- This was the first choice for a book club that I joined for the summer.
I also recommend:
- Anything by Kafka
Summary from GoodReads:
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.
This is not a book for the faint of heart. Wow, I don’t even know where to begin with a review on this one.
I was hoping to make the book club discussion centering on this title so I could get my thoughts in order – but alas, life stepped in and I was unable to make it so you all will have to suffer through my trying to get everything straightened out.
Vanity Fair, for its blurb on one edition of this book, says it’s “the only convincing love story of our century,” which, frankly, scares me to death. Why? Because the nitty gritty is that this love story is between an older man and a 12 year old girl.
That’s the surface of the story – but then there’s so much more to it than that. The narrator of this book is filled with so much remorse and justification and self-loathing that it’s nearly impossible to not be captivated by his voice and follow along the story. I was seriously disgusted with myself because, at one point, I was nearly as eager as he was when contemplating murder or scheming to get his way. That scared me – and Freud would have a field day with that (Yes, I read those essays of those Mr. Freud.)
It’s that type of writing, the one that binds and drags you along on a journey you really do not want to go on, that makes for great writing. And Vanity Fair’s blurb? Well, I think in a way it addresses that narrative voice, it’s harsh reality, bitterness and despair. Who can tell the heart where to love, or why it shouldn’t?
This is a tough read for many of those reasons and more. If you attempt it, I recommend you do so with a friend so these are the things you can discuss.
Don’t just take my word for it! Check out what these bloggers say!