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Awe and exhiliration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love--love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.
A quirky farce...
All pedo jokes aside, this is one of the best modernist novels. Overtly, a blatant attack on Freudianism (what constituted pop psychology in the 60's), this novel is as playful and exuberant as it is visceral and fetishistically offensive. The style and wordplay on display are Nabokov at his very best. Every page offers up its moments of cognitive dissonance as you are laughing at the style while simultaneously cringing at the subject matter. What really drew me in was the almost travelogue language of seeing America through the eyes of an educated, but mad European...not the America celebrated on the covers of magazines, but the one lurking in the cramped spaces of a motor lodge, the roadside diner, and the endless freeways that are meant to connect us, but sometimes only lead us to detour after detour...kinda like the subconscious, eh Vladimir?
Hilarious and Disturbing
In a gorgeous work exploring revolting lust and passionate obsession, tragic Humbert Humbert’s wordplay makes you laugh in the most inconvenient of scenes.