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4.1 out of 5 stars13
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(4 star).Show all reviews
on April 17, 1998
Where else but between the pages of Nabokov's Invitation to a Beheading could one find a story so well written and so exceptionally powerful that you beg for more. The story follows a lonely isolated man who responds to the name of Cinncinatus. He is charged for a crime rarely described and sentenced to death for it. And what more is reason does not exist in this world, it's inhabbited by irrasional, and rather frustrating characters. The characters are odd, granted, but they are described with such passion, and such enthusiasm that they truly come alive. This is an art I love about Nabokov (as well as the other Russian authors Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, etc). However there are some weak points to this story, One is the repitition of descriptions, and Two is the vague details of some events. I got confused at some points in the book (however I am only 17 and this is the first non short story I read by nabokov). All in all the book is fascinating, and a defenite read. -sorry for the spelling errors-
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on October 8, 1999
Definitely not for the reader that can only appreciate overt symbolism a la "Lolita". Nabakov offered to take me into his dark and unjust world and I was a very willing participant. Watch out, with his scintillating wordplay, he treats his audience with about as much sympathy as his characters! After cracking the spine of this one, I found it hard to get off my futon for anything but the occasional hummus break! If you like this, I recommend the other pieces of Nabakov's "Invitation" trilogy, "Invitation to a Swap Meet" and "Invitation to a Rib Cook-off"
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on March 5, 2001
Most peculiar - I hurtled through this book without ever sorting out what it really was about: a strange experience, in that it didn't bore me despite it being obscure. Is it an allegory of Soviet society? Is it an allegory of alienation of a particular person from the rest of society (gays?, or more likely, it being Nabokov, men with passions for girls - there is an ethereal girl in the book). Is it Nabokov doing a Kafka (although he may have been using some consciousness-enhancing substance while writing)? Or are we not really meant to know?
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