Despite its lascivious reputation, the pleasures of Lolita are as much intellectual as erogenous. It is a love story with the power to raise both chuckles and eyebrows. Humbert Humbert is a European intellectual adrift in America, haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love. When he meets his ideal nymphet in the shape of 12-year-old Dolores Haze, he constructs an elaborate plot to seduce her, but first he must get rid of her mother. In spite of his diabolical wit, reality proves to be more slippery than Humbert's feverish fantasies, and Lolita refuses to conform to his image of the perfect lover.
This is a relatively quick-reading gem of a book that may surprise you. Don't go into it thinking it's the story of a predatory man lurking after a young girl. Think of this as a glimpse into the mind of man who finds himself feeling emotions he knows are wrong, but chooses to ignore them based on reciprocity.
Nabokov fills this book with puns and anagrams galore, and having dear Humbert Humbert poke fun at the names of Lolita's classmates at one point. This is a word lover's dream if you pay close enough attention.
Additionally, this novel contains my favorite sentence in all of literature, describing the death of Humbert Humbert's mother; again, an example of Nabokov's command of words and sentences. Definitely recommended.
This is one of the best novels I've ever read. It is a horrific story that is elegantly written. I find it fascinating how many people consider Lolita a love story. I personally found it to be a disturbing tale of unrequited obsession, and the lengths one man is willing to go in order to possess the object of his desire. But one of the great things about this book is how many ways it can be interpreted. The reader is left to decide whether the narrator, Humbert Humbert, can be trusted to accurately relay the events that occur between himself and Lolita. Is he just a man desperately in love, or is he a monster trying to seduce the reader into empathy?
I tried to like this book, I knew what it was about going into it, but I just couldn't finish it. It is the story of a pedophile who takes advantage of the vulnerable state of his step-daughter after the death of her mother who he only married in order to have the opportunity to drug her daughter and take advantage of her then. I decided to read it because it was billed as a love story, maybe it ended that way, but I couldn't make myself finish it to find out.
Lolita is one of those books that I had always meant to read but was too shy to ever pick up! I was surprised at how humorous this book is, how well written, how well crafted. It was fascinating, actually, not prurient.