Book Review: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Preview… Though I initially read this dark, gripping novel six years ago, Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” keeps coming back to me. It is without a doubt, the one story that continues to reenter my mind as the years pass and helps me to analyze my understanding of and appreciation for other great works of literature. Many are aware of the perverse subject matter of “Lolita”, but only those who have read it can comprehend its beautiful prose and contemplative nature.
Our protagonist, Humbert Humbert, lost his first love, Anabel, when he was 14 years of age and she, 12. Not willing to accept his loss, he becomes obsessed with trying to recreate this simple love with other young, sexually aware girls—or, nymphets—even as he grows into middle-age. He relocated to New England and boards with a widow, Charlotte Haze and her young daughter, Lolita. Immediately, HH becomes infatuated with the girl, and though he finds her mother to be loathsome, he marries her to cement his connection to his beloved nymphet.
A sudden turn of events, leave Charlotte dead and Lolita under the sole care of HH. Eventually the two enter into a sexual relationship. Much more can be said here, but I don’t want to give anything away. It is a joy and a treasure to uncover the world of Humbert Humbert for the first time—I would hate to deprive you! In writing this article, I have been inspired to do something I have never done before (what with so many great books out there), to go back and reread an old favorite.
You may like this book if… you love to delve deep into a topic that most find repulsive and, perhaps, find yourself sympathizing with the villain, you enjoy the art and beauty of a story well-told, you don’t want to read about a cookie-cutter world, you enjoy postmodern literature, you like explicit sexuality in books (think DH Lawrence), you love the idea of a story so very unique that not even 2 film adaptations can capture it
You may not like this book if… you simply want to be entertained and don’t want to think about deeper issues as a result of literature, you think you may hate yourself if you end up rooting for HH, you think the story’s concept is way too far-fetched, you want a happy ending