Sarah asked:

Do you have to read Lolita before you read this book?

Zacharias Foster Lolita and Ada are, for the most part, completely unrelated novels. There are a handful of references to Nabokov's earlier books sprinkled throughout the text, but these aren't at all essential to understanding and enjoying Ada. That said, if you aren't familiar with some of Nabokov's other work, Ada might prove a difficult point of entry. It's frequently recondite, maddeningly dense, and seasoned with "orgies of epithelial alliterations." It's a magnificent book, it really is, but it might not be a bad idea to start yourself off in shallower Nabokovian waters.
Amanda Hurley No, they are each independent novels. I do agree with Zacharias, though, that Ada isn't the best entry point if you want to get into Nabokov.
Aran Johnson While it is not necessary to have read any other Nabokov books, I think it IS necessary to have read, at the very least, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. It would also help to have read, or be familiar with Nabokov's views about translations of books, and maybe have read his translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin.

I would HIGHLY recommend reading Nabokov's Pale Fire prior to reading Ada. Pale Fire will prepare you for the sometimes intentional confusion about who exactly is telling the story of the book.
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