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4.5 out of 5 stars387
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on September 16, 2015
good and fast.
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on September 9, 2015
My daughter gives it a five star rating!
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on August 28, 2015
A haunting and elegantly written novel.
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on January 10, 2015
A must read! I have seen both versions of the film and wanted to delve deeper into this tale of obsession. It is very well written and keeps the readers interested throughout painlessly. Not smut as some would dispose of, though there are some instances of obvious, artful titillation...
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on December 24, 2014
One has to have an open mind to read this novel, obviously it's controversial, which isn't my issue. My issues are with the characters.
I find Dolores and Humbert to be the most aggravating characters I have ever come across. Humbert is a grown man and treats those, especially adult women like trash. (his inner thoughts are insulting and immature).
Dolores is a child, so I guess that's her excuse but I find her so obnoxious.

I really wanted to enjoy this book, but I was too disgusted by the two main characters.
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on August 21, 2014
A classic novel, came in great condition.
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on June 11, 2014
I truly thought this story was true when I first read it, I was a little disappointed when I realized it was not, however it was still an engaging story. You really see inside the man's head and understand the confusing feelings he has for "Lolita". This is one of my favourite books.
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on May 30, 2014
This novel is many things. It is wonderfully beautiful, it is beautifully entrancing, it is entrancingly seductive, it is seductively horrific, it is horrifically sublime. 'Lolita' is about a middle-aged pedophile named Humbert Humbert who falls in love with a twelve-year old girl named Dolores Haze - the Lolita in the title. The story is his confession to the murder of another character at the end of the novel, and focuses primarily on his seduction of Lolita which led to this homicide.

Humbert is skilled with words. He (Nabokov included) uses language to distort a reader's perception of his account. What is most difficult about this psychopath--for that, without question, is what Humbert is--is his self-awareness, accepting that he should be charged and imprisoned for the rape and desiccation of a young girl. It left me questioning how I should classify him. This novel is a psychological profile, and the pedophile is a type that I think most people have a difficult time understanding (I know I do, like most). He is definitely aware and even ashamed of his transgressions, which leads to one of the heart-wrenchingly disturbing qualities of 'Lolita': we sympathize with Humbert.

We are complicit in his crime. But ultimately, readers should read past the beautiful words in the book and see the story for what it is: a misguided love story of a man who never got over his first love.
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Well, it’s a classic, much discussed, much admired, but I’ll add my two pennies. Wonderful writing; stellar stylistically, each paragraph a work of art. Is this really Nabokov’s second language? you wonder, and he throws in a lot of saucy French just for fun, taking the prose to ever new heights. In terms of style, Lolita is off the charts. The prose is poetic – fluid and original. Page after page, wow, wow, wow. Martin Amis doesn’t list Vladimir Nabokov as a top influence, but Lolita reads like an Amis novel, with less gallow’s humour and more fluidity. The story itself, however, is pretty bloody twisted. The protagonist, Humbert Humbert, is a child molester. I like novels with anti-heroes, ones where you find yourself cheering on or empathising with an ethically bereft protagonist even though you know you shouldn’t. But HH is a whole other type of anti-hero. He’s an enlightened, refined, and eloquent pedophile, and as impressive as his French his, he’s a criminal and admits he should be given 35 years for rape. Lolita’s nightly sobbing is eminently disturbing.

And not much happens in the novel. After Humbert Humbert attains his prize, the novel becomes fictional travel literature (better than most real travel literature!) before switching back to drama (guy loses girl is replaced by child abuser loses victim). There’s a decent ending, but a bit of a cliché one (as Nabokov practically admits), and that’s it – plus a word from the author explaining how everything you’ve probably thought about the novel is meritless; he didn’t mean it like that. He bedevils in the telling, and then bedevils in the explanation. Nabokov plays with you, and you let him because he’s such a good writer, but you cringe, or should, at his honeyed poetry’s horror.

Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2013
A book that, had it been written by somebody else, would have been a lecherous persons kiddy porn handbook. Here, its a masterful telling of a lust story, told by weaving and dodging with keen prose around the subject matter with out ever getting lurid. In fact, several times you wish the author would just get on with it.
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