Title: Lolita
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
ISBN: 0140 264078
Publisher: Penguin
First Published: 1955
No. of pages: 315

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:
Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor. He also likes little girls. And none more so than Lolita, who he’ll do anything to possess. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all of these?

Review:
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth, Lo. Lee.Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly in school. She was Dolores on the dottedline. But in my arms she was always Lolita.”

So begins one of the most controversial novels of modern times, charting the unconventional relationship between the older man, Humbert Humbert, and a girl of twelve. It’s a tale told from the point of view of Humbert (a character so good they named him twice!) and is surprisingly persuasive in garnering sympathy for a man who is, essentially, a pedophile. The torment he suffers through his obsession with Lolita and the length to which he will go to possess her are beautifully told – at times poignantly poetic – in a style that illustrates the author’s love of a language which isn’t his mother tongue (I could almost cry at how beautifully he writes!).

This is truly a modern classic and the subject, though fraught with danger, is tactfully engaged so that the reader is forced to re-evaluate conventional thinking in terms of relationships between adults and children who are often less innocent than one might believe. It’s a tale of epic proportions, a telling commentary on life, love and obsession, and an amoral love letter to every nymphette who ever lived.

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