued that it was more about chronicling a slightly off-kilter man's descent into wretched madness and total loathsomeness. A portrait of a child molestor, not necessarily a sanctioning of one.

Mar 15, 2015 Traveller added it
Shelves: modernism

This review contains SPOILERS, but if you've been living on this planet, you probably knew about them already...

Daddy, are we there yet? Are we there YET? Daddy, how much longer still? I want to go home!
Hush little one, now
Say your prayers
Don't forget my little nymph
To include everyone
I tuck you in
Warm within
Keep you free from sin
'Til the sandman he comes

Sleep with one eye open
Gripping your pillow tight

Exit light
Enter night
Take my hand
We're off to never never-land

Jun 30, 2007 Eli rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
This book scared the living daylights out of me.

As everyone says - its gorgeously written. The language is so rich that it somehow spills over the sentences - there's more to them than you can easily ingest. The writing makes the whole thing a pleasure to read, and in a lot of ways puts Nabakov in control from the start - there isn't a lot of room to imagine motives since Nabakov explains so much. I should point out that were a lesser writer spend any time at all writing in a language I can't r
Paul Bryant
Other formerly shocking novels of previous centuries have lost their power, batteries quite flat (Madame Bovary, Ulysses, Lady Chatterly’s Lover) – we love them still but we wince no more, we may be quite amused at the idea that this word or that idea was not allowed in polite society – we may, indeed, be vastly amused at the very idea of polite society because society is just not very polite at all these days. But uniquely, Lolita, this great and appalling novel, only gets more shocking and mor ...more
Huda Yahya
يوميات متحرش بالأطفال


س: عرف العمل الأدبي الكلاسيكي

ج هو عمل غالبًا لا تستطيع أن تفهم سبب شهرته وخلوده
مهما حاولت التمحيص والتفحيص
فلا شيء سوى لسان طويل طويل يخرج لك
مستهزءا باليوم اللي - اتهبلت فيه ف عقلك وقلت ياروايات

وقد يصاحب ذلك محاولات متكررة في شد شعرك مستميتا في المحاولة
لما هذا السفه قد يعتبر عملَا أدبيا خالدا؟؟


الرواية تبرز إمكانات ناباكوف الضعيفة والمثيرة للشفقة
-مع مراعاة الزمن الذي كتبت فيه الرواية
فذلك السرد وتلك اللغة لا يتركان مجالا للشك

وكأن هذا الرجل قد أق
K.D. Absolutely
Nabokov himself said that this novel was his best. I still have to read the others but I agree when critics say that this is one of the best English novels ever. For me, the reason is the irony of having a very sick theme - pedophilia - but told brilliantly that you would fall in love with the book and you don't readily really know why.

From the famous opening statement: "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta:..." up to his closing statements "I am thinking of au
I feel like a mental midget in trying to explain my feelings about this book. I struggle to understand why it is considered such a classic piece of literature. Am I jaded by my own time? Have I heard too often the world "lolita" used in modern contexts to refer to young girls who are attractive to adult men who should know better? I had to delve into some literary criticism in order to help me understand, and I think what Lolita tries to do is tell a disguting story about a disgusting man using ...more
Riku Sayuj
Jan 07, 2013 Riku Sayuj rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Riku by: Himanshu Rai
Another review has been put up here. That one is equally bad and confused, you might as well just skim this:

Still dazed by the stupor of melancholy and perversion that Humbert Humbert has exposed my poor brain to. Still trying to make sense of the monster/poet/victim and of Lolita, the symbol of our age. Who exploited whom, who were the villains and who were to be punished, these thoughts are still swirling in my head; desperately trying to ascribe meaning beyond the mere acts of the novel, to r
Jason Koivu
I thought I was going to be sick a time or two while reading, well done by you Nabokov, well done indeed!

When the reader gets so wrapped up in the story and believes so strongly in the characters and their actions that it moves the reader to illness, that is good writing. Almost too good. I had to remind myself that it wasn't real, that Nabokov wasn't writing a memoir in which he seduces and rapes an adolescent. His style, the language he uses and the way he employs it are all of the h
Riku Sayuj

Here is the review I had planned in my earlier rambling. I had half-hoped that I would brood over it, and in due time, some blazingly original understanding of the book would shine through in a review (as it usually does!). Now enough time has passed and I have even given the book a second go-over. I am still lost. So here, for your reading pleasure, is the second-hand review, the old mish-mash of familiar thoughts, the dusty talk about beauty and about confused morality and vague hint
Renato Magalhães Rocha
This is a great book. I had heard of Lolita before as I admire Kubrick’s work - and I’ve seen most of his films - including, of course, the film version of Nabokov’s novel. Prior to that, the only knowledge I had of it was that the term “lolita” was coined in this book. As it happens with most films that are adapted from books, I felt Kubrick’s version wasn’t as heavy and, well, dirty as I imagined a book on this subject would be. So after some time I decided to finally read it. And I’m glad I d ...more
This novel is bleak and disturbing. The only way I got through it is because I was listening to Jeremy Irons perform it, and he was amazing as Humbert. Yes, the book is clever and well-written, but the story is so sad I never want to read it again.

I got so depressed reading this book (I was thinking about how damaged the poor girl would be, about what a monster Humbert was, and even the sadness of his acknowledgement that his attraction to the nymphets was so fleeting that he dreaded the g
Lolita isn't about murder. Lolita isn't about obsession. Lolita isn't about madness. Lolita isn't even about pedophilia or abuse.

Sure those elements are there, but there's skin on the outside of my body, and I can tell you that my largest organ is not what I am about. The same is true for Lolita.

Lolita is a game. It's a chess match by a Russian master. It's an intellectual exercise by a genius. It's an experiment in reader manipulation that's hypothesis is born out. It's references upon refere
Impossible to rate as it's an awful subject, but very well written. The skill of the book (and what makes it most disturbing for me), is that it isn't a clear-cut story of innocent child and predatory adult (which is not to excuse Humbert's actions), and it's only told from one - very biased - point of view.

Since writing this review, I've discovered that Nabokov was a synaesthete. If I (re)read him, I'll have to bear that in mind. See: .

This book raises
Sep 29, 2007 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: oprah
Nabokov, light of the page, fire of my brain. My sin, my soul. Na-bo-kov: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Na. Bo. Kov.
Rakhi Dalal
Dear Mr. Nobokov,

Kindly accept my apologies for not accomplishing the mission of studying your work in the most literary sense (as I assume perhaps may be your purpose). Do consider that I had not had the slightest idea of the subject of the work beforehand, so I did not start reading it with any prejudice in my mind. No, I did not.

The beginning of the book was quite effortless. The words flowed exactly as you had designed them to flow, with the desired rhythm of course. You were quite good whe
My favorite book in all of literature. When I first encountered this title at the age of nineteen I finally realized that great writers were "doing stuff" besides just telling stories. Sure, in high school there was plenty of dry discussion about symbolism and foreshadowing and even dryer in-class readings of poets like Emily Dickinson and Anne Bradstreet(Ugh!), but at that point it all sounded like "The Yellow Rose of Texas" to me.

As I cannot even begin to give this book a straight (or even ob
WAIT A SECOND. Doesn’t Sting refer to Humbert Humbert as the “old man in that book by Nabokov”? If so, then maybe he ought to have reread Lolita before opening his big fat mouth. Because that “old man,” Mr. Fields of Gold, happens to be only in his 30s.

How fucking offensive.
Jun 19, 2011 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Humbert, dressed in cobras
Recommended to Mariel by: This is the dream of Humbert and Humbert
Lolita is my wallowing in the recesses of another's mind. This book is a snake mind pit.

It also broke my heart for the realization that knowing other people can be completely and totally foriegn. It is incredibly depressing to me how many people I've known (all female) who took Humbert's word about anything Lolita felt. Nabokov's genius was also in the telling between the lines. Those beats in spaces, the silences. How could they miss that? How could anyone get so lost in the wallowing that the
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What made you read Lolita? 112 343 8 hours, 9 min ago  
pedophilia 433 1711 Apr 12, 2015 05:30PM  
I'm having a really difficult time reading this book 82 874 Apr 02, 2015 01:44AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 3 24 Mar 16, 2015 01:11PM  
Ethical virtues vs artistic virtues in Lolita. 95 170 Mar 16, 2015 07:07AM  
All About Books: Week 75- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 11 25 Mar 06, 2015 11:44AM  
  • The Adventures of Augie March
  • U.S.A., #1-3
  • Women in Love (Brangwen Family, #2)
  • Journey to the End of the Night
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4)
  • The Sound and the Fury
  • Winesburg, Ohio
  • To the Lighthouse
  • If on a winter's night a traveler
  • The Day of the Locust
  • The Alexandria Quartet  (The Alexandria Quartet #1-4)
  • Franny and Zooey
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
  • Parade's End
  • The Death of the Heart
  • In Watermelon Sugar
  • The Holy Terrors
  • The Sheltering Sky
Russian: Владимир Владимирович Набоков

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, also known by the pen name Vladimir Sirin, was a Russian-American novelist. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist. He also made significant contributions to lepidoptery and had an interest in chess problems.

Nabokov's Lolita (1955) is frequently cit
More about Vladimir Nabokov...
Pale Fire Pnin Invitation to a Beheading Speak, Memory Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle

Share This Book

“It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.” 4220 likes
“And the rest is rust and stardust.” 3290 likes
More quotes…