This isn't an easy book to read, especially the first half: how does a reader identify with what in esse3nce is a child molester? If there can be redemption, however, for such a person, the narrator achieves it, partly due to his savaging himself. At the same time, the book turns from the road trip of a sexual predator into a mystery and the pages turn more quickly. But at all times, Nabakov's use of language is spectacular, pacing the novel on a literary shelf with others that so well display the virtuosity of the English language. For me, the novel is profoundly sad, a soul expander. The recent case of the Canadian professor and former party guru who became persona non grata for suggesting that prison might not be the best way to deal with people who are caught with child pornography on their computer, but not having purchased it or been involved with it in any way, shows that the novel is, unfortunately, very relevant seventy plus years after its publication.