Mini Review: Lolita

This is a very short and disheartened review of my latest read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. My favourite thing about my experience reading Nabokov’s Lolita was the smell of the book which although brutal, and a little unsettling given how disgusting the plot is, holds true. It will probably come as no surprise to you that the main character and narrator of this novel is an asshole. The narrator is constantly referring to psychologists and what they will make of his account of his pedophilia , therefore demonstrating his knowledge of right and wrong.

 

I was expecting to pick up a very complex novel with a multitude of layers and meaning and I found myself only taken by one or two sentences per page. It was unfortunately a little boring and I was forever reluctant to pick it back up. I was lead to believe that it would be as funny as it was unnerving and this was a huge part of its appeal however I was again disappointed. I was so thoroughly disappointed with the novel I failed to laugh or see  its humour. In fact I found it embarrassingly cringeworthy on several occasions such as these

“At this point I have a curious confession to make.You will laugh” (194)

and after reciting his own poem: “By psychoanalysing this poem, I notice it is really a maniac’s masterpiece” (293)

 

Although I admit that after that quotation on page 293 I actually felt a little sick at how much I found myself hating Nabokov’s narrator. Nevertheless this was one of the few times I found myself having any opinion in Lolita‘s characters. In my opinion the plot was interesting and the book was not. I feel like I would have benefitted more from reading Lolita‘s wikipedia entry rather than the novel itself. Perhaps Nabokov’s simplistic writing style is simply not to my taste but did the novel really have to be that lengthy and repetitive? Overall I found this novel at times intelligent but always boring.

 

Sophie

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